Meet Our Partners: Portland Vendors

Dear Portland customers: Occasionally you have asked us where, outside of our tea shops, you can look for The Tao of Tea tins, tea bags, and other products. Here are just a few of our partnering locations:

Thank you, Portland tea lovers!

 

The Tao of Tea Wins New Product in Hot Beverage sofi™ Awards

3,000 Products Competed for Top Specialty Food Association Award

PRESS RELEASE:

Sofi_OMT_img_mdAt the recently concluded sofi™ Awards, hosted by the Specialty Food Association™, Portland company The Tao of Tea was awarded Best New Product in the Hot Beverage category. The product selected was Oregon Mint & Tulsi, an organic herbal beverage packaged in 15 count boxes of biodegradable pyramid sachets.

The sofis, which stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation, is considered a top honor in the specialty food industry. The Tao of Tea was one of 154 Winners selected by a national panel of 62 specialty food experts from 3,000 entries across 39 categories. Every entry is carefully judged on taste, ingredient quality, and innovation.

In December, The Tao of Tea launched its first line of quality, organic tea sachets—a new step after a long history of offering loose leaf teas. Oregon Mint & Tulsi is one of 10 new products being offered. The sachet line has had a positive response as it has made its way to customers and retailers in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

“We’ve been excited to take all we’ve learned from our years selecting high quality teas and apply it to making a really diverse, delicious line of organic tea bags,” said owner Veerinder Chawla. “It is a wonderful thing to see the response and to be recognized by the sofi Awards.”

The Tao of Tea is now planning to embark on a national distribution campaign and is in the process of finding specialty food brokers and distribution across the country. They will be showing their product at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York in late June.

Questions about the new product line can be directed to info@taooftea.com / 503.736.0198.

Specialty Food Association Media Contact: press@specialtyfood.com / 646-878-0130.

Creative Herbal Blends: Staff Favorites

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Around The Tao of Tea, staff are frequently blending herbal concoctions of all kinds for their daily enjoyment — some are strong and pungent brews, the pot packed full of myriad ingredients, while others are a careful mixture of 2 or 3 complementary herbs. In any case, these creations always seem personal and individual, bearing the unique signature of the person making them.

For your own herbal experimentation, we recommend picking up a few staple herbs that you know you like (mint, licorice, lavender, etc.) and some others that intrigue you. Here is a window into what’s being brewed at The Tao of Tea lately in the herbal category:

Alicia’s Brew: Raspberry Leaf, Hand-Ground Fresh Cardamom, Red Rose Petals, Spearmint

Alicia says this blend was inspired by a health book she was reading that discussed the benefits of raspberry leaf, which some say is anti-inflammatory and positive for women’s health. She added some local honey for sweetness and indeed this was a tasty and nourishing infusion.

Sly’s Brew: Green Rooibos, Lemon Balm (base) and Echinacea, French VerveineLicorice, Cinnamon (accents).

Sly uses Green Rooibos and Lemon Balm as the base for a lot of his herbal infusions. “The Lemon Balm coats the tongue and is kind of calming, whereas the Green Rooibos tastes grassy and alive.” From there, he chooses other herbs to accent this blend, depending on what flavors or benefits he is looking for that day. In this blend, the cinnamon bark chips and licorice add a nice natural sweetness to the infusion.sly-blog

 

Matt’s Iced Brew: Hibiscus, Lemon Myrtle and Lavender.

Also known as “Heaven’s Blend” (named by Sonam in our teahouse), Hibiscus, Lemon Myrtle and Lavender combine to make a tasty iced tea. Matt created this blend as the weather started heating up this spring; it was so well-liked that we started sharing it as a special. We find that the lavender offers a cooling and sweet contrast to the bright tartness of hibiscus. The lemon myrtle adds a gentle citrus quality that ties it all together.

Suggested Reading:

The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad features most of the herbs we carry at The Tao of Tea and gives great insight into their uses.

More Staff Recipes:

Jennifer’s Brew: Ginkgo, French Verveine, and Licorice.

Wade’s “Ultimate Blend”: Lemon Balm, French Verveine, Vana Tulsi, Red Raspberry Leaf, Lemon Myrtle and a little Spearmint.

Melissa’s “Tea Room Favorite”: Purple Leaf Tulsi and fresh grated ginger.

The Premier Collection: Pyramid Sachets

We are so excited to share our new pyramid sachets, which are now available on the website and in select retail stores. The Premier Collection is a line of 8 organic whole leaf teas with the convenience of tea bag brewing! Check out our offerings below:

Sen-Matcha | Jasmine Pearls | Bollywood | Wild Black

Italian Earl Grey | Oregon Mint & Tulsi | 500 Mile Chai | Darjeeling Heritage

Premiere Collection

Meet Our Partner: Arrowhead Chocolates

Arrowhead Chocolates is one of our partners who truly exemplifies the magic that can happen when tea meets dessert. Founded in 2010, they are a Good Food Award-winning, family-owned business located in Joseph, Oregon. Arrowhead makes small batches of hand-crafted chocolates with an emphasis on sustainability, social responsibility, and authentic, outstanding flavor.

