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11 Places to Find Charming Chai Lattes in Portland

Sweet and spicy drinks served around town

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Chai has become the drink of choice for Portland commuters looking for a caffeinated option outside of coffee. But just like the city’s coffee scene, the world of chai in Portland is multifaceted and widespread in its approach, reflective of the countless varieties found throughout the world and especially within the Indian subcontinent. The way families make chai varies from home to home, city to city, combining everything from cinnamon sticks to ginger to peppercorns to cardamom with a blend of tea.

Until recently, most coffeeshops in Portland offered chai lattes made from mass-produced concentrates or powders. Farah Jesani, founder of Portland’s One Stripe Chai, describes this style as either “too sweet or incredibly bland.” Her company and others, such as Tanglewood Beverage Company and Dragonfly Chai, have radically expanded the market for concentrates and teas available to Portland coffee shops, honing in on different spice sources and blends, flavor profiles, and tea bases. Many cafes have also begun producing their own blends and concentrates in-house. Plenty of coffeeshops in Portland now offer two or three different chais, including caffeine free herbal options like rooibos. Local tea companies such as Tea Chai Te have also broadened the chai market, offering different varieties and specialties to cater to all tastes for home consumption. Here are some options from across the city, some serving food to complement the beverage, while others are focused exclusively on drinks. For coffee, try our cafe map.

Note: A number of Portland restaurants have resumed patio service. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID update page. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines. The points on this map guide are not ranked; rather, they’re organized geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Seastar Bakery

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Most people who visit this Killingsworth bakery visit for creatively spiced pastries made with Pacific Northwestern flours, or some of the most underrated square slices in town. But the cafe’s chai, a house blend, is the hidden gem on the menu, distinctly peppery and restrained in its sweetness. It’s available on the weekends, when the bakery is open.

Tiffin Asha

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Tiffin Asha’s house chai uses a foundation of Nilgiri tea, grown in the blue mountains of Tamil Nadu, which adds a layer of aromatics on top of the spice blend and caramel of the brown sugar. This chai is well-suited to the restaurant’s sweets, like the coconut ladoo, though it would be criminal to visit Tiffin Asha and not walk out with a dosa. The restaurant is open for takeout.

Bollywood Theater

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The longstanding location for Indian street food in Portland unsurprisingly serves a great glass of chai. Bollywood’s masala chai mix is imported from Kannur, Kerala, India and sent to the restaurant whole. The blend was is custom-made for Bollywood Theater, so the restaurant’s chai is truly available nowhere else. The masala chai can be served hot or cold, and the gingery flavor complements the full range of Bollywood Theater’s menu.

Either/Or

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Before the pandemic, Either/Or was a cute coffee shop by day and a lively bar by night. Now, they only play the first role, but the charm is the same. Either/Or owner Ro Tam produces the cafe’s chai brand under the name Tanglewood Beverage Company, which is widely distributed around town. The chai is spicy and ginger-forward, with a complexity that many concentrates lack. Orders can be placed online or in-person at either of the company’s two locations.

Pip's Original Doughnuts & Chai

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Off of the bustling Fremont street, Pip’s serves chai lattes in multiple flavors that veer in different nontraditional directions, such as the “Heart of Gold” which mixes green and black tea with toasted coconut, turmeric, clove, and cardamom. All the flavors pair excellently with Pip’s made-to-order mini donuts, especially the “Ginger Rogers” hot and spicy chai, which offsets the sweetness of the donuts. All chai flavors are also available as bottled concentrates to make at home. Pip’s does not offer delivery or curbside pickup. 

Deadstock Coffee Roasters

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Deadstock is downtown Portland’s sneaker-themed “snob-free” coffeeshop that slings house-roasted drip coffee and shoe advice. The shop makes chai lattes with Portland-made One Stripe Chai, which uses a blend of spices, a mix of unrefined palm sugar, local clover honey, and “premium brand Orange Pekoe black tea from the upper regions of Assam in India.” The concentrate is a great base for a dirty chai, made with the house-roasted espresso. Deadstock does not offer online ordering or delivery. 

