THE BEST SHOPS IN THE WORLD
Royal Porcelain Manufactory or KPM for short
The difference that fine porcelain makes can only be experienced in a self-test. Enjoying coffee or tea from wafer-thin porcelain or enjoying the sight of a table set with fine porcelain is something you have to experience calmly at home. KPM is a great place to start.
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To start, two perfectly formed coffee or tea cups with matching plates are sufficient. Trying out the difference between handmade porcelain from a manufacturer like KPM and cheaper, machine-made alternatives over a leisurely weekend breakfast is the best test.
Machine-made porcelain that looks nice online or in-store is bound to be coarser and heavier. Both break if treated roughly.
Yes, there is definitely a big price difference between the alternatives. It couldn’t be otherwise, because a white porcelain cup from KPM requires 29 work steps, which are carried out by 25 manufacturers in 14 working days. The cup goes through a total of 10 quality controls and is still manufactured today in the KPM factory in Berlin’s Tiergarten district.
The difference between a fine porcelain cup is immediately noticeable when you drink tea or coffee from a cup made of the finest porcelain. The scent of the tea and the aroma of the coffee can be enjoyed much more intensively and the plate, in perfect proportions, is also a dream to the eye.
A look into the manufactory lets you experience the skill that goes into a cup
The sales rooms of the Königliche Porzellanmanufaktur, KPM, Berlin, are right next to the manufactory. Through some of the windows you can catch a glimpse of the manufacturing facilities and get an idea of the craftsmanship, artistry and skill behind a product as seemingly simple as a perfect white coffee mug.
There are organized tours and workshops, but a quick glimpse as you walk by already gives you an idea of why Frederick II of Prussia bought the manufactory in 1763 and immediately ordered 21 table services for his castles and country houses.
As the Royal Porcelain Manufactory, KPM already has tradition in its name, but has by no means stayed in the past.
Tradition and modernity skillfully combined
One of KPM’s best-known porcelain series is the Kurland service, which is already celebrating its 225th anniversary in 2015. Exactly this traditional decor of the Kurland service is used by KPM for a coffee to-go mug, which can be handed to the barista or filled at home in the morning, embellishing the way or the journey with warm coffee.
The alternative to disposable cups is not only more sustainable, but far more elegant. In classic white or matt black, the porcelain to-go coffee mug cuts a stylish figure on the desk or invites you to take your coffee outside and at the same time get some coffee and fresh air during the break.
The to-go coffee mug is just one example of how KPM is smartly leading the long tradition into the present without losing its own character. Numerous collaborations with artists and artist cooperatives give rise to further exciting ideas made of porcelain.
Bauhaus wasn’t just discovered for the anniversary
In 2019, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding, the Bauhaus was discussed in detail in all the arts pages. At KPM, Günther von Pechmann, as the new director of the manufactory at the time, enthusiastically embraced the ideas and design approaches of the Bauhaus as early as 1929 and promoted porcelain designers who emphasized functionality, straightforwardness and timelessness in their designs.
The Urbino service by Trude Petri and the service and vases by Marguerite Friedländer prove that beauty and aesthetics are by no means neglected. The designs of these designers are timeless and their aesthetics fit perfectly into the now and today. They are therefore still a very important part of KPM’s porcelain aesthetics today. At that time, it was by no means a matter of course that the designs of these two outstanding designers would prevail.
The porcelain designs by Petri and Friedländer are effective in their simple white beauty, but are also always enhanced through cooperation with artists and designers, such as the former creative director of Bottega Veneta, Thomas Maier, who had the famous intrecato painted by hand on the Urbino service , exciting varied.
Time is always too short in Berlin
Fantastic museums, exciting galleries, theatres, creative shops, new bars and restaurants, beloved institutions and newcomers always make it seem like there is not enough time as a visitor to Berlin. Nevertheless, plan a visit to the Royal Porcelain Manufactory KPM during your next stay in Berlin
in the Tiergarten district of Berlin. There at the parent company, right next to the manufactory, you will meet employees who will be happy to answer your questions and you will learn more about KPM than at any other place.
It is only a few minutes from the Tiergarten S-Bahn station to the sales rooms and the manufactory. Years later, with the KPM coffee cup in hand, you will fondly think back to this trip to Berlin and maybe it is the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
One of the best shops in the world
Another reason why GloriousMe considers the Königliche Porzellanmanufaktur KPM at Wegelystrasse 1, 10623 Berlin to be one of the best shops in the world: while other brands shamelessly ban second-choice products to the outskirts of the city or even to the provinces or other countries, there is At the KPM headquarters in Berlin, there is also an area for second-class goods on the ground floor.
We find this sovereign handling of porcelain parts, which have tiny flaws, for example in the glaze, remarkable. Because nobody needs to worry about buying a fake product and, similar to the fashion sector, there are some buyers who definitely buy first and second choice, depending on the occasion and object.
And another tip for your next trip to Berlin
In October 2019 the KPM Hotel & Residences was opened. GloriousMe tried it out (incognito like a mystery shopper, of course) and we’re hooked. Because it is not always possible to successfully transfer a brand character to a new business area.
It works great here. Beautiful moments are often associated with exceptional porcelain, so a hotel fits the brand’s DNA. But not only that, an exceptionally friendly reception, strategically clever but by no means overloaded the placement of KPM masterpieces at the reception, in the small cozy lounge and lobby as well as in the hotel corridors.
At check-in, the eye falls on an excellent Italian professional coffee machine and you immediately feel well cared for. The hotel corridor is not gloomy and boring, but well designed. The goodness for the eyes continues. When GloriousMe is on tour, the first thing we do is clear the desk in the hotel, because who needs the folders, magazines or shopping guides lying there. At the KPM Hotel & Residences we didn’t have to do that. The desk was big and equipped with all the tech stuff that the frequent traveler needs.
The sight of the clearly uncluttered desk was an aesthetic delight and we were happy to place our laptop there. For the rest of the design of the room and bathroom, the focus is on calm, design and well thought-out details, which we have always wished for in many other hotels. It’s almost difficult to leave the room to immerse yourself in the pulsating metropolis, but in a few minutes’ walk, past the KPM factory, you are at the Tiergarten S-Bahn station and thus in the most central location. Perfect.