Not only is Portland renowned for its coffee houses, but according to research, it also ranks among the top 10 cities for tea lovers in the US. The study indicates that Portland is 11th in the U.S. for the number of tea spots per capita and 17th for average tea place review ratings, suggesting a high concentration of quality tea places.
In this article, we will explore the top 9 tea spots in the city. We’re not limiting ourselves to traditional tea houses; we’ll also highlight cafes where you can savor an exceptional cup of tea.
Emperor Georgiou’s Tea Room in the Kenton neighborhood of Portland offers a distinctive blend of traditional tea settings and a Star Trek-themed interior, an unusual yet intriguing combination. Originally known as Lovejoy’s Tea Room, it has transitioned, bringing forward an expansive tea selection. Choices span from a robust masala chai to the subtle notes of Scottish caramel. The tea room provides vegan and dairy-free alternatives for those with dietary restrictions. The Burnham and Uhura tea services feature an array of food items, such as the white bean dip, roasted bell pepper sandwiches, and crumpets paired with lemon curd. The menu is known to evolve seasonally, allowing for fresh culinary experiences. In terms of ambiance, the space encourages a relaxed atmosphere where guests can take a breather from their daily hustle. If you’re keen on a tea experience with a twist, Emperor Georgiou’s is definitely a place to consider.
- Unique Star Trek-themed interior aesthetic.
- Offers a wide variety of teas and non-dairy alternatives.
- Vegan and dairy-free food alternatives are available.
- Knowledgeable and friendly staff.
- High-quality and delicious food, with standout items like crumpets and lemon curd.
- Comfortable seating options, including velvet chairs and exterior seating.
- Periodic menu changes offer seasonality.
- Some patrons may find the Star Trek theme and decor incongruent with a traditional tea experience.
- The service can sometimes be slow.
Location: 8237 N Denver Ave, Portland, Oregon 97217
St. Honoré Boulangerie, nestled in the heart of Portland with several branches around the city, is a warm reflection of the traditional boulangeries of Normandy. Steeped in authentic French traditions, it combines the charm of old-world France with a subtle Northwest vibe. As you step inside, you’re welcomed by the rustic ambiance reminiscent of the French countryside, with wicker baskets of freshly baked bread, floor-to-ceiling windows inviting in natural light, and the aroma of baking bread pervading the space.
Tea enthusiasts will find delight in St. Honoré’s curated selection. They predominantly stock teas from Smith Tea, the most popular local brand. Steven, the founder of Smith Tea, was a regular customer at St. Honoré Boulangerie and assisted in selecting the teas for the bakery. They offer an array of full-leaf teas, including English breakfast, Earl Grey, peppermint, green, and chamomile. For those looking for a twist, there’s the refreshing iced tea, spicy chai tea latte, earthy matcha latte, and aromatic London Fog. Speaking of fogs, the baristas at St. Honoré Boulangerie have developed various types of fogs, so they feature a substantial “hidden” seasonal fog menu at all four locations.
The boulangerie’s commitment to quality is evident in their teas and baked goods, where locally sourced ingredients play a starring role. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this cafe offers a genuine taste of France right in Portland. Whether you prefer a quiet table or a seat at the communal wooden table, St. Honoré provides a unique experience for all.
- Offers a variety of high-quality pastries and drinks.
- Authentic French atmosphere and ambiance.
- Friendly and patient staff.
- Serves unique and flavorful items like Kuign Aman, Orange-Ginger Gateau, and more.
- Comfortable seating and ambiance, including outdoor seating and open windows.
- Provides some savory food options such as paninis, soups, quiches, and more.
- The interior is aesthetically pleasing.
- Offers an authentic French bakery experience with open counters to watch bakers.
- May be considered pricey by some customers.
- Limited parking, mostly street parking.
- Smaller inside spaces may not accommodate large groups.
- Service can be slow, particularly during busy times.
