Words Tatiyana Welikala. | Photographs Menaka Aravinda.
R&D&Tea, co-founded by Dinesh Karunaratne and Richard sought to introduce an European inspired tea bar concept along with a retail space. The concept is based on a European tea bar, in addition with a Chinese emphasis by preparing tea for customers in Gongfu style.
The Sri Lankan variation in the store is incorporated into the packaging and the tea itself. Various blends of loose tea are stored in canisters on neat displays, where customers can select a blend of their preference. Upon choosing, the tea is weighed and packed in attractive gift boxes, pouches or canisters. The types of tea offered are single estate teas, blooming flowering teas, Ceylon tea, fruit blends, herbal teas, masala chai and hand rolled teas. The artwork of the tea boxes encompasses an esthetic appeal with hand-painted designs of artist Alex Stewart, which incorporates Sri Lankan culture, features of estate workers and British heritage.
R&D&Tea, creates their own hand- rolled blends such chocolate tea, full moon tea, lemongrass coconut and Annie Black Tea. Similar high grade- teas are stored in a designated airconditioned space to sustain its quality and longevity. Customers are also invited to bring their own mixes and consultant with the team at R&D&Tea to produce unique blends, thus crafting bespoke flavors.
Apart from the extensive assort- ment of teas, R&D&Tea also comprises a range of spices known as R&D&Spices. White pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, mustard seeds and anise are packed into clear cylindrical tubes, instantly drawing customers to the beautiful colors. The spices are sourced directly from the producers for an authentic taste and flavor.
Customers can discover chic and cheerful souvenirs and gift items such as vibrant tea pots, tea sets and special tea flasks.
A premium quality white tea is available to purchase as required, further enhancing the exclusivity of the brand. The elegant ambience of the store is enhanced by bright light- ing and customers can browse through the products at their own pace.
R&D&Tea sources tea leaves from reputed brokers and experts in the industry. With the combined knowledge and exposure from international markets, Dinesh Karunaratne and Richard are continually develop- ing unique blends.
R&D&Tea aspires to offer tea lovers a new experience in the world of tea.