Smith Teamaker

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One of the biggest names in tea to come out of Portland, Smith Teamaker sells many iconic blends and infusions in grocery stores across the country. At the company’s tasting room in inner Southeast Portland, visitors can try masala chai lattes served hot or iced. The tasting room also has Smith’s exclusive nitro chai on tap, which adds a distinct smooth creaminess to iced chai that’s usually only available to coffee drinkers. Orders can be placed online or in-person at the tasting room.

Pied Cow Coffeehouse

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This essential old-school haunt on Belmont is located in an old Victorian-style house, but it also boasts an impressive patio area with fire pits for outdoor seating and sipping. Pied Cow offers both herbal and black tea chai, with the latter available iced. The cafe also offers communally served kava, and chai serves as an excellent palate cleanser in between sips of the herbal drink. Orders can be placed online or in-person and picked up at the window on the side of the house.

Tea Bar SE

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Tea Bar is perhaps Portland’s most minimalist tea company—its stores have white walls and large glass windows reminiscent of an Apple store. The shop is best known for its boba, which is made fresh daily in enameled dutch ovens filled with infused tea syrups, but their chai is also worth seeking out. Tea Bar sells two styles of chai—cardamom and ginger. Those who prefer a sweeter chai will enjoy the warming cardamom flavor, whereas those who want a spicy, headier chai will enjoy the ginger. They also sell both styles as bottled concentrates to make at home. Orders can be placed in-person or delivered through Postmates or Caviar.

Mamancy Tea & Chocolate

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Mamancy Tea, the new shop based in the tea culture of Kenya, sells an impressive masala chai blend. Although originally conceived as a place for communal sitting and tea drinking, opening during the pandemic has turned Mamancy into a top choice for Beaverton tea lovers. The owner, Anne Johnson, is a certified tea sommelier and chocolatier, so visitors should expect to pick up a decadent dessert to eat alongside their chai tea. Mamancy does not currently offer online ordering for drinks, but tea blends can be purchased through delivery on their website.

Tea Chai Té

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Tea Chai Te is one of the city’s preeminent teahouses, serving 120 different tea choices including 15 different chai blends, all of which can be customized to order with different sweeteners, milks, and boba options. Traditionalists will be pleased by the masala and Kashmiri chai, whereas people looking to get out of their comfort zones can choose between a smoky chipotle chocolate chai, a vanilla rose chai, a pumpkin spice chai, and several other creative flavors. There’s a particular charm to the Sellwood location, fashioned out of an old train caboose, but during the pandemic any location will do. Orders can be placed online for pickup at all four locations in Portland. All online orders can specify sweetness and choice of sweetener and dairy. 

Seastar Bakery

Most people who visit this Killingsworth bakery visit for creatively spiced pastries made with Pacific Northwestern flours, or some of the most underrated square slices in town. But the cafe’s chai, a house blend, is the hidden gem on the menu, distinctly peppery and restrained in its sweetness. It’s available on the weekends, when the bakery is open.

Tiffin Asha

Tiffin Asha’s house chai uses a foundation of Nilgiri tea, grown in the blue mountains of Tamil Nadu, which adds a layer of aromatics on top of the spice blend and caramel of the brown sugar. This chai is well-suited to the restaurant’s sweets, like the coconut ladoo, though it would be criminal to visit Tiffin Asha and not walk out with a dosa. The restaurant is open for takeout.

Bollywood Theater

The longstanding location for Indian street food in Portland unsurprisingly serves a great glass of chai. Bollywood’s masala chai mix is imported from Kannur, Kerala, India and sent to the restaurant whole. The blend was is custom-made for Bollywood Theater, so the restaurant’s chai is truly available nowhere else. The masala chai can be served hot or cold, and the gingery flavor complements the full range of Bollywood Theater’s menu.