Location: 2335 NW Thurman St, Portland, OR 97210
Behind the Museum Café, nestled in downtown Portland, offers a serene experience influenced by Japanese culture. Specializing in Japanese teas, visitors can delve into authentic flavors like matcha, hojicha, and ceremonial teas. This café is not just a place for tea enthusiasts; it presents a unique blend of traditional Japanese design with contemporary touches, ensuring a warm and welcoming environment.
Apart from its array of teas, the café serves quality EXTRACTO coffee roasted locally in Portland. Those with an appetite can savor homemade Japanese-inspired dishes, such as onigiri and seasonal vegetable appetizers, and indulge in their diverse dessert offerings, including the notable matcha parfait and hojicha soft serve. Conveniently located adjacent to the Portland Art Museum, this venue seamlessly combines the allure of Japanese antiques and arts with a comforting space to relax and refresh. While there, patrons can also browse through Japanese art, crafts, and other unique items available for purchase. Whether seeking a peaceful spot to enjoy a flavorful cup of tea or a light meal after a museum visit, Behind the Museum Café offers a tranquil, culturally rich atmosphere in the heart of the city.
- Offers a variety of Japanese dishes and snacks, including unique items.
- Matcha and Hojicha lattes are frequently praised for their taste.
- The ambiance is calming, bright, and spacious, with large window walls.
- Located conveniently near the Portland Art Museum.
- Provides cultural experience with Japanese decor, artwork, and clothing for sale.
- The staff is friendly and helpful.
- Many patrons appreciate the venue’s vibe, making it suitable for studying or working.
- Offers dairy-free and healthy options.
- Parking can be challenging.
- The cafe can get crowded, especially on weekends, leading to wait times for seating.
Location: 1229 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Smith Teamaker, established in 2009 by Steven Smith, the founder of renowned brands Tazo and Stash, offers an elevated tea experience in the heart of Portland. From decades of relationships with gardens and farms, Smith has crafted a line of premium teas and herbal blends emphasizing quality and flavor. Classics like Earl Grey and English Breakfast have been given a contemporary touch, delighting tea enthusiasts from all corners.
Upon visiting, patrons can explore various teas, from the popular Black Lavender to the visually stunning Blackberry ice tea. The cafe offers an immersive tea journey through its tea flights, where selections are accompanied by informational cards detailing each tea’s origins and flavor notes. If you’re in the mood for something different, their tea and macaron pairing offers a unique gastronomic experience, enhancing the taste profiles of both the tea and the macaron. With its warm and cozy ambiance, the tea room even provides a glimpse into the factory, letting visitors observe the meticulous packaging process. Moreover, the locale’s strategic location in Portland’s warehouse district makes it a convenient stop for a refreshing cup, a knowledgeable chat with the staff, or a deep dive into the world of teas.
- High-quality and flavorful teas.
- Wide variety of unique tea options and blends.
- The tea flights come with informative cards explaining the tea’s origins and notes.
- Macaron and tea pairing provides a unique tasting experience.
- Excellent customer service and prompt resolution of issues.
- The establishment offers an insight into the tea-making process with its visible packaging operations.
- Indoor and outdoor seating options are available.
- Convenient location with dedicated customer parking.
- Knowledgeable and patient staff.
- Aesthetically pleasing ambiance and interior.
- Certain tea blends may be perceived as overpriced by some customers.
- The entrance might not be accessible-friendly (lack of ramp).
- Limited indoor seating and potential wait times during peak hours.
- Ambient noise can be awkward without music or sound.
- The surrounding neighborhood might appear sketchy to some visitors.
- Lack of restrooms or bathroom access for customers.
Location: 110 SE Washington St, Portland, OR 97214
Established in 1997 on Belmont Street, The Tao of Tea has grown to become a notable spot for tea enthusiasts in Portland. With several locations around the city, this teahouse serves as both an introduction to the diverse world of tea and a haven for those already acquainted.