Recently we enjoyed a delicious variety box of chocolates, which included everything from whisky to coconut to lavender-honey flavored truffles, with a quality we could taste. We were pleased to see how our Chai and Earl Grey were integrated in their artisan truffles. The flavors did not disappoint. Here’s what Arrowhead Chocolates had to share about their product:

AC_20TBox_TaliaWhat was your inspiration for adding tea to your chocolates? Our goal is to make delicious, richly flavored chocolates using all natural, high quality ingredients. We’re also a cafe, serving tea, coffee, and chocolate drinks, so it was a natural progression for us to start experimenting with tea infusions in our chocolates. We’ve had so much fun working with different kinds of tea, and we appreciate Tao of Tea’s willingness to provide us with custom blends specifically tailored to our chocolate recipes.

What is your philosophy around the type of chocolates you make? We love rich, authentic flavor and natural, true ingredients sourced close to home whenever possible. Our mission statement is “To make great products in a way that creates joy for our customers and ourselves” and we work hard to stay true to this goal. Joyful chocolate making for us includes high standards, diligence, teamwork, and lots of passion in all that we do. 

Arrowheadchocolates.com – They ship their chocolates everywhere! People can order online, or contact them via their website for custom orders.

Street Address:
100 N Main
Mailing Address:
PO Box 429
Joseph, OR 97846

Inside Our Tea Brewery: Bottled Tea Production

Bottles at the Tao of Tea BreweryFor those of you who enjoy the sights and sounds of a factory in action, we recently made a video of our micro tea brewery during a production run of The Tao of Tea bottled teas. We brew our ready-to-drink teas in small batches at our North Portland facility, using only whole leaf teas and herbs rather than concentrates. See the process from the brewing stage to packaging.

We currently offer 11 flavors: Gunpowder Mint, Oregon Berry Black, Osmanthus Oolong, Tippy Assam, Tulsi Lavender, Tulsi Pure, Tulsi Ginger, Cape Town Rooibos, Lemon Myrtle, Lapsang Souchong, and Darjeeling.

 

Meet Our Partner: Lewis & Clark’s Fields Dining Hall & Maggie’s Cafe

946471_10153864035908584_5689840657946721128_nLewis & Clark College, located on a beautiful campus in Southwest Portland, Oregon, offers a great dining experience to its 2,000+ students. Food is served in the main cafeteria, Fields Dining Hall, and in Maggie’s Cafe, where students can enjoy tea, smoothies, espresso, and various grab-and-go snacks. Both are run by Bon Appétit Management Company, which has a reputation for promoting greater sustainability in food service. The Tao of Tea is part of Bon Appétit’s Farm to Fork Program — an initiative that requires chefs to obtain a percentage of ingredients from local sources — and our tea is served in both the main dining room and at Maggie’s.

We asked Bonnie Von Zange, Manager of Fields Dining Hall, about her experience serving food to the Lewis & Clark student body and working with The Tao of Tea.

Tell us about your Farm to Fork program.
Our Farm to Fork Program is a company wide effort which asks chefs to buy at least 20% of their ingredients from small farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food producers within 150 miles of their kitchens. 

What are some of your nutritional goals in providing food to the student body at LC? 
We serve anywhere between 500-900 people at breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week. Each meal is made from scratch, utilizing local ingredients and stealth nutrition. We take great care to consider different food preferences and concerns. At each meal period, we offer vegan and vegetarian options, as well as items made without gluten-containing ingredients. We are sensitive to the individual needs of the students. 

How do you go about choosing which teas you’ll serve in the dining hall?  Do students or staff make the selection? 
In the dining hall, we order a variety of teas. Students do make requests on occasion. I make sure to always have the ever popular Hibiscus Ginger in house. 

What do you enjoy about working with the Tao of Tea?
Jeanne Quan, broker for The Tao of Tea, is my favorite part. She is very helpful and full of information. She is quick to share knowledge about the tea, and has offered guidance in choosing certain varieties. She is so pleasant, and the product is so tasty. 

Do you find that there are a lot of tea drinkers in the LC student body?
We go through several gallons of tea a day. This leads me to believe the students are crazy for tea. 

http://www.lclark.edu/

0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd.
Portland, Oregon 97219

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Meet Our Partner: The Cup & Crow at Marylhurst University

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The Cup & Crow is the campus store at Marylhurst University. It’s a place that fosters intellectual community, offering delicious tea, espresso, baked goods, salads, sandwiches and snacks, as well as gifts, cards, office and art supplies, and all campus essentials. They are supporters of local businesses, serving The Tao of Tea and Portland coffee company, World Cup, in their cozy campus store. The Cup & Crow stocks 20+ Tao of Tea products, served iced or hot.

Tell us about The Cup & Crow.  Is this a popular place for students/professors to hang out and study?
The Cup & Crow is the go-to place to recharge – that’s true of our university employees, as well as our professors and students. There isn’t a coffee shop within walking distance, so our espresso cart and tea bar gets a lot of traffic, particularly during class breaks. We also host small groups for events – several store employees are musicians, songwriters and storytellers, and so we have a lot of talented artists in our midst.

Which teas do you serve there?  Is there a most popular tea?
It really varies. We like to introduce new styles and blends to keep things interesting for our regular customers. Jeanne Quan, our Tao of Tea representative, educates us about good tea choices and best ways to prepare them. Our baristas love experimenting with new teas, and our customers love tasting them!

What have you enjoyed about working with The Tao of Tea?
The same thing we love about working with all our local business partners – friendly and knowledgeable service. It’s a high quality product with top-notch service.

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www.marylhurst.edu/espresso

The Cup & Crow
Marylhurst University
17600 Pacific Highway (Hwy 43)
Marylhurst, OR 97036

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Meet Our Partner: The Arbor Lodge

Tao of TeaLocated on the corner of Interstate Avenue and N Rosa Parks Way, The Arbor Lodge is a mission based coffee shop that has been serving Arbor Lodge and the surrounding commuter communities since 2011. As residents of Arbor Lodge, owners Jolynn and Scott Davison realized that the neighborhood was under-resourced with walkable spaces to gather. As a mission based organization, profitability and social responsibility are weighed out in every decision. The Arbor Lodge emphasizes local coffees and teas as well as organic milks. We asked them to tell us a bit about their business and their focus on community. Here’s what they shared:  

What we love most about our business is hands down the customers. We opened the shop with the help of many neighbors. Folks helped create the space from helping paint, the branding was done by our neighbor and co-owner of Jolby Design and the majority of the furniture was build by neighbors.

I love entering the space and seeing people meeting face to face over a beverage. Many neighborhood projects have had their genesis at the shop. It’s a matter of hearing the dreams and passions of people and bringing the right people together to make things happen.

We host two annual neighborhood parties: Our Anniversary Party is in September and the Wild & Woolly: A Sasquatch Themed Art Show that happens each spring. During the month of the art show customers vote on their favorite Sasquatch interpretation, we culminate the month by awarding prizes and gathering with neighbors, with sidewalk chalk drawing, temporary tattoos and adult beverages.

What qualities do you look for in the coffee, teas and other items that you serve? You seem to have an emphasis on serving local.

At the Arbor lodge we have a commitment to serving high quality locally made products.

What teas are popular at Arbor Lodge Coffee?

Tippy South Cloud and Sencha Shinrikyu.

arborlodge

www.thearborlodge.com
1507 N Rosa Parks Way
Portland, OR 97217

Meet Our Partner: The American Local

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Our Tao of Tea partners, Jenny and Chris, planned The American Local for five years, collecting tasty American dishes during their many cross-country road trips. At The American Local, they combine their love of great regional American specialties with warm hospitality. Inspired by the attentive service of fine dining and the lively energy of their favorite dive bars, Jenny and Chris have created a space for their fellow travelers of the American West.

How long have you been open? We opened in January 2014.

Which Tao of Tea Products do you carry? We carry six looseleaf teas, and your line of bottled iced teas.

What qualities do you emphasize in your food and drink choices for The American Local? We always look for seasonal and local products first (small farms, small businesses), and we create both our drink and our food menus around the best products available to us.

What do you enjoy about working with the Tao of Tea? Veerinder is awesome; he sold me on The Tao of Tea!

The American Local is located on SE Division St. in Portland, Oregon.

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AmericanLocal

http://www.theamericanlocal.com

3003 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97202

Meet Our Partner: Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op

Elizabeth & Niece_webLocated in St. Paul, Minnesota, Mississippi Market has been a cooperatively owned natural food store since 1979. At their three locations, they offer local and organic produce, fresh cheeses, an extensive deli, local and sustainable meats, and wide wellness and body care selections – plus, classes on what to do with it all! Everyone’s welcome to shop, and anyone can join the co-op. 

We asked our friends at Mississippi Market Co-op a few questions about their experience with The Tao of Tea products.

What type of criteria do you have for the food and beverage items you carry? We have a product policy in place that prioritizes vendors whose products are certified organic, produced using sustainable agriculture practices, fair trade certified, free of GMOs, fairly priced, and packaged minimally. We feel that Tao of Tea meets many of these priorities and our customers have been delighted by the quality and flavors of the teas.

What do you enjoy about working with The Tao of Tea? One aspect of the company that I truly appreciate is the great care and dedication Tao embodies in sharing the original location and method of process for each tea. This gives the teas a unique depth beyond the flavor, honoring the process from plant to cup and paying credit to the wisdom, people, and history — and some secrets — involved.  -Rachael, tea buyer

Mississippi_Market_0020

http://msmarket.coop/

740 E. 7th Street
Saint Paul, MN 55106

622 Selby Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104

1500 W. 7th Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102

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