Saint-Louis’s new tasting range includes three tumblers to appreciate tea and its subtleties: light, full-bodied or concentrated. With the complicity of agronomist and tea sommelier Lydia Gautier, the Apollo collection welcomes a Great tea set for a generous tasting, a Charming tea set for the brew of exceptional teas, as well as an espresso tumbler for the incorrigible coffee addicts. Porcelain and crystal accessories complete both rituals.
The history of this evolution spans far back. In 1979, the Apollo collection renewed the Thistle (1913) table service in a contemporary spirit, taking up its delicate aesthetic: its iconic shape of thistle flower and its Venetian ribs. In 2011, Godefroy de Virieu and Stefania Di Petrillo turned the parison of the tumbler into a table lamp shade. In tableware, decoration, and lighting, Apollo can be found today in every room of the house and used any time of the day.
This year, Apollo welcomed a tea tasting range, unveiling new creations that combine its Venetian ribs and cut patterns with porcelain. For a unique taste, tea and crystal are paired in perfect harmony: each tumbler is designed to adapt to a specific tea, from the lightest to the most concentrated. Even coffee has its own tumbler, while two complementary sets invite amateurs and connoisseurs alike to satisfy their curiosi (tea).
In exquisite Saint-Louis style, they invited the city’s tastemakers and design set for an evening of experience, setting their showroom into a day-to-night (breakfast to tea to evening cocktails) immersive space. Award winning mixologist Antonio Lai lead an exclusive cocktail mixology session, where special guests - among them Max Lam, Effie Yang, Elaine Lu and Vincent Lim, Enoch Hui, Thomas Wu, Wesley Liu, Eric Fung, Fion Tang, Stanley Kwok - were taught to make their own lime mojitos. With the tables stunningly set in sparkling crystalware, delicate florals and cocktail fare, everyone donned their aprons, basked in Antonio’s instructions and flaunted their skills. “Delicious and so refreshing” was the delighted consensus all around as designers drank their concoctions and moved around the showroom to appreciate the tableware, lighting and decor pieces.
In another area, the art of tea was showcased in high style, where tea sommeliers hosted a serene scene and tea rituals, seducing guests to sit down, relax, breathe in the fine aromas of the brewing tea and enjoy sensations from their Great tea sets and Charming tea sets. The former includes two tumblers - a light tea tumbler with a high and narrow parison to capture the fleeting notes of green and white teas or infusions when brought to the nose and to concentrate the tasting notes and - a full-bodied tea tumbler with a short and wide parison to air the aromatic notes of black, roasted or Rooibos teas and let the notes blossom in the nose and then on the palate.
The Charming tea set on the other hand, was used to accompany the tasting of exceptional teas. In this ritual, tea rich liquor is to be tasted in small volumes in the concentrated tea tumbler (5 cl) after tea was brewed several times in the Charming teapot. The liquor first waits in a pouring pot (about 1 minute), before being decanted and tasted in the concentrated tea tumbler. The robe and flavours of grands crus evolve over several infusions, until the leaves have been fully extracted.
This was enjoyed by more connoisseurs in the design scene, who included Norman Chan, Joe Tang, David Sun, Tino Kwan and Jeff Tung. As the night progressed, lifestyle lovers trickled in to enjoy the festivities, as well as Antonio’s curated list of tea-based cocktails - Reliever, Yuzu Apple, Oolong Tea Collins and Playpal - all created to be a feast for the senses. Chi Ling Leung chatted animatedly with Joseph Sy and Scarlett Chen fell in love with the stunning Saint-Louis chess set. Meanwhile, Penny Chan, Bonnie Chan, Frankie Ke, Kelvin Kong and Gary Lau navigated the day to night experience, exploring fine crystal and glassware from the breakfast setting, then the tea ceremonies, before ending the night with specialty tea-based cocktails. Another standout event, Saint-Louis successfully once again showcased how tea and crystal pairing is a precious and hedonistic experience.