The cafe offers a broad selection of white, black, green, and herbal teas, emphasizing quality and authenticity. From familiar favorites like chai and Yerba mate to unique choices like elderflower herbal tea, there’s a tea for every palate. While the main focus remains on tea, they also provide a modest assortment of complementary food items. For those interested in extending their tea journey beyond the cafe, an adjacent retail space stocks teapots, cups, and a variety of teas for purchase.
With its calming atmosphere and dedication to the traditional art of tea, The Tao of Tea stands as a quiet respite in the heart of Portland, welcoming both the curious and the seasoned tea drinker.
- Extensive selection of teas (white, black, green, herbal).
- Attentive and knowledgeable service.
- Offers a tea shop next door with various teas and tea accessories.
- High-quality and flavorful teas.
- Positive, serene, and calming ambiance.
- Provides a learning experience about different teas.
- The presentation of teas is aesthetically pleasing.
- Offers traditional tea service styles (like gong fu style).
- Suitable for both experienced tea enthusiasts and beginners.
- Service can be slow in bringing out dishes.
- To some customers, certain food items may taste like the frozen brands available in stores.
Location: 3430 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214
The Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium, established in 2016, is a whimsical and unique venue in Beaverton that pays homage to the steampunk aesthetic. Transported directly from the year 1816 through an imaginative narrative, this tea house presents a rich history and an intriguing and inviting ambiance.
Specializing in high tea and afternoon tea, the emporium boasts an extensive selection of teas, primarily featuring the renowned Harney & Sons collection. Beyond just the brew, the cafe offers a delightful array of gourmet chocolates, old-fashioned candies, and edible gifts. The teas themselves range from classic black to oolong, green, white, and herbal varieties. For those new to tea or overwhelmed by the choices, the knowledgeable staff is always on hand to guide you through the menu, ensuring an enjoyable tea experience tailored to individual preferences.
The decor of the emporium further enriches the experience. From intricate china teapots and cups to the eclectic mix of thematic decorations that span from Alice in Wonderland to Harry Potter, every corner of this establishment tells a story. Whether you’re a tea aficionado or simply looking for a distinctive experience, Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium offers a memorable journey back in time, where tradition meets creativity in every cup.
- Unique, eccentric, and zany decor with themes like steampunk, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, and Doctor Who.
- Extensive tea selection, including various flavors and high-quality options.
- Knowledgeable and friendly staff who can guide customers through tea choices.
- High food quality and presentation, including scones, sweets, and savory items.
- Special-themed events and experiences that customers enjoy.
- Offers both tea and cocktails, with a curated cocktail list.
- Welcoming atmosphere suitable for occasions like birthdays.
- Provides vegan and gluten-free options that customers appreciate.
- Emphasis on presentation, with table settings, teapots, and food displays being highlighted by many.
- The establishment offers a shop to buy teas and other merchandise.
- The ambiance and theme might not appeal to everyone.
- Reservations are often required, which might not be convenient for spontaneous visits.
- Some customers may feel the emphasis is more on the ambiance than the actual food and tea quality.
Location: 12412 SW Broadway St, Beaverton, OR 97005
Located in an unassuming alley in Portland’s Mississippi neighborhood, Fly Awake Tea House offers a genuine encounter with tea. Specializing in high-quality Chinese teas from ancient groves, the establishment also serves traditional Indian chai and a selection of herbal beverages. Their expansive tea list includes unique varieties like “Princess with a Dagger” and “Snow Chrysanthemum.” The cafe also offers a modest selection of food items, including freshly made samosas.
The interior of Fly Awake combines artistic touches with a tranquil ambiance, creating a comfortable environment for patrons. The staff, knowledgeable about their offerings, help guide guests through the menu. The tea house encourages a space for reflection and easy conversations, making it a suitable spot for those looking to enjoy tea without the usual commercial buzz. Whether you’re a tea enthusiast or just seeking a quiet corner in Portland, Fly Awake offers a straightforward and authentic tea experience.
