Tea Trolley 901 is a multi-purpose, mobile side table. It was inspired by British tea culture, which Alvar Aalto became acquainted with during his travels, as well as by the Japanese woodwork and architecture he admired.
The tea trolley was first unveiled at the 1936 Milan Triennial as part of a modern Finnish interior design. Since then, this functional and beautiful trolley has taken pride of place in countless homes around the world.
Dutch designer and colour expert Hella Jongerius delved into Artek's archives to study the various versions created of the tea trolley over the years. In 2015, Jongerius designed a new, dark colour scheme for the tea trolley, with a black painted birch body that accentuates the graphic look of the trolley.
The dark purple linoleum of the upper tray and the wheels painted in the same shade harmonise with the black linoleum of the lower tray. The upper tray of the tea trolley captures light, while the lower tray is always in the shade. Jongerius has highlighted this by using different colours for the trays. The wheels are the most eye-catching detail of the tea trolley and harmoniously match the colour of the upper tray.