If I could be called a “regular” anywhere, this gem would definitely top my list.
For the last four years, Tea Chai Te has been the place where I would go to catch up with friends when I was only in Portland for short winter-break stints. Sinking into a plush chair at this upstairs tea house was always as easy as jumping back into relationships with my friends. Quality time is the love language I speak and this is the place where I can keep fluent.
My memories of Tea Chai Te include conversations that were so pivotal in my life decisions.
It’s where I talked to a friend about the difficulty of selling my childhood home.
It’s where I spoke about the wounds of eating disorders and how hungry I was to feel nourished.
It’s where I encourage the dreams of my close friends and where I have been inspired to pursue my dreams of writing about the family table.
As you can tell, I might be a bit biased here, but this tea house is a spot where peace and reflection are poured into each pot of freshly brewed tea.
While I always admire the vast collection of teas showcased in the shop, I inevitably end up ordering the Highland Chai – a wonderful milky blend of cardamon, cinnamon and nutmeg. The first sip always sends me into a state of pure relaxation.
Try the Highland, but also explore the other 19 varieties of chai (count em, 19!). From chipotle to vanilla rose, you now have every excuse to keep coming back.
A huge factor in what makes Tea Chai Te extra cozy to me is watching other tea-lovers who come to the shop. Just last week, I was privy to see what looked like a first date for a Portland-hipster couple. They shared a pot of tea and played a game of Sorry. Pure viewing bliss. While it may sound cliche, it warms me to see others bonding in child-like ways, like playing board games and drinking tea.
Tea Chai Te has two locations. One on NW 23rd and one in Sellwood (in the cute Red Caboose on 13th!). Both settings are the definition of cozy. Sitting by the window on their 23rd shop, you get an excellent view of shoppers and restaurant goers ambling down the busy street, complete with trees covered in Christmas lights. At their Sellwood location, if you’re lucky, grab a seat in the top of the caboose, where you’ll feel like you’re in a world of your own, tucked away on a little wooden bench. It kind of makes you feel like a kid whose found the best hiding spot where no one will ever find him.
My suggestion, grab your favorite book, maybe your Bible, and spend a hour or two finding rest in words and a cup of that oh-so-tasty, Highland chai.
** Check back tomorrow to see what cozy spot I’m off to next! **