Wabi Sabi

An immersive space for your tea break

Coffee companies experience an increasing demand for coffee, however, coffee is not the only hot beverage one can consume on a commute or during a break. Our research proved that audiences found tea to be a dated drink of choice, mainly correlated with past generations, and does not match the consumer’s pace of modern life.

We used design thinking methodologies to find out how we can create a space, which helps to translate the intrinsic values of tea into the modern life.

Project Outline

  • Time

    6 month

  • Scope

    Define a Target Group. Create Personas based on quantitative research. Create Mockups. Create Micro Pilots and build a physical pop-up store.

  • Target Group

    Young professionals in the Bay Area (25-35 yr old).

  • Product or Service

    Pop-up Store for an immersive tea experience


  • Street Intercepts
  • Shadowing
  • Expert Interviews
  • Journey Mapping
  • Information Architecture
  • Mockup and Prototyping

My Role

  • Concept Design
  • Lead UX-Designer
  • Design Research
  • User Testing
  • Lead the planning and building of the physical experience


  • Gagan Mauli
  • Jessica Y. Wen
  • Daniel Kamenetzky
  • Heraclio Atencio

How might we create a modern tea experience in a pop-up store?


Wabi Sabi – Your Tea Experience

Wabi Sabi is intentionally repositioning tea in the market by building an active mental image by engaging the five senses. Upon entrance to our shop, our customers immediately relax, tasting delicious teas, taking in the aroma of essential oils and enjoying a magnificent view.

ExteriorThe Wabi Sabi Tea Pop-Up Store in your neighborhood

Wabi Sabi delivers easy and quick relaxation through an intimate experience. The pop up will be strategically located in public spaces to provide a beautiful and scenic experience.

Before you enterUnlock the door with your phone

Through the online booking system, customers can reserve a 30-minute escape with Wabi Sabi. The customer can unlock the door with his/her smartphone.

Tea SpaceA perfect space for your tea break

Wabi Sabi provides an immersive experience by surrounding the user in nature and the warmth of a fresh cup of tea. Here are three things you need to know about Wabi Sabi:

  1. This is your private booking. You will have 30 mins to touch, smell, steep, sit back and relax while enjoying the delicious tea and the beautiful view. The host will be available to assist you only upon request through your Wabi Sabi app interface.
  2. There are various types of tea for you to smell, touch and taste. We encourage interaction with the experience using all senses. Hot water and mugs will be provided. Help yourself to a cup of tea!
  3. As the end of the session approaches, the app will send a notification to prompt to the final 5 minutes of the experience. Once the session has ended the curtains will roll down allowing light into the space.

BookingFind a Wabi Sabi Tea Pop-Up close by

Wabi Sabi provides an app for its customers to manage reservations and payment. After log in, the customer will have the ability to see all available Wabi Sabi locations.

ReserverationReserve the space for your tea break

After picking the location the customer can see details about the view, the availability of the space and the reservation options.

Entering your spaceUnlock the door with your phone

When the customer arrives at the tea space he/she is granted access by using the unlock button on the app.


Wabi Sabi (侘寂) is inspired by Japanese aesthetics and a world view centered on the art of acceptance, transience and imperfection. As we hustle through the ups and downs in our daily lives — instead of stress and frustration, why not embrace the beauty of imperfection? Wabi Sabi invites you to spend 30 mins of your day to sit back, drink tea, and celebrate the mindfulness of life.

PackagingThree different types for different moods

Our primary research indicates that our target segment prefers the tea selection based on the effect it can have rather than than ingredients.

Pop-Up StoreThe Pop-Up Store Prototype


The Design Thinking Methodology

We followed the design thinking process which is divided into four main questions:
What is? What if? What wows? What works?

This part of the site is still under construction, come back soon to read more!