Would you pay Dh50,000 for a tea box?
Tea has five major “enemies”, air, light, heat, moisture and odour, according to Lotusier, a British brand specialising in high-end tea humidors. In Lotusier’s creations, tea is stored in dedicated, hand-blown crystal containers, each fitted with four air channels to maintain an even distribution of humidity. In addition, a humidity pack is located in each container’s stainless steel base, to create a two-way humidification system.
Also packed into the humidor are German-made hygrometers, which provide a measure of the relative humidity level within each individual container (most tea varieties are optimally preserved within a 55 to 70 per cent relative humidity range). These removable instruments are placed on the inside of the container’s lid, so they can be easily read.
It may look like a simple box, but the tea humidor consists of 20 components, crafted in 12 workshops in four different countries. Woods are sourced from ecologically sustainable forests that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Measuring 30 centimetres by 25cm and standing 14.5cm high, the humidors took four years to develop and are available in two different configurations – a version fitted with four crystal containers also has room for a selection of tea-related accessories, including a stainless steel tea scoop and four chrom-capped glass sand timers. An alternative version features six crystal containers, and not accessories.
Lotusier’s collections reference the world’s five major tea-drinking cultures: there is Cha Jing for China; Saicho for Japan; Indus for the Indian subcontinent; Andalus for the Middle East; and Deco for “the Euro-American Occidental”.
A new addition to the Japan-inspired Saicho collection is the Kyoto Sakuro humidor in a powdery hue of baby pink. “Our delicate colour palette of soft pinks, muted greens, soothing lilacs and creamy lilacs is evocative of renewal and vitality, as well as a gentle nascency so closely connected to spring,” says Lotusier founder Åsa Eriksson-Ahuja.
Lotusier offers a free personalisation service for each of its humidors – removable stainless steel plaques that are magnetically fitted onto the humidor’s inner lid can be engraved with the names of your favourite teas, your name or initials, or, if it’s a gift, those of the recipient.
The company is currently researching charitable causes relating to global tea plantation workers, to which it will donate 10 per cent of profits from sales of the Lotusier Tea Humidor.