Tea drinkers sip delicate infusions over a granite and timber countertop at Be-oom, a tranquil Korean teahouse on London’s Exmouth Market.
The minimalist Clerkenwell tea shop and garden is the creation of the Korean tea brand Be-oom. Founder Sooji Im tapped London-based Korean practice Studio Buoy to craft its scheme, which uses natural materials and creates space for mindful moments in a bustling city setting.
Studio Buoy’s design centres around the concept of Be-oom, which means to empty, ‘helping find a place to empty the mind, while emptying a cup of tea,’ says Sooji Im. ‘There is a ‘strong meditative aspect to drinking tea traditionally in Korea, (not too different from other tea cultures), which is where the concept of the brand came from,’ Im adds.
Be-oom’s minimalist interiors feature long, horizontal lines and a muted two-tone palette of rich brown and grey through its Sapele joinery and granite elements, crafted by Brighton-based Baines&Fricker.
Granite accents gesture to architectural elements found in Korea used to guide rainwater. Sapele, meanwhile, is reminiscent of the traditional dark wood used in Korea and nods to the forests surrounding tea farms in the country. Be-oom sources its tea from small farms in Korea whose taste ‘is very delicate… but it’s still very complex in its flavour, which makes it unique,’ explains Im.
Neatly spaced-out leaf tea products and stoneware crockery line the shop’s shelves, while minimalist flower arrangements and a row of white fabric banner flags are set above its tea bar.
Tucked at the back is a greenhouse tea garden, which provides a quiet, sunlit and plant-filled setting for intimate tea introductions, blending workshops or private functions.
But it’s not just the teas that are expertly blended: here it is served on a centrepiece table, made from waney-edged English ash, encircled by white modernist stools.