Thursday, September 8, 2011

Steven Smith's Teashop

Recently I had the opportunity to meet a friend at Steven Smith's Teashop.
Now if you don't know who Steven Smith is after I explain who he is you might know.
Steven Smith first was involved in starting Stash Tea.
When Stash Tea was in their infancy I would go to their garage sales
and buy a large grocery bag of outdated teabags for one dollar.
I thought that was a really good deal.
Little did I know until later that outdated tea isn't very good.
Then Steven Smith sold Stash Tea and started Tazo Tea.
That is when I had the opportunity to visit the Tazo Tea tasting room
and hear a lecture from Steven Smith.  I was beginning to learn more about tea.
The story doesn't end there.
Steven Smith sold Tazo Tea to Starbuck's and decided to retire to France.
After one year Steven Smith must have been bored; so he came back to
Portland to start Steven Smith Tea.
He has opened a sweet little teashop in northwest Portland where you
can watch the packaging of the tea through the window.
He is selling his tea in higher end markets and has recently come out with
a lovely Ready to Drink bottled tea.

Well the day I met my friend there we decided to do a tea tasting.
We tasted 7 different black teas and one of the three new bottled teas.
It is fascinating to taste teas that you like from another company
and then find you don't like the same named tea from another.
Normally Yunnan Gold is one of my favorites from another company.
I didn't particularly like their Yunnan tea at Steven Smith.
What I did like was the White Tea bottled tea,
 Keemun Hao Ya B, and Lord Bergamot.
The Lord Bergamot I learned is one of their best sellers
and not one I would have chosen until I tasted it.

My suggestion from this tea tasting is to always be open to trying something new.
You never know when you will be pleasantly surprised.
When trying a new tea, first taste it plain with no sugar, milk, or lemon.
This will give you the true flavor of the tea.
So go out and sip being open to new experiences in life whether tea or life in general.


somepinkflowers said...

watching this
would be great fun for me---->
~~the packaging of the tea
through the window~~


isn't bergamot
the oil found in earl grey?

{{ my fav Tea,
BTW }}

Laurie said...

Sounds like such a fun experience Marilyn, I had never heard of Steve Smith. Very interesting!

Ginny said...

What a lovely photo montage. It is a special place, indeed.

Trixie and Dustin of said...

Lovely pix -- thank you for glimpses of Steven Smith's newest venture. You re so right about keeping an open mind (always good to be reminded).

If he was bored in France and returned to PDX, that says a lot about your neck of the woods!!
xo, Trix

Jeanie said...

Sounds like an absolutely perfect time! I'm always glad to learn of a new tea grup -- this sounds wonderful!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Very interesting info about him. Sounds like such a fun time tasting the teas, etc! Wish I could have joined you!


Tracy said...

Steven Smith's story is amazing, isn't it?! Such wonderful new teas in his new shop--very exciting! I most always take tea without anything--no sugar or milk, very occasionally a tiny bit of lemon--just love teas as they are in all their glory. One of those less is more kind of things. ;o) Happy Weekend, Marilyn ((HUGS))

Annie said...

It's a date, Marilyn. Next time up, this is the destination place. (((Hugs)))

Mary said...

Interesting history. I recall Stash, and of course know Tazo but didn't know he'd sold out to Starbucks. Of course if he went to France in search of a good cuppa that was probably the last place to consider for tea - their tea is quite bad. My family who live there always stock up on tea when back to visit in the UK - and they have to buy a lot for other Brits living in their area of southern France!

Sounded like a fun tasting Marilyn.
Hugs - Mary

Storybook Woods said...

How wonderful (although I cannot imagine coming back to Portland, from France!!). I have got to chekc out Portland someday!! Clarice

Angela McRae said...

Thanks for this information! I recently saw some Steven Smith tea at Williams Sonoma and adored the packaging, but I didn't know anything about it and didn't buy it since it was rather expensive. Knowing his background, I think I will give it a try next time. Good point, too, about being open to trying new teas. (Of course, I'm practically a garbage disposal when it comes to tea ... I'll try anything ONCE!)