MOUNTEA

Enjoy the moment of

"Doing nothing."

​Project Details

Insight: Urban people are busy making a living everyday. It's hard to slow down and take a break. Fortunately, slowness and quietness are key features of Chinese tea culture. I want to encourage people to enjoy slowness during a tea break.

Challenge: Chinese tea culture has its unique and luxuriant system. I have to keep balance between aesthetics, culture and usage.

Duration: April 2016 - May 2016

Project Type

Solo project

Tools Used

Illustrator

Photoshop

AfterEffects

Contribution

Research

Prototypes

Graphic design

Photography

Video Edit

 
 
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OVERVIEW

Different from the fast-paced coffee culture, in traditional Chinese culture, drinking tea is a great way to sit down, relax and meditate, just like what Yoga does. However, for young generations, it is becoming harder to sit down and focus on something for a while. We eat fast food, jump into and out of fast relationships, read short stories on Twitter and go for short trips. What we've lost is the ability to slow down.

 

Thus, I want to take advantage of the feature of tea culture and encourage my audience to sit down for a while and enjoy the moment of "doing nothing".

 

Process

I brainstormed about features of Chinese tea and got these as key points:

  • SLOWNESS

  • QUIETNESS

  • DIFFERENT SPECIALTY FROM DIFFERENT LOCATION

Brainstorming

Tea + Mountain

Speaking of slowing down, one of the most welcomed options is to get away from big cities and embrace the nature. As a product of nature, the essence of tea is plant, or to be more precisely, leaves of trees. So I did some research about the origins of Chinese tea and found that the features of different types of tea are greatly influenced by the mountains where they grow. In another word, it is the character of mountains that decides the essence of teas. 

 

The charm of nature comes from its unimaginable power, mystery, long history and silence. When we walk towards the foot of mountains and look up at them, we will surely be astonished by their silent powerfulness. For the people who don't have the access to the real nature, how about bring this kind of charm to them?

 

 

Thus, I chose nine different tea-productive mountains and tried to simplify their features. I also add some information about tea culture and operating instructions into the product in order to encourage the users to focus on the process without any distractions from outside. With simply adding some background information to the teabag, I create an experience when the users can sit down, enjoy a cup of tea and feel the silence of the moment.

Prototypes

According to the study of Chinese traditional tea, I wanted to find a natural way to represent its quietness and slowness features. At first, trees and leaves seemed a great option, but it might lack interesting points. Then I tried tea bags in rectangular pyramid as a combination of trees and mountains. However, the shape of tea bag couldn't express any related information of tea culture, which was my first intention. At last, I abandon the idea of trees and made an imitation of the environment where mountains were in the nature. In the last version, the tea bag was connected to a mountain shaped card, customers could fix it onto a cup and know about the famous mountains while enjoy their tea time.

 

HTML5 Mockup

I also made conception of some H5 pages accompany with the product so that users could know how to make teas according to their different features.

 
 

© 2020 by Iris Tian