Taipei, Taiwan

Initial Position

As drinking tea is a bigger part of Taiwanese culture, encountering spaces where tea is being served is a lot easier than in Germany. Different consumer requirements are covered through a wide variety of spaces which make the consumption of tea common in daily. After collecting and categorising research questions we narrowed down the subjects to develop a starting-position with two main research questions for Taiwan.

What variety of TEA SPACES exists and what is the room and product range for immediate consumption?
What are the motives for people visiting Tea Spaces for Tea consumption?

There are several activities surrounding tea drinking, such as how people interact in various situations and how modern influences affect the meaning of traditional custom. At this point two main categories emerged which divided the places of action for the further research process in the perception of traditional types of tea houses and modern appearances of take away stores. Drinking tea in Taiwan is no longer just a part of the traditional „Cha Dao“ ceremony but also the easily accessible „to go“ store for immediate consumption.

Desk Research

Based on the formulated main guiding questions a research plan was set up which focused on physical.- product.- and social dimensions of tea spaces.
In order to structure the desk research and to prepare for the field work we clarified useful methods to deep dive into important headlines such as TIME, SPACE- and SOCIAL INTERACTION.

Physical Factors

The inventory setting for different types of tea places plays an important role in creating and delivering certain experience for a particular space of consumption, product and brand perception.
Additionally an overview of physical factors of tea spaces was specified to provide a framework for a customer journey which should furthermore help to analyse the allocated space and social interaction.

Social Aspects

Different social criteria with several motivations are very strong aspects to consume tea within a certain tea space. To help us understand when and why people drink tea we considered using probe kits to document motivation of tea drinking, which were supposed to be completed by Taiwanese students.
Behaviour observation forms and interview sheets were created to help gathering insights in order to give an overview of different use cases and motivations for visiting a certain tea space.
Following crucial parameters were predefined and continuously included into the research process such as quality, price, space, time, audience. These parameters interact with each other in terms of creating a ddifferentiation between tea spaces.
To cope with international differences concerning perspectives of German and Taiwanese views on tea consumption, the group decided to point out intercultural differences by comparing pictures to be taken during the field work.

Field Research

Before the field research could start, it was necessary to create the logistic outframe in which the research should take place. There are hundreds and hundreds of different tea places in Taipei, so narrow them down was a hard task. Creating a google map with already known and interesting tea places was the first task of the Taiwanese students. The map  helped us to get an overview about the places we wanted to visit. WE went to the city and tried to find a huge range of different tea spaces.
First we went to SHIDA area with many take away shop like “COMEBUY” “CHIN-SHIN”..etc, also there is a herbal tea take away shop here. SHIDA is a university area. Then we went to Da-An area for the traditional tea house. Later we went to Mao-Kong which is on the mountain for a traditional tea house which is popular with young people. Finally we went to take away tea shop in east area for further Informations. There have both no brands take away and famous chain take away shop like “50″ “COCO”

Research step 1:
At every place we visited we took pictures and observed the customers. We tried to be passive to not distract the people in their actions. Photo observation is a helpful tool to capture single micro events. It also helped us a lot to talk about single events later. We could look at the pictures again and discuss about the them from different perceptions.And earlier designed observation sheet helped us to manage our observed information. At the first step we explore broad. We went to many different tea spaces to get an meta point of view.
Going back into the Studio we transformed the collected information and photos into observation sheets in which we could see differences between the single tea spaces in. This was a helpful tool to combine and analyse all the data. With this method we also could see how the other groups had worked and we discussed about our findings.
Research methods step 2:
In the next step we focused on the category of “take away spaces” (Taiwan team2). We went to some more take away spaces and interview
the customers on spot about their habits, expectations, needs and experience. This was necessary to navigate our project in the right
direction. The opportunity to dig deeper into the dimension of take away teaspaces showed us the variety in dies field. In the second step, talking to the owner and customers was important to differentiate the research methods, in this stage our research was more active. Also the interview results proofed some of our later findings.
The approach to work with different research methods created and solid foundation for our later concept.
The research methods helped us to answer our first questions:
What variety of TEA SPACES exist and what is the room and product range for immediate consumption?
In our research we found out the the Taipei tea spaces can me sorted into three big categories.
-take away
-traditional tea spaces
How and where is the information in TEA SPACES represented/displayed/communicated?
After we transformed the data into some poster working sheets, we could manage and organise the information’s. The questions we asked our self regarding the tea information could be solved through the evaluation of our observation sheets in which we wrote all the related and obvious points.
What are the motives for people visiting Tea Spaces for Tea consumption?
Many people visit take away tea spaces because there are cheap, the quality of the product is good an fresh. The preparation is fast. The product offers many variations. People see this product more as a refreshing beverage than actually tea. Even if its called Tea.
Which are the most important & obvious micro events during P&C within a single TEA SPACE experience?
-waiting for your product
-perception of the quality of the product and the preparation while waiting
-space of consuming – where do people drink their tea

Item Overview

#170 before ordering

People waiting on the street in order to purchase tea or other beverages. In most cases the waiting space is a micro space between the store and the street. The customers are more or less conscious about the navigation towards the ordering interface (the service counter). The Interface creates the interaction between staff & customer, product information, the act of preparation and payment. The Interface... more

by bastian.boss

#187 While preparing tea

After choosing the product and ordering, customers moving into another dimension of waiting. In this waiting space people have a already stronger connection to the space because they payed and received a waiting number or recipe. While this short waiting period most of the people watching stuff preparing the ordered product. Some people making little excursions to other stores or socializing with friends or... more

by bastian.boss

#188 Delivery Space

Most of the take away chains in Taipei have motorbike delivery services which been mostly used for big orders (6 teas or more). It is also possible to order fewer items but there a service charge will be applied. In most cases the delivery goes to company’s and university’s where people only have short lunch breaks. In this case
we have a longer time frame (waiting space) between preparation and consumption. more

by bastian.boss

#189 Take away VS: 7Eleven

Compare to stores like 7 eleven or modern tea space, take away shops are more convenient and provide fresher products without taking to much of the customers time. Take away stores provide are big variety of drinks. Customers can choose bubbles, toppings, milk tea combinations which you can not buy in 7 eleven.
Take away spaces always provide customized services, ex: sugar or ice revision. Base on the... more

by bastian.boss

#190 Immediate Consumption

Based on our observation, we found out that most of the people drink immedietly through walking cause they are thirsty, or they drink it while eating for convenience. Some of them bring it to their workplace, like their office or into the classroom in order to have it while they are working. Seldom they will take it to the park and have
it outside nearby. more

by bastian.boss