Infuse Your Visit to Portland with a Tea Tour

For a late afternoon break, sink into a well-worn velvet couch as you peruse the large selection of organic and fair trade teas at Tea Chai Te (that's "tea" in three different languages) back in Northwest Portland. With more than 80 varieties to choose from, you can find pretty much any type, including kombucha, a fermented mushroom tea, and Taiwanese bubble tea. Though, if you need a break from caffeine, it might be best to hit the "Apothecary" for a blended herbal infusion.

If you've got the verve to keep going, Portland's tea scene continues well into the wee hours, especially at Tea Zone, a tea bar by day and lounge by night in the happening Pearl District. During happy hour, tea-inspired cocktails like Darjeeling-infused gin with fresh lemon juice and champagne, or the "Smokey Robinson" made with lapsang souchong bourbon and spicy maté sour, are the perfect segue to an evening of live music.

You can follow my tour plotted out on a Google Map, but you're sure to find a host of other tea houses with a little research of your own.

With so many businesses in the same competitive space, you have to wonder how so many can survive, especially in a world with big names like Stash, which has a retail store in nearby Tigard, Tazo, and even Oregon Chai, a company that makes honey-spiced tea mixes and concentrates. According to Smith, "It's a robust area for hot and cold beverages, and is an area that grows entrepreneurs." Clearly, it's also the creativity those entrepreneurs bring to their ventures that keeps people interested.

So what could possibly be next for Portland? You'll have better luck reading the tea leaves then asking me. But what I can tell you is that you're sure to find something wonderful to wet your whistle while in town.


This work is the opinion of the columnist and does not reflect the opinion of ABC News.

Anne Banas is the executive editor of SmarterTravel, as well as a columnist, and a frequently quoted observer of travel trends and issues. Anne particularly enjoys helping travelers find great deals to both popular and up-and-coming destinations. SmarterTravel provides expert, unbiased information on timely travel deals, the best value destinations, and money-saving travel tips.

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