Phoenix Wharf, a leader in hospitality and retail design, has recently unveiled a new venture: the first outlet for Oricha, a novel bubble tea emporium situated on Birmingham’s Coronation Street. Oricha is a fusion of ancient tea-drinking culture and contemporary aesthetics, drawing inspiration from East and West – particularly from China, Japan, and Taiwan, as well as British tea and coffee houses. The concept reflects the diverse background of its founders, former Bristol University students turned entrepreneurs.

The name Oricha cleverly combines ‘Oriental’ and ‘Original’, with ‘cha’ – the Chinese word for tea. This term entered the English language in the 1590s through Portuguese traders in Macao. The branding for Oricha, developed by a Taiwanese agency, presents a tea leaf integrated into the letter ‘R’. Its unique brand icon, a T Rex dinosaur, represents a modern twist on the traditional Chinese dragon, with the T Rex carrying a large, traditional tea bowl on its back, a symbol of Eastern hospitality.

The 55.9 sq m space of Oricha, divided into a 16.9 sq m front house and an 18.6 sq m counter area, is a testament to the design expertise of Phoenix Wharf. The counter, placed centrally in the store, is made of timber-effect laminate with brass detailing and a tiled lower section featuring a porcelain tile pattern that mirrors the brand identity.


Oricha’s design includes three digital menu screens above the counter and a back wall featuring a manuscript scroll with an illustration of a dinosaur chasing a bubble, adding a playful element to the traditional concept. The store’s flooring comprises large concrete tiles, and the walls are adorned with Oricha branding, including a T Rex backed by tiles with the brand crest in pale gold.

Chris Gwyther, Creative Director of Phoenix Wharf, emphasizes the importance of high-quality, Taiwanese rice-roasted oolong tea in Oricha’s offerings, reflecting the brand’s commitment to quality. The store’s design, featuring high tables with velvet-upholstered bar stools and pendant lights from Lights and Lamps, alongside wall lights from houseof, creates an inviting atmosphere.

The external shopfront, in dark stained wood with the Oricha name in gold, features timber panels that suggest a sense of history and authenticity. The brand icon, a T Rex, is also prominently displayed on the shopfront.

Jaspar Lo of Oricha commended Phoenix Wharf’s efficiency and professionalism, noting the positive customer feedback on the store’s design. Oricha’s blend of traditional and modern elements sets it apart in Birmingham’s bubble tea scene, promising a unique experience for its patrons.

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Publisher of Hospitality and Leisure News, 365 Retail, Retail Source and organiser of the Creative Retail Awards.