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A series where we interview friends & creative luminaries that inspire us

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My Cup of Tea

Featuring Amanda Luu, florist
Tea—be it the quiet rituals we have on our own or the ones we share with others—inspires connection, starts conversations, and invites us to dig deeper. My Cup of Tea is a series spotlighting inspiring people in the Tekuno world and the rituals that define them⁠.⁠

This month, we visited the craft space of San Francisco florist Amanda Luu, founder and owner of Studio Mondine. A design studio with roots in hospitality, fine art, production, and fabrication, Studio Mondine aims to surprise, delight, and invite us into the splendor of the natural world. ⁠Astute students of flowers will notice the influences of Constance Spry and Sofu Teshigahara in their work— Spry for her effusive use of overlooked materials, and Teshigahara for his reinvention of form. Both held that flowers should be for everyone— a belief Studio Mondine maintains as well.⁠

At their studio, we brewed Amanda's favorite cup of tea and discussed her personal tea rituals...
Amanda selecting a Tekuno tea sachet
from her ceramic stash.
T:       Are you inclined to a special or particular drinking vessel? A favorite mug? Only one for certain occasions? The same one, revolving with your drink of choice?
A:       I have a few porcelain vase samples from Vy Voi that I’ve adopted as my studio mugs. The fluted mouth and cinched waist on this vase-mug make it a pleasure to hold and drink from.
T:       Tell us: how do you prepare your tea? 
A:       I aspire to be loose leaf tea person, and maybe I’ll get there one day. But til then, I’m a tea sachet person.
T:       What tea reserve is nearing empty in your pantry? Do you recall when and how you were introduced to this variety?
A:       I’m down to my last few sachets of Tekuno's Hatomugicha tea! It’s one I’ve gifted to clients and vendors, and even to members of my own team, but I didn’t have the pleasure of trying it until you generously sent me a box. Finally, I have a non-caffeinated tea that I look forward to drinking.
Amanda working with a selection
of her flowers and roots.
T:       What practical steps or tips for brewing tea have you adopted over the years? Maybe an heirloom family way, or something learned in passing on the internet…
A:       I’m going to level with you — I oversteep AND I reuse the same tea bag the *entire* day. I may have gotten this from my grandfather, who would brew jasmine pearl tea and keep filling his pot with hot water the whole afternoon. I loved watching the buds unfurl as a kid.
Studio Mondine's organized assortment of
vases, bowls, and flower stands.
T:      What palette profiles in tea are you partial to?
A:       I love a toasty, nutty, earthy tea most days. Though if we’re eating dim sum, then it has to be chrysanthemum.
T:      When in the day do you reach for tea? (/when is tea time?)
A:       I finish my coffee at home, make the 2 minute walk to our studio, and fire up a pot of tea before sitting down at my desk. Then I’m drinking tea (for flavor and for warmth) until the end of the day.
T:       What are some of your earliest memories of tea? Was it something you grew up with?
A:       My step grandmother had the tiniest, most precious tea sets. I remember thinking, ’hey these are small, even for my hands’. And I’m maybe four. She would bake a box mix cake perfumed with sherry and enriched with an extra vanilla pudding packet and serve little wedges of this cake to my sister and me with jasmine tea, all on her tiny perfect finery.
Hatomugicha brewing in the sun
at Studio Mondine
T:       Are there any other rituals that accompany your tea-making/drinking process (ie: is there an incense burning? Is there music/a playlist? Is there a place you like to sit?)
A:       I bring my cup of tea with me from room to room, and my son is starting to notice. He’s most curious about the steam coming from the mug, though I bet next week he’ll ask for a sip. □
Thank you for the interview and for welcoming us into your space, Amanda!
Browse Tea Sachets
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