This month I am kicking off my new Luxury Africa Series! You may know that I am obsessed with colourful interiors, which is reflected in my designs, but my real passion is African Luxury and spreading the amazing work of African designers and tastemakers across the world!
There is no better company to start this with than South African brand Yswara, known for its luxury teas, infusions and tea time accessories. Yswara opened its first stand-alone store in the recently refurbished Cosmopolitan in Johannesburg. Built in 1899 and situated in the heart of the emerging cultural Maboneng District, the Cosmopolitan is home to luxury lifestyle brands, a gallery, restaurants and bars.
Founded by Swaady Martin, YSWARA harnesses the ancient knowledge in collecting the world’s largest selection of fine African teas. YSWARA’s teas are grown in the verdant fields of the finest African tea estates, whether it be the rolling hills of Rwanda’s Rukeri Estate or the misty peaks of Malawi’s Shire Highlands. Each of the rare leaves are handpicked, sun-dried and processed on their individual farms using only natural methods.
Designed in collaboration with Mia Widlake of South African design practice Studio 19, the Moroccan-inspired Yswara tea room features a soft rose pink theme with copper accents, parquet flooring and an eye-catching marble counter. The atmosphere is luxury feminine, yet minimalist, which works perfectly with Yswara’s philosophy Luxe Ubuntu. Luxe Ubuntu is a term coined by YSWARA's founder Swaady Martin, describing the concept of an inclusive luxury business model, in which all the members of the supply chain who contribute to the production of a luxury product, are beneficiaries of the economic value generated from their luxury products.
Sourced and blended by African tastemakers and curated by founder Swaady the handcrafted flavours of the teas are produced by farmers whose dialogue with the earth is as natural as breathing: Ooni of Ife, a fragrant, rooibos and lemongrass-led infusion or Thyolo Slopes, a bold, intense, earthy certainty of taste, texture and hue.
All images courtesy of Yswara