With a desire to bridge the cultural gap between East and West, Green Tea World USA, Inc. partnered with The Cool Japan Fund and tapped Hornall Anderson to create an authentic Japanese green tea café experience in the states. The Los Angeles café was created as an engaging, educational and decidedly different experience serving matcha, as well as reinterpretations of traditional Japanese drinks and fare. We set out to create a new platform—naming, identity and retail experience—for an ancient tea ceremony, inviting appreciation and turning coffee drinkers into green tea aficionados.
Our naming process led us to “Shuhari,” a Japanese word referring to the stages of mastery and comprised of three parts: “Shu” alludes to obedience of traditional wisdom, “ha” is to break away from established rules, and “ri” means to part with convention and achieve independence. Reminiscent of a Japanese stamp, the wordmark evokes tea leaves unfurling, with letterforms that embrace green tea’s history and warmth. The retail color palette was inspired by Japan’s gardens and the ceremonial Chagama tea kettle serves as the central café feature, surrounded by areas for merchandise, education and savoring the green tea lifestyle.
Shuhari Matcha Café’s first location opened in July 2016, and has since been earning rave reviews for style and substance, including glowing coverage in Vogue.