A Teahouse for Design-Conscious Urbanites

Small-batch tea is served with a side of local creativity and a Japandi aesthetic at Dear TeaHouse, a contemporary take on traditional teahouses


Down a small alleyway in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 is Dear TeaHouse, a charming light-filled teahouse that has recently opened. The petite space embraces white to evoke a fresh start as well as the colour’s association with purity and innocence. Inspired by the Japanese concept of ikigai, which means ‘a reason for being’, local design firm Seven Studio transformed a 50-year-old building into the new teahouse space. 

Dear TeaHouse offers a melange of Scandinavian and Japanese styles, drawing on a certain Japandi aesthetic. The design team embraced the characteristics of Nordic design and the rich colour palette of Japanese design to create the warm ambience that pervades the space. Modern Scandinavian furniture takes pride of place, alongside pieces designed by Seven Studio’s founder Yen Nguyen. Pine wood and oak are used throughout, while terrazzo flooring reflects the material’s popularity in the city’s mid-century architecture. 

Tea packaging is covered in line art illustrations by local artist Vu Tuan Anh , whose quirky drawings depict three types of Dear TeaHouse customer: the corporate type, the fashionista and the creator. Each season the store adopts a new theme, first it was Kyoto, and a more recent theme was an exploration of the heritage of the Mekong Delta region. 

While the design team were keen to maintain the structure of the original house, they’ve successfully transformed it into a modern and elegant space, where local creative flavour and thoughtful touches blend with tea culture in a way that appeals to the city’s design-conscious crowd.

Text / Babette Radclyffe-Thomas
Images / Marc Tran, Maki Studio