Sunday, May 13, 2007

Design for tea lovers

As a tea drinker in America I'm a member of a distinct minority, though our numbers, I think, have been growing. While coffee is pretty much assured everywhere in the nation, I still have to bring tea with me to many meetings and conferences and hunt down a member of the staff to procure a cup of hot water in which to steep the tea.

At home or the office, though, I'm free to drink as much tea as I like. For Christmas my husband purchased a very zen little teapot that brews two cups of loose tea for me (from his all-time-favorite coffeehouse, The Mill in Lincoln, Nebraska), but in my online travels today I ran across another perfect mix of product design and practicality: the tea stick.

The company's web site describes it as, "A contemplative toy that gently rocks as it infuses clouds of flavor before your eyes. This is what happens when designers and connoisseurs meet for tea." Further delving led me to the creators: to my delight, not a nameless manufacturer but Gamil Design, a product and (fellow) graphic design firm out of Raleigh, just over four hours north of here.

It looks like their tea stick has been enjoying some substantial buzz, from the likes of Metropolitan Home ("a sleek, high-grade stainless-steel unit that also acts as measure and container") to a few of the experts in the far east: The China Times' living section. (Now, that isn't bad. When some major metropolitan US newspaper reviews a cowboy hat designed halfway across the world, that little foreign firm will be approaching Gamila's feat.)

It appears that Gamil has won at least one award for it, too, from The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.

So, kudos and admiration from a design colleague in Charleston, South Carolina... and where can I get one?? I know of a cool little burgeoning design district on upper King Street that absolutely should carry it...