Portland, Oregon is home to many tea start ups that have made it BIG nationally, from Tazo to Stash and more recently Oregon Chai. When I saw the New York Times article about tea in Portland, I was delighted to see yet another good tea article, especially in my neck of the woods, but I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be reading about anything that I wasn’t already familiar with. Boy was I wrong. After reading about Paul Rosenberg, I quickly checked him out on his site and really liked what I saw. I ended up emailing Paul and before I knew it, I had an invitation to come over for tea.
Paul is a unique man who is trying to develop an enlightened tea enterprise. His strongest focus is on pu’erhs, which I must confess, I’m least knowledgeable about. I had pointed him to our recent post by phyll about the puerh conference in L.A. and his reply amazed me. “I’m the guy in the striped shirt in the photo”. To add to the small world realization, we soon learned that we’re both originally from New Jersey.
Paul’s tasting room is located on the second floor of an old Portland house. It’s a very spiritual space, with ancient works of art, glorious orchids adorning the table and beautiful teaware that is a pleasure to hold as you sip many, many different kinds of tea. It’s truly a multi-sensory experience. Paul is eager to share his vast knowledge about teas and herbals and makes this tasting experience very rich yet very relaxing. In addition to his traditional tea tastings, he offers a unique tea experience that is very much an Oregon “thing”. It seems that most everyone who chooses to make their life in the Pacific Northwest is a lover of nature. We have so many spectacular nature hikes in the Columbia Gorge and Paul has discovered a way to make tea a part of that experience. Imagine a hike in a wilderness forest, complete with water falls to play in and cool off on a hot summers day. When it’s time for a rest, Paul brings out the tea. I just can’t imagine a more perfect environment to enjoy my favorite brew. It was one of those experiences where you can’t help but proclaim……Why didn’t I think of that. I’ve got a traveling tea set. I’ve got a thermos for hot water………..Thank you Paul. My hikes will never be the same again. I’ll think of you each time I’m stopped, taking a needed rest in front of a beautiful water fall and savoring my favorite tea of the day.
For those of you planning a trip to the pacific northwest, make sure you reserve some of Paul’s time. It will be an unforgettable experience, of that I am sure.