Ziinlife: Flow Tea Table | 吱音原創:心流茶桌

Grant Yim
November 28, 2019

Free 'Flowing' Tradition

Ziinlife designs aesthetically minimal multi-functioned furniture. Today we are reviewing the Flow Tea Table, a table that combines both the function of a traditional Chinese ‘tea table’ as well as a dining table. 

Regardless of whichever part of China you are in, when conducting business, the guests are always served tea at the table during meetings. This tradition has become synonymous with traditional Chinese culture and permeates throughout Chinese Business exchanges. The Flow Tea Table aims to bring such traditional values into the domestic household with a dining table that doubles as a tea table, allowing the host to both serve and entertain with ease.

The design of the Flow Tea Table is totally different from the traditional tea table. The table hides the water pipe and water tray inside the tea table for the customers who prefer drinking quality tea. It is convenient for the customers to use for a dining table or tea table.
inch interior design ziinlife flow tea table

2 in 1

Unlike the previous review of the Tree Folding Table, this table doesn’t change the space it is occupied in, rather the function itself changes. It has a tube built in under the table that allows the host to store the piping and pump if it is used as a dinner table, and to bring it out when hosting guests.

The main issue here is that it is essentially a dining table with flexible tubing running through it, which is rather gimmicky when attempting to sell it as a 2 in 1 product. However the functionality is there and it does get the job done.

Merge with dining table. One table for two functions. Table can be divided into dining desk and tea table.
inch interior design ziinlife flow tea table

Striking Stance

Aesthetically speaking the Flow Tea Table is rather interesting, it combines gold metallic elements that contrast the natural oak and dark brown wooden finishes. The unconventional angles that the table employs also makes it striking to look at. The construction requires a second glance to see that it isn’t slanted but upright. There are no exposed nails in this construction leading us to believe that they drew inspiration from ‘nailless’ Japanese architecture, a method found mostly in ancient Japanese temples. The table also comes with the additional removable water tray, that is built into the end of the table, the piping would run through the metal divider in the center of the table and into the runoff in the tray.

The tradeoff however is that the diagonal pieces of wood running between the table legs does get in the way when you sit down. Seems like the designers went for more of a form over function approach this time.

Simplify the tradition. The water tray and pipe are simplified and hidden in the functional design.
inch interior design ziinlife flow tea table

Inch. Design Rating | 4.0/5.0

FUNCTIONALITY (3.5) - The Flow Tea Table does does its job well enough and the dimensions of the table allow it to be flexibly used in every space. The diagonal beams on the table legs make sitting around it very uncomfortable, so it’s not a very a good dining table. We cannot help but feel that the ‘tea table’ option is rather gimmicky, it can just be a stand alone table by itself.

AESTHETICS (5.0) - The aesthetics of this table make up for its functionality, the scaffold like construction is very interesting, and the horizontal ‘nailless’ beams look like they’ve been inspired by traditional Japanese architecture. It is gorgeous to look at and makes a neat addition to any environment.

BUILD QUALITY (4.0) - As with all Ziinlife products, the table is built robustly, with a steady base and sturdy top. We wouldn’t recommend standing on top of the table which is why we’re deducting a point here, but it does what it is advertised to do.

MATCHABILITY (4.5) - The table comes in two colours, namely ‘natural oak’ and ‘dark brown’, the sleek nature of the build and the minimal contrast of colour allow interior designers such as ourselves to easily match this up with interiors in the home and in the office.

PRICING (3.5) - The table is priced at $8,999 HKD which seems a little steep in our opinion. The unique design and good build quality does warrant a higher price, but Ziinlife seems to be charging  a little too much extra for the ’tea table’ functionality with removable water tray. For customers who place heavy emphasis in their tea making, then perhaps the price could be more acceptable.

Useful Links

Ziinlife is an absolutely incredible company, having won the Gold Idea Design Award for 4 years in a row (2014-2018). If you are interested and want to find out more about Ziinlife's design furniture, please check out the following links below:

Ziinlife Flow Tea Table

Ziinlife Official Website

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