Meeting a Tea Moment

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sometimes – just sometimes – Twitter is steeped in awesome. A fellow tea blogger – Jen of An International Tea Moment – reached out to the Twit-o’-Sphere to see if there were any decent tearooms in Portland. Another fellow tea blogger – Nicole of Tea For Me Please – directed her to me. Because…apparently, I’m the go-to guy for Portland tea-binging. I passed along some suggestions and inquired about what was bringing her to my corner of the ‘burb. Tea Moment Jen replied that she was in town on a business trip and had a smidge of time to track down some good tea.

Naturally, I calmly and professionally suggested we should meet up.

She obliged, and we traded contact info to see if it was in the cards. We agreed that Tea Chai Te was a good enough place for a hypothetical meet-and-greet. I hadn’t been there in well over a year.

The next day, while awaiting the possible tea-chime, I started my “morning” with a Nilgiri green and cereal. It was far stronger than I anticipated, leaving me practically bouncing off the walls. (Er…in my mind.) Roughly around noon, Tea Moment Jen texted informing me that she was on her way from the airport to Tea Chai Te. I took off like a bat outta hell, outright ignoring certain traffic laws.

Tea Chai Te is a curious little tearoom situated in Portland’s Pearl District – right off of NW 23rd, or “Trendy”-Third as the locals call it. It’s urban to the core, small, but oozes adorability. Early on in my tea exploration, I was a frequenter of the place. Somehow, though, my visits became fewer and far between. Probably because I had tea dates there that didn’t go so well.

I arrived in roughly fifteen-ish minutes – record time for such a trek – and found Tea Moment Jen sitting in a corner with soup and teapot. I scissored my way past a couple of hipsters and clumsily introduced myself. She did likewise with far better poise. I excused myself for a moment to order a pint of something dark.

First question out of her mouth (like any good tea geek) was, “What did you order?”

“The Zhen Qu Gold Buds,” I replied.

Her eyes widened. “That’s what I ordered!”

Badass, I thought.

How was Tea Moment Jen in person? Just as elegant and eloquent as her blog indicates her to be. We discussed everything under the sun from favorite teas, Russia, how we got into tea, to how awesome Jo Johnson is, to tea vendors we liked. The conversation ran the entire tea-ish gamut. I was talking a mile a minute like a hyper-caffeinated motormouth.

After about an hour, though, we had to part ways. I left feeling accomplished, enlightened, and…bouncy. (Damn you, Zhen Qu!) While brief, the outing was beautiful and badassery-incarnate. Another blogger friend notched off the “tea-in-real-life” list.

Kindly ignore my obvious bed-hair.

Kindly ignore my obvious bed-hair.

23 Comments

  1. I’m so glad you two were able to meet up! You definitely are the go to guy in Portland when it comes to tea :)

    1. I should have that put on a badge…or a face. But in all honesty, the REAL go-to guy for Portland tea-ing is David Galli (@teachange) of http://www.pdxtea.org.

      Thanks again for being the arbiter of this meet-up!

      1. David Galli says:

        Aw, shucks. :)

        Looks like you’re pulling your own weight just fine!

        1. But you’ve got all the connections. :-)

  2. Very cool! One of these days I will make my way out west for a visit and tea! Be ready!

    1. Hopefully, by then, I will own a fez.

      1. I should hope so! Then dude in the fez and the gal in the grey hat can take tea.

          1. Great minds think alike.

  3. Avatar of jackie jackie says:

    Glad you met up with another online tea pal for real, and that it turned out to a great time.
    I like Yunnan golden bud, so I’d have been happy with that too.
    Nice pic of “y’all”

    1. Ha, thanks! Oh, I like me some Gold Yunnans. I even got my bro/roommate hooked on ‘em.

  4. Avatar of jackie jackie says:

    Never get a good friend hooked on the same teas as you like. Think how you’ll have to share. Much better to introduce them to, say – the teabags you inherited from Great Aunt Peggy. Delight your guests with those, while you sneak into the pantry to make yourself those fine golden buds.

    1. Well, you see, I just had to get my brother away from Lipton. It was hurting my heart.

  5. Tea Moment says:

    I’m so glad we pulled off this meet-up today! You are a definite kindred tea-spirit (as demonstrated by your excellent choice in tea)! Looking forward to posting my own take on the Tea Chai Te experience. Thanks for sharing a Tea Moment with me!

    1. Feeling is (obviously) mutual. Can’t wait to be part of a “Tea Moment” entry. (Just leave out my frizzy hair. *heh*)

  6. Avatar of riccaicedo riccaicedo says:

    I liked the story, nice touches of humor here and there.

    1. Much obliged. That was what I was aiming for.

  7. Teaman says:

    Thanks for sharing this experience for the rest of us tea fans to enjoy. The photos made it all the better!

    1. Thank you, sir. Meeting fellow tea writers is always a treat.

  8. Avatar of jopj jopj says:

    I can only say Awesome!

    1. And all I can say is “Huzzah!” to that.

  9. Avatar of xavier xavier says:

    It is always nice to meet online tea fellows in the real life.

    1. It is! You’re on that list.

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