Steeped in Tradition

One of the newest stories brewing in Portland has nothing to do with coffee or craft breweries

Smith Teamaker // (c) Smith Teamaker

Smith Teamaker // (c) Smith Teamaker

One of the newest stories brewing in Portland has nothing to do with its local coffee roasters or craft breweries, but it fits the city to a T — or more to the point, tea.

Meet Steven Smith, a tea maker of legendary proportions who founded both Stash Tea and Tazo Tea in Portland earlier in his career. Now Smith is back, producing a new line of high-quality small batch teas under the name Steven Smith Teamaker.

Smith knows that quality ingredients create a delicious blend, but he’s taking that ethos a step further, educating consumers about what exactly fills their cups. Each batch of tea is numbered and catalogued on the Web site, allowing consumers to learn about the origin of every ingredient in their batch of tea.

Smith’s teas run the gamut from simple and clean to robust and complex, and they are available online. However, nothing can match the experience of a tea cupping at his small Portland facility just west of the Pearl District. There, Smith and company make small batches of tea, sell the line and allow visitors to see it all in real time while sampling the many varieties.

True tea lovers can make a reservation for their own personal tour of teas with Smith. Clients can learn where the teas come from and how they are grown and harvested, then taste a flight of four, eight or 12 teas.

Smith Teamaker is located at 1626 N.W. Thurman St., and it's open weekdays from 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Smith Teamaker