Tea Trip to Portland - Help!


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Tea Trip to Portland - Help!

Postby forkyfork » Feb 21st, '08, 10:08

I asked a while ago about where a cool "tea" place would be to visit, and I finally decided on Portland, Oregon. I know there are a few of you from there (or who have been there), so I was hoping you could help me.

I'm attaching a Portland trip onto an already planned Vegas trip in Late April. I'll be flying from Vegas to Portland Friday morning, and then leaving for Florida (home) on Sunday. So basically I'll have a lot of Friday, all of Saturday, and part of Sunday. Is that enough time to get my feet wet in Portland?

So, since I'll have 2 days, what are the must-do TEA things in that time frame? Is it reasonable to expect to hit up a lot of tea stores in one day, or should I just plan myself out 1 or 2? I will have a car, and I'll most likely be staying in Vancouver, unless there is a specific reason I should stay in the city. How is getting to and from Portland? How is parking and transportation?

Also, for my non-tea loving boyfriend, what other sorts of things are for him to do? I wouldn't mind doing something outdoorsy (like a park). The weather would be nice around this time, yes?

Thanks for all your help!!!
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Postby GeoffK » Feb 21st, '08, 14:11

As it so happens I just posted a piece I wrote about Tea in Portland: http://geoff.kleinman.com/007424.html

Portland is a great city, you'll enjoy visiting it. April's weather can be very mixed, so plan for both sun and rain.

Here are my top Tea suggestions:

- Tao of Tea (3430 Se Belmont St) also inside the Chinese Gardens (127 NW 3rd Ave) - I prefer the one in the gardens. Their best teas are actually their black teas. Some of the oolongs are OK, but you're absolute best bet is their Chai.
- Serenity Art (2850 SE 82nd AVE) inside the Fubonn Shopping Center
- Fat Straw Bubble Tea - (4258 SE Hawthorne Blvd) - more 'milk shake' than tea, Bubble tea is something that you should experience at least once in life. There's also a Bubble Bubble Tea in Fubonn Shopping Center (2850 SE 82nd Ave) but you'll want to save your 'tea self' for Serenity Art.

Other tea places to visit:
- The Tea Zone & Camella Lounge (510 NW 11th Ave.) - not a huge fan of the vibe in the tea store but they do have quality teas. The Camella Lounge in the back is a great place to hit one evening for some tea infused cocktails
- Tea Chai Té (734 NW 23rd Avenue, upstairs) a nice tea house, more for a tea break than a serious afternoon of tea, it's located on NW 23rd which is home to a lot of boutique shops which you'll want to check out.
- Townsend's Alberta Street Tea House (2223 NE Alberta St.) teas are OK, the atmosphere is very good.

Also if you want to splurge you can set up a tasting with Sacred Tea / Paul Rosenberg (503-230-0953) his email is sacredtea@yahoo.com.
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Postby forkyfork » Feb 22nd, '08, 19:57

Thank you for your very thorough response. Can those 3 places you mentioned in your "top tea" be seen easily in 2 1/2 days without too much rushing around? Are any places not open Fri/Sat/Sun?

Also.. what other sort of non-tea things do you suggest over a weekend in Portland? I'd love to spend my time doing nothing but tea things, but I have to consider my poor boyfriend :(
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Postby GeoffK » Feb 22nd, '08, 23:37

Yes absolutely. You can short cut it and do both Serenity art and Bubble Bubble Tea as they're in the same spot.

The Chinese Garden is on the other side of town and you can easily hit the Camilla Lounge one of the evenings.

So yes, I think you can cover everything in the time you have (if you really wanted you could go right to Fubonn right from the airport (it's about 10 mins straight from the airport).

In terms of other things to do in the city of roses:
- Voodoo Donughnuts is a must
- The Portland Japanese Gardens and neighboring Rose Test Gardens are great if the weather holds up.
- As I mentioned NW 23rd is nice to walk down and shop
- Portland is home to some AMAZING Thai Food Beau Thai on NW 21st is 2 streets down from 23rd and a good place for Thai.
- The music venues in Portland are pretty amazing, so depending on who is playing around town, I'd HIGHLY recommend going out to see a band one night. Jimi Maks is great for Blues
- Apizza Scholls is known nationally as one of the nations best pizza (get their early they sell out)
- Stumptown is a must if you drink coffee
- Make sure you take a ride on the Portland Airal Tram an amazing experience.
- And of course you will have to stop at Powell's Books
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