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and buy a large grocery bag of outdated teabags for one dollar.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Little did I know until later that outdated tea isn't very good.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.