355m - Oliviers & Co. is a boutique shop with three locations in Lebanon alone;...
Rejuvenating little gem of a Tearoom in Achrafieh
Nestled amidst residential blocks in Hotel Dieu, halfway between the Grand Lycée Franco-Libanais and the Alexander Hotel, is Sitti, a small and cosy tearoom.
“My late grandmother really meant a lot to me,” Caroline Hamdoun who runs Sitti (grandmother in Arabic) explains. “Up until when she died five years ago, she would always say things about being healthy. It took me some time to understand what she meant and so I decided to call this space Sitti.”
“There are so many noisy places in Beirut, smoky and serving alcohol – I wanted to open one that focuses on being quiet, healthy and spiritual,” Caroline elaborates.
Upon returning from a trip to Nepal, Caroline started to mix herbal teas at home and eventually decided to sell them. With a business degree and a good dose of temerity, Caroline took over an empty shop space, repainted it in light colours, filled it with warm Indian cushions and foldable seats and opened it to the public in February 2015.
“I wanted it to be a quiet space,” she underlines. There is no Wi-Fi, just gentle spiritual music, shelves and baskets filled with spices, teas and herbs. “Breathe” is written in blue chalk on the wall behind the counter where Caroline prepares herbal mixtures with names such as Sitti, Manipura, Prana, Masala and the local Zoorath.
The formula is simple: besides the herbal teas, accompanied by nuts, there are mixtures for chakras (two of them so far) available and in summer a fantastic fruity iced tea with a local secret ingredient – see if you’ll guess what it is…
Furthermore available in this serene corner of Achrafieh are essential oils like almond, lavender, sesame, chia seeds, coconut (not virgin), castor and extra virgin olive oils as well as laurel olive soap.
Once in a while, gatherings, meditation sessions, hypnosis, screenings, musical performances and readings often focusing on spiritual issues – quiet events – take place at Sitti.