I had already noticed signs at other local businesses displaying “We Serve Jasmine Pearl Tea” so I assumed Jasmine Pearl was a local company procuring and possibly making their own blends of tea. There is a sign before you step in requesting you do not use your cell phone or other electronical devices. How refreshing! Somebody thinks tea is sacred and is bold enough to make others acknowledge the same.
The spacious room has plenty of varieties of tea and tea preparation paraphernalia. Tea pots, tea cups, tea infusers, and other accessories are all on display in an appealing and uncluttered fashion. There are different styles, mostly Asian inspired, but some European styles. And there is a rack with the more popular tea varieties prepackaged in two ounce bags for customer’s ease. Jasmine pearls are a tea variety themselves. The leaves from green tea are rolled up into little pearls and blended with jasmine flowers, which are intoxicating in their own right.
So many teas to choose from, where do I start?
Behind the counter sit many, many tins of tea. The broad categories include black, oolong, green, white, puerh and herbal. Some have ten in their category, others have 30. But in short, it’s a staggering challenge to taste and get to know each one, if that is your intention! The tea can be broken down into flavor profile and by country of origin. To be honest, considering the amount I know about food in general, I don’t know a lot about tea. Perhaps the best way to proceed is look through their book and select a few to take home in two ounce packages. If there are certain ones you have an affinity for, you can stock up in larger quantities. And in the meantime, keep experimenting.
But that’s OK, because there are classes offered too! From basics of types of tea, to tea ceremonies, to advertising for the Portland Tea Festival. One could lose themselves in the world of tea at Jasmine Pearl. Well, I at least allowed myself to lose me at their tea bar. Any of the teas they carry can be crafted into a cup of tea or a tea latte. However I opted for one of their refreshing tea sodas, the Dancing Dragon. The Pearl Soda Company has seven flavors, all of which contain tea mixed with other herbs, spices or fruits. Pour a concentrated syrup of sarsaparilla and puerh over ice and carbonated water and you have a delightful beverage. The proper amount of sweet put a spring in my step.
Yet before I said goodbye to the friendly workers, I made sure to sign up for Jasmine Pearl’s email list. I had no doubt in my mind this was a place I would be coming back to many a time. . . .
- Jasmine Pearl Tea Company
- 724 NE 22nd Avenue
- Portland 97232