Either/Or

Before the pandemic, Either/Or was a cute coffee shop by day and a lively bar by night. Now, they only play the first role, but the charm is the same. Either/Or owner Ro Tam produces the cafe’s chai brand under the name Tanglewood Beverage Company, which is widely distributed around town. The chai is spicy and ginger-forward, with a complexity that many concentrates lack. Orders can be placed online or in-person at either of the company’s two locations.

Pip's Original Doughnuts & Chai

Off of the bustling Fremont street, Pip’s serves chai lattes in multiple flavors that veer in different nontraditional directions, such as the “Heart of Gold” which mixes green and black tea with toasted coconut, turmeric, clove, and cardamom. All the flavors pair excellently with Pip’s made-to-order mini donuts, especially the “Ginger Rogers” hot and spicy chai, which offsets the sweetness of the donuts. All chai flavors are also available as bottled concentrates to make at home. Pip’s does not offer delivery or curbside pickup. 

Deadstock Coffee Roasters

Deadstock is downtown Portland’s sneaker-themed “snob-free” coffeeshop that slings house-roasted drip coffee and shoe advice. The shop makes chai lattes with Portland-made One Stripe Chai, which uses a blend of spices, a mix of unrefined palm sugar, local clover honey, and “premium brand Orange Pekoe black tea from the upper regions of Assam in India.” The concentrate is a great base for a dirty chai, made with the house-roasted espresso. Deadstock does not offer online ordering or delivery. 

Smith Teamaker

One of the biggest names in tea to come out of Portland, Smith Teamaker sells many iconic blends and infusions in grocery stores across the country. At the company’s tasting room in inner Southeast Portland, visitors can try masala chai lattes served hot or iced. The tasting room also has Smith’s exclusive nitro chai on tap, which adds a distinct smooth creaminess to iced chai that’s usually only available to coffee drinkers. Orders can be placed online or in-person at the tasting room.

Pied Cow Coffeehouse

This essential old-school haunt on Belmont is located in an old Victorian-style house, but it also boasts an impressive patio area with fire pits for outdoor seating and sipping. Pied Cow offers both herbal and black tea chai, with the latter available iced. The cafe also offers communally served kava, and chai serves as an excellent palate cleanser in between sips of the herbal drink. Orders can be placed online or in-person and picked up at the window on the side of the house.

Tea Bar SE

Tea Bar is perhaps Portland’s most minimalist tea company—its stores have white walls and large glass windows reminiscent of an Apple store. The shop is best known for its boba, which is made fresh daily in enameled dutch ovens filled with infused tea syrups, but their chai is also worth seeking out. Tea Bar sells two styles of chai—cardamom and ginger. Those who prefer a sweeter chai will enjoy the warming cardamom flavor, whereas those who want a spicy, headier chai will enjoy the ginger. They also sell both styles as bottled concentrates to make at home. Orders can be placed in-person or delivered through Postmates or Caviar.

Mamancy Tea & Chocolate

Mamancy Tea, the new shop based in the tea culture of Kenya, sells an impressive masala chai blend. Although originally conceived as a place for communal sitting and tea drinking, opening during the pandemic has turned Mamancy into a top choice for Beaverton tea lovers. The owner, Anne Johnson, is a certified tea sommelier and chocolatier, so visitors should expect to pick up a decadent dessert to eat alongside their chai tea. Mamancy does not currently offer online ordering for drinks, but tea blends can be purchased through delivery on their website.

Tea Chai Té

Tea Chai Te is one of the city’s preeminent teahouses, serving 120 different tea choices including 15 different chai blends, all of which can be customized to order with different sweeteners, milks, and boba options. Traditionalists will be pleased by the masala and Kashmiri chai, whereas people looking to get out of their comfort zones can choose between a smoky chipotle chocolate chai, a vanilla rose chai, a pumpkin spice chai, and several other creative flavors. There’s a particular charm to the Sellwood location, fashioned out of an old train caboose, but during the pandemic any location will do. Orders can be placed online for pickup at all four locations in Portland. All online orders can specify sweetness and choice of sweetener and dairy. 

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