- A wide and unique selection of teas.
- Cozy and artistic atmosphere.
- Knowledgeable and friendly staff.
- Continuous pouring of tea for customers.
- High quality of tea, some of which are hard to find.
- Offers more than just tea, such as tarot readings.
- Hosts interesting events.
- Location can be hard to find for some visitors.
- Limited food menu.
- Limited seating.
Location: 909 N Beech St, Portland, OR 97227
Enthea Tea House offers a unique tea experience grounded in tradition. The establishment stands out for its custom of asking guests to remove their shoes upon entry, a nod to certain traditional practices and a reminder to slow down and savor the moment.
Inside, the ambiance is a blend of Chinese and American antiques, complemented by hand-crafted teaware displayed throughout the rooms. The tea selection, a notable feature, has been curated with care, encompassing various small-batch options sourced directly from Asian farms.
Visitors can expect a diverse range of teas, with varieties like peach oolong and Tulsi among the offerings. The knowledgeable staff at Enthea are on hand to assist in tea choices and to share insights into the art of tea steeping.
Beyond just tea, the house has a few rooms for guests to choose from, each providing a unique setting for relaxation. It’s not just a place for a quick beverage but rather an environment designed for introspection, conversation, and a deep appreciation for tea culture. With its authentic approach, Enthea offers a distinct and quiet retreat in the midst of Portland’s urban landscape.
- A high-quality, curated selection of teas.
- Peaceful, relaxing, and inviting atmosphere.
- Knowledgeable and friendly staff, especially the owner.
- Unique cultural and aesthetic experience, from taking off shoes to drinking in antiques-filled rooms.
- Offers intimate gatherings and community events.
- Ethically sourced teas.
- Large selection of tea ware, including unique and handmade items.
- Special attention to detail in both tea and decor.
- Variety of teas sourced directly from farms in Asia.
- Provides a unique, traditional tea experience that is different from typical commercialized tea offerings.
- Inconsistent operating hours leading to unexpected closures.
- Some customers may find the shared public slippers unhygienic.
- Space can feel cramped or claustrophobic to some.
- Some may find the setting (low seating) uncomfortable.
- The tea experience can feel elitist or snobbish to those unfamiliar with traditional tea ceremonies.
- Not suitable for those seeking a quick “grab and go” tea experience.
Location: 3533 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR 97202
9. Tea Bar
Located in Portland since 2014, Tea Bar offers a focused tea menu designed around the philosophy of simplicity and quality. Prioritizing authentic and fresh ingredients, they shun the use of powders, artificial flavors, and dyes. A notable feature is their boba, freshly crafted daily from grade A tapioca pearls. Their commitment to ethical sourcing shines through, with many of their teas obtained from family-run farms worldwide and holding organic and fair trade certifications.
Tea Bar has taken sustainable steps for the eco-conscious, serving many of their drinks in reusable mason jars. Additionally, they encourage the use of reusable kanteens by offering a drink on the house with each purchase. The space itself is minimalistic and clean, allowing for a calm tea-drinking experience. Both indoor and outdoor seating are available, catering to those looking to work, relax, or simply enjoy a good cup of tea. Alongside their tea offerings, a selection of baked goods is available for those wanting a small treat.
- Friendly and welcoming staff.
- Great ambiance and minimalistic decor.
- Wide variety of teas and boba drinks.
- Freshly brewed tea with customization options (milk substitutions & sweetness adjustments).
- The boba is soft, chewy, and of good texture.
- Offers both indoor and outdoor seating.
- Clean and comfortable space, ideal for work or relaxation.
- Located in a convenient location, near parks.
- A great atmosphere for reading, studying, or meeting friends.
- Some customers may perceive a few teas as watery with a faint flavor.
- Smaller cup sizes for the price, as compared to other boba places.
Location: 1055 NW Northrup St, Portland, OR 97209