Saint Charles Flechtentee Design Week


A pharmacy and design? That doesn't have to be a contradiction. The Viennese pharmacy Saint Charles is - true to its motto "Expect the Unexpected" - a partner at this year's Vienna Design Week from 16-25.9.2022. In an unusual collaboration with "Simiæn", the design research team Julia Schwarz and Lisi Penker, they will show how tea culture can also be made exciting to experience in this country: with "Hinterthal", a specially composed tea infusion based on lichen, a tea enjoyment set designed from the original material natural stone and unusual events around exciting tea ceremonies. All under the project title: Licking Rocks.

What can be experienced beyond a simple tea infusion?

Simiæn, the design research team Julia Schwarz and Lisi Penker, together with the team from the Saint Charles Pharmacy in Vienna under pharmacist Alexander Ehrmann, dealt with future food perspectives, specifically with tea culture.

In this country, tea is often consumed for purely functional purposes. For example, for physical ailments or for warming when feeling cold. What if, in the context of tea enjoyment, restful places from nature could be tasted and experienced in a multi-sensory way? What if valuable active ingredients were integrated in a more tasteful and aesthetic way?

A topic that has met with great enthusiasm at Saint Charles with its focus on Traditional European Medicine and Experience in Retail.

Lichen tea "Hinterthal"

Thus, the project focused on a plant genus whose use in tea actually has a centuries-old tradition: Lichens. These have the unique property of taking on the flavour of the environment in which they grow. They love to thrive in refreshing alpine mountain air, in fragrant cloud forests or on rough coasts. This fact was also the inspiration for the project name "Licking Rocks".

Together with the herbal experts at the Saint Charles Pharmacy, the first lichen-based tea infusion that can be experienced was developed - the "Hinterthal" tea blend, which will also be available for purchase at the Saint Charles Pharmacy and in Simiæn's online shop from 16 September.

Tea ceremony with tea enjoyment set

Inspired by Far Eastern tea culture, the project team has also set itself the goal of placing mindfulness at the centre of a tea ceremony through well thought-out experiential components and deceleration at the same time. These factors led Julia Schwarz and Lisi Penker to design a special tea enjoyment set. The special set, which is handmade from the most elementary original material, natural stone, includes a tea cup, a tea pitcher and a tray for the necessary tea cutlery.

To serve interpreted tea bread with the special tea ceremony, the experts from Saint Charles Alimentary/Döner Brutal & Cucina Alchimia have joined in as fermentation specialists. The tea bread is based on a special ferment of the Hinterthal tea set and will for the time being be served exclusively as part of the planned series of events.

The programme

Licking Rocks Design Installation
16-25.9 / 8:00-18:00 / Saint Charles Pharmacy, Gumpendorfer Str. 30

A relaxing place from nature in the middle of the pharmacy? Hinterthal - inspiration for the eponymous, first experiential lichen-based Tea Infusion.

Five o'clock tea
Thursday, 22.9. / 17:00-20:00 / Saint Charles Pharmacy, Gumpendorfer Str. 30

At the Five O'Clock Tea at the Saint Charles Apotheke Hinterthaler lichen tea can be sipped from natural stone teacups - or lapped up? Instead of small talk, there are unexpected things to discuss, to be amazed at and to taste.

Attention: Limited places
Registration at

One o'clock tea
Saturday, 24.9 / 13:00-14:30 / Saint Charles Complementary, Gumpendorfer Str. 22

Instead of the usual Saturday hustle and bustle, a tea ceremony? That's what you get at Saint Charles Complementary. Participate actively or just passively, both are possible.

Attention: Limited places
Register at

"After leaving the unreality of the urban world, the space lightens the soul and the detaching devotion to the rite, which takes place in 7 steps, culminates in a decelerating atmosphere with a comforting cup of tea - Simple. Satisfied. Be." (Master of Ceremonies: Manfred Hofer)

Vienna Design Week

The VIENNA DESIGN WEEK, Austria's largest curated design festival, will take place this year from 16 to 25 September. In addition to the festival headquarters in , there will also be a special concentration of programme items in the focus district of Mariahilf that deal with topics relevant to the district. Under the new name "Platform", the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK offers an optimal basis for the presentation of works and products by external partners and for networking with the public and the creative scene.

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