East meets West in Melbourne bubble tea shop Naröcha

Jul 14, 2021
  • Article by Elisa Scarton

Polished concrete with pops of neon combine and celebrate the traditional Asian tea ceremony and the European cuppa in Melbourne bubble tea shop Naröcha.

Designed by Orlando Sanpo and opened earlier this month, Naröcha Werribee is the second storefront for the Japanese-inspired bubble tea chain started by 21-year-old Nicole Culham.

Hand-whisked, Naröcha’s bubble teas celebrate Asia’s favourite sips from Thai milk teas to matcha lattes, with a sprinkling of Western treats like cheesecake, Oreo and espresso macchiato thrown in for good measure.

The interiors of the new shop follow suit with polished concrete walls and floors and seats for 24.

Seeking an “airy, elevated and contemporary” experience, Sanpo paired the Brutalist palette with mint green accents – the signature shade of the Naröcha brand – and baby pink touches.

“An abundance of leafy greenery balance soft and smooth textures to further evoke a sense of relaxation and an air of sophistication,” he tells ADR.

“Soothing and intimate, customers can unwind over a freshly brewed tea of choice or peruse the shelves for something to take home.”

At the heart of the space, the concrete counter highlights the brewing process, which involves filtering loose tea leaves. Behind it, green shelving holds ingredients and packaging.

Along the sides of the store, more concrete forms banquette seating softened by teal cushions and lit by baby pink neon lights featuring the Naröcha mascot.

More neon signs dominate on the other side of the store, which is set up to sell DIY bubble tea kits, bottled teas and other take home packages.

LED lighting illuminates the arched alcoves displaying product, as well as the base of the concrete plinth featuring the loose leaf teas and DIY kits.

“Naröcha successfully combines the ancient art of Japanese tea appreciation with the attractive modern world of bubble tea, a traditionally Taiwanese beverage,” concludes the team.

“A playful, elevated and intimate experience, the new store is taking the boba world by storm.”

Photography courtesy of Naröcha.

Bubble tea stores are the proving to be the new frontier for Australian designers with Biasol most recently penning a peachy pink landscape for Ambrosia and EFC Group “evoking a sense of joy” in its millennial neon dreamscape Gotcha.

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