Coffee and Tea, please.

Whether it is going for a morning run or just sitting quietly reflecting on the day’s activities; a hot cup of tea or coffee is historically how most start the day.

By Wendy Noory


Everyone has their own morning ritual to begin the day; no matter what it may be, many choose to start their day with a coffee or tea. Some may remember their grandmother displaying an antique, full-service set with a sugar bowl and creamer, though mainly for display.

Post-modernism brought a revived interest in the use of tea and coffee service sets as a result of an international industrial design competition that started in 1979. Alessi, a small design company from northern Italy, developed a competition which brought together eleven renowned and newly found architects such as Robert Venturi, Hans Hollein, Richard Meier, Michael Graves and Aldo Rossi to name a few.

This competition was called the “Tea and Coffee Piazza Project.”  The goal was to create a collection to include a coffee pot, tea pot, creamer, sugar bowl and tray which reflects the architectural style of the individual architects. The creations were considered micro architecture, as the requirements were to design a tray to represent a “piazza” (city square) with the accessories or vessels standing tall like buildings on the tray.

The competition favorites went on to begin their modifications to a more consumer-friendly price point.  The concept of architects as consumer product designers and a brand name in a modern market was born. Later, Target began working directly with one of the architects from the piazza project, Michael Graves, to create a fun, pop houseware collection (1998) that emulated his style of architecture and trending colors of this time.

Regardless of preference, a post-modern lover or English traditional,  most love a good cup of tea and coffee in the morning.  Using service sets in a traditional, modern or somewhere in between style, makes the experience more memorable, and reminds its user to slow down and enjoy the moment in the morning. Take the time to build a special set with all your favorite accessories! The options are endless with specialty boutiques, vintage shops and online global shopping.