following his teeny housing concept built on the back of a rickshaw, designer arun prabhu n g returns with what he’s calling the world’s tiniest tea stall ever made. CHAIGAADI measures just 1.5 sqft and it packs all the amenities of a café into a portable box that folds out. the project was created by the BILLBOARDS® collective, the studio founded by arun, for hyderabad-based café chain, CHAI KAHANI.

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axonometric top view showing the central copper boiler with two taps, food display on the left, unwashed tumbler rack and trash bin on the right, cash counter and table at the bottom



CHAIGAADI was developed for the context of india, where tea is the most popular drink and it’s commonly sold from street-side kiosks. the designers approached the project with the goal of reinventing the café typology and redefining the way we drink tea. the design is composed of a metal box that’s small enough to fit on the back of a motorcycle or scooter. when stationary, the box opens up to reveal all the necessary equipment for making tea as well as a tiny bar for customers. 

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top view showcasing all the amenities of CHAIGAADI



the equipment includes a centralized boiler accompanied by a shelf for glasses, which serves as the protagonist of the design. at the other end, there’s a dedicated snack counter and at the front is a cash counter. other amenities include a provision for a fire extinguisher, a small table for customers to hang around and space for branding. it also has a provision for the stove to heat the chai and there is a separate detachable rack for both used and unused cups. for the café to be portable in its truest sense, the designers isolated a wastebin area and a projection that can hold the stools while on the move.

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perspective view showing the signage flap that can be lifted up and used for branding or displaying the menu



as well as offering a new way to drink tea, the BILLBOARDS® collective also wanted to pay homage to the traditional way of drinking tea on the streets of india. to evoke the unmistabkle image of street vendors pouring chai from high in the air, the designers incorporated a tall metal flap for signage in place of the absent gesture. this signage space aims to greet onlookers just like the earthen-colored liquid being pulled and poured into small cups. accompanying the branding sign is a mirror to reflect the hustle and bustle of the streets and to encourage passersby to take a second look at the stall. 

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closeup image showing the food display on the left, the copper tea boiler in the center with washed tumbler rack on top, and unwashed tumbler rack on the right side along with the trash bin



the boiler is built using copper to recreate the style of traditional iranian boilers. the other tea stall components are finished with metallic materials to resemble stainless steel, giving CHAIGAADI a clean, minimal look. 

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the copper tea boiler being heated using the heating device



‘each and every millimeter of space has been taken into account to make this product completely utilitarian yet retaining the regionalist aesthetics to grab the eyes of the masses,’  says the BILLBOARDS® collective. ‘we spent months prototyping, itching to find the right balance between usability and the skeleton of the structure with the aesthetics intact. currently, the trials are going on, and they would soon be seen in every nook and corner.’

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rear view with a height-adjustable telescopic aluminium leg to support the table frame

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CHAIGAADI while closed and the base frame used to fit the box

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perspective view with seating



project info:



design: arun prabhu n g / the BILLBOARDS® collective


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom