Portland may have an independent coffee shop on virtually every corner, but we're a city of tea lovers, too. And now we have one more place bringing us a well-curated selection of camellia sinensis.
Erica Indira Swanson opened her Tea Bar in a newly renovated building on NE Killingsworth on Dec. 1. The 1,000 square-foot, 40-seat cafe offers 30 varieties of organic, loose-leaf teas and herbal tisanes, plus kombucha from Magic Kombucha, matcha sourced directly from a small family farm in Uji, Japan, and Pu'Er directly sourced from Yi Wu mountain and served in the traditional way — in a lidded Chinese bowl called a gaiwan.
If you're a milky tea kind of person, Tea Bar offers a selection of tea lattes made by brewing a tea concentrate and adding steamed organic milk or milk alternatives (soy, almond, or rice are available). The most popular flavors, Swanson says, are Lavender London Fog, Dark Forest, and Matcha. Come spring, look for made-from-scratch bubble tea built on a base of black tea and thickened with condensed milk.
Hungry? There are Bake Shop pastries and Bowery Bagels.
Tea Bar is open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.