LICKING ROCKS tea set is designed to be used while drinking lichen tea and is sourced of local natural stone offcuts. The project acts as a tea ceremony that invites you to drink consciously. Lichens have the unique ability to soak up the flavor of the environment in which they grow and it also might remind you of licking a rock.
Working closely with lichen researchers, SIMIÆN made these living organisms the co-protagonist of Licking Rocks. Lichen could be a future alternative to the usual tea leaves, since it is very complex in taste and resistant.
The lichen tea Hinterthal, named after an Austrian mountain valley, is the first tea infusion based on lichen, an organism of high nutritional value and future relevance. It is the result of a cooperation with the pharmacy Saint Charles.
Based on a research project to find a useful way to reuse stone segments Julia Schwarz could develop with the stonemason Stein Schwarz a very resource efficient way to process stone cups. As lichens have some mineral nuances in their taste profile SIMIÆN chooses to go further with stone as a material. The two-piece tea cup is designed after the inspiration of the Roman wine glass and is milled also on the bottom side so it can snap onto its base. It is made of local natural stone, a Chlorite Slate.
SIMIÆN was developed out of the Unseen Edible Project where lichen was shown as an alternative source of nutrition and was founded by Julia Schwarz and Lisi Penker.