Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Tao of Tea - Portland - Oregon

After dinner at Toro Bravo - Portland - Oregon, I suggested one last stop before we finally ended the night. In the late 1990s, a college friend introduced me to The Tao of Tea when we were looking for a place to just sit while catching up.

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I really enjoyed the quaint tea house with fresh brewed teas, including a foamy matcha green tea shake before it became so popular and ubiquitous. I've gone back a few times over the years, and even visited their tea house at the Portland Classical Chinese Garden. So, a nice calming cuppa seemed just the thing to end what was a long day of too much out and about.

The tea house was completely packed so we ended up at the last table, just inside the door. Here, let's pull back the curtain so you can see the interior.

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This shot was actually taken right before closing, otherwise those tables in front of us were full when we came in.

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I ordered the match green tea shake, $5, that I'd enjoyed so many times before. The menu says this was one of their signature drinks since the tea house opened in 1997. A blend of 100% organic powdered green tea, soy milk, and a hint of vanilla.

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Dylan, or was it Gourmet Pigs (?), ordered the Fenghuang Dancong, or Royal Phoenix, $5, from Chazhou, Guangdong, China. The menu says, "In some areas of the Phoenix Mountains in Guangdong province of China, there are wild tea plants that remain a source for some of the best oolong teas in the world. Leaves from these old tea trees are prized for the flavor and full body which they produce. Making the Royal Phoenix oolong involves precise rolling and baking techniques to fully develop its flavor."

The flavor profile is "toasty, fragrant aroma with hints of nectarine and peach flavor."

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Gourmet Pigs, or was it Dylan (?) ordered, Tung Ting or Frozen Summit, $5, from Luchu, Nantou, Taiwan. This tea was described as, "grown at our farmer friend's small town in central Taiwan. These smaller farms are typical in Lugu, the native home and largest tea growing area for oolongs in Taiwan. The tea plant varietals in this area were transplanted from Fujian province in mainland China. However, over years of cultivation the plants have developed into their own universe of local varietals and provide distinctively unique flavor profiles."

The flavor was described as "complex layers of roasted, floral, and spicy cassia aromas with a balanced sweetness."

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I love The Tao of Tea's descriptions. Always makes me think I'm drinking some high falutin' tea. But Dylan and Gourmet Pigs were way more intrigued by my matcha green tea shake. Because it's foamy! And served in a big bowl! Dylan had to pull a lil' sis move and just stick his finger into my tea.

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Strain and pour.

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Definitely one of my favorite places in Portland.

And if you were keeping track of my day, that was 1 pub + 2 wine tastings + 3 cocktail lounges + 1 tapas bar + 1 tea house = 2 very, very tired food bloggers.

All Oregon posts can be found with the tag Series: Oregon, but I suggest reading this particular trip in this order:
I'm Coming Home
Bunk Sandwiches - Portland - Oregon
Horsetail Falls (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Multnomah Falls (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Wahkeena Falls (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Bridal Veil Falls (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Shepperd's Dell Falls (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Latourell Falls (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Crown Point Vista House (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Stinging Nettle Soup
Stinging Nettle Tea
Nai Xao Xa Cuon Banh Trang (Vietnamese Sauteed Lemongrass Venison Rice Paper Rolls)
Thirsty Lion Pub and Grill - Tigard - Oregon
Reuben Sandwich
Argyle Winery - Dundee - Oregon
Hawks View Cellars - Sherwood - Oregon
Clyde Common - Portland - Oregon
Teardrop Cocktail Lounge - Portland - Oregon
The Secret Society - Portland - Oregon
Toro Bravo - Portland - Oregon
Spanish Radicchio Salad with Manchego Olive Vinaigrette
The Tao of Tea - Portland - Oregon

The Tao of Tea
3430 SE Belmont St.
Portland, OR 97214
11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

1 year ago today, 50-cent taco Mondays at El Ranchero Restaurant - Alhambra.
2 years ago today, Aji Man Japanese Restaurant - San Gabriel (Closed).
3 years ago today, Dau Hu Chien (Vietnamese Fried Tofu).
4 years ago today, lemon garlic roast chicken at Versailles Cuban Food Restaurant - Culver City.


  1. I'm not much of a tea drinker, but I'd be willing to try out that frothy green tea shake that you had! :) So many good places to eat and drink at in Portland!

  2. CC,
    The frothy green tea shake was a big deal for me in the late 1990s. Now, I get the smoothie version at boba shops.


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