Friday, June 30, 2017

Smith Teamaker (Southeast Tasting Room)

While passing through Portland on a rainy day, I made a much belated visit to Smith Teamaker's Southeast Tasting Room.  This newer, larger tasting room is located in Portland's Central Eastside Industrial District on the corner of SE Washington Street and SE 2nd Avenue.  Following a grand opening in December 2015, this location has become the new headquarters for Smith Teamaker, but fear not!  The original (smaller) tasting room with beautiful brickwork and ivy on Northwest Thurman closed permanently in 2020.

My visit was meant to be brief, but the lively atmosphere compelled me to stay longer.  This is a popular tea spot if the full house and line out the door were any indication.  Don't let this scare you away because the line moved quickly and I was able to secure a seat at the tea bar with very little wait time.

Seating includes a large tea bar with a view of the tea processing room, a communal table, more tables with chairs, and casual lounge seating.  The space is lit warmly including natural light from windows along the front and from skylights.

In addition to hot and iced tea, tea lattes, and draft teas, guests can also order a flight of teas, choosing any variation of four teas to taste and compare.  Tea sold up front is in sachets with loose leaf available upon request.

During my visit I tasted the Nitro Chai, one of two drinks on tap that day.  It's made from 2nd flush Assam with ginger root, cassia, black pepper, cloves, cardamom, ginger, and vanilla bean and the taste was effervescent with a spicy zing.

My second tea was the seasonal Lover's Leap Latte made with Lover's Leap tea and ricotta, and topped with goat's milk caramel from Portland Creamery.  It was a liquid confection with a sweet, marshmallow-like taste and notes of caramel, fruit, and rose.

If you're in Portland or just passing through, be sure to visit Smith Teamaker!

110 SE Washington St, Portland, OR 97214

10:00am to 6:00pm

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