Here’s what I love about the Portland food scene: it’s still a small town. Today’s Tasting Table newsletter was all about Steven Smith Teamaker, the new tea venture Steve Smith, who founded tea giants Stash (bought by Yamamotoyama) and Tazo (bought by Starbucks). So I call over to the shop to ask when their tasting room would open, and he answered. You’d think after reading this that this successful global entrepreneur would be out of reach. Smith was casual about them opening to the public in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime, he’s working on his specialized tea blends. You can actually track the origin of each tea by entering the number on its package into a form on their website.
For purely personal reasons, I asked “are you by any chance going to make a green Earl Grey? I tasted it in Paris, and haven’t been able to find it anywhere.” And he replied, “well, no, but…we’ll give it a whirl.” How cool is that? I can’t wait to go to his Teaworks to try some.
My favorite quote from his online bio:
“Parting ways with Tazo in 2006, Smith moved to Avignon with his wife, Kim and their ten-year-old son. But after a year of wearing scarves and eating lunch for two hours, the path of tea called them back to Portland.”