Pure Leaf Artistry
Our focus is to offer teas from the Camellia Sinensis tea plants. Similar to grapes, the tea plants have many regions, varietals, processing methods and seasons. More importantly, good tea sells out very fast and is seldom made in large quantities. We, as merchants are particular in securing exceptional tasting leaf, each season, working with the growers. We pledge to share with you the artistry of the leaves, their origin, processing method, flavor vocabulary and spirit.
We believe in learning the art of tea through service and daily practice. Our teahouses are located in Portland, Oregon. Each teahouse has a different flavor, artistry and essence of hospitality. Visit us when in Portland to experience the art of tea one cup at a time.
Being Organic is Not Enough
Care for the soil and tea plants must be coupled with recognition and sustainability of surrounding ecosystems. The genesis of the tea plants was in naturally occurring tea forests, where bio-diversity provides rich flavor. We are proud to be among the leading group of companies to offer certified organic teas, we seek to raise awareness for sustainable tea farming methods.
Honoring Old Wisdom
Making ‘Hand crafted tea’ has reduced in quantity over the years to more modern, mechanized methods. In China, the old style roasting of green teas leaves in a wok over fire has given way to electric woks or industrialized ovens and roasters. Rolling of Oolong tea leaves by hand in Taiwan has given way to mechanical presses that mimic these hand movements. The most sophisticated modern methods can probably be found in Japan, where color sorting of leaves is done by laser guided machines. Although these methods have allowed more yield for the farmers, they are a departure from the art of the leaf.
Our focus is to offer teas that have been made per ‘old-style’ methods. These approaches vary with the landscape and few remain committed to the raw form of tea spirit. Our work attempts to provide new infusions of energy and channels for traditional skills to be recognized.
More Than Fair Trade
We believe in being socially conscience with all of our teas. We were among the first group of tea companies to join the Fair Trade movement in the United States and we pledge actions that better people’s lives through a healthy environment and a future for children. We purchase many of our teas at above market prices and raise social premiums for tea communities. Call us to learn about our current projects.
All our products are a result of establishing relationships with tea people. Although the products mostly originate in Asia, they pass on to various places in the world as a result of our efforts. Along the way, there is also a sharing and appreciation of various tea cultures. We hope you join us in promoting the art of tea at its highest level and sharing the traditions, culture and flavors that enhance our understanding of each other. We pledge for our relationship to savor the journey of wellness and conscience.
As with flowers, fruits and other specialty foods, tea flavor is best enjoyable during a certain period of time. All tea begins to lose freshness after it is made. We pledge on offering leaves with inherent freshness and a full flavor profile. We self-evaluate each of our teas on an ongoing basis and post results at www.taooftea.com.