The Tea Bar is one of my favorite places to hang out as and is also one of the few places in Portland to get yummy matcha. When I was in school in Corvallis, I would drive back home to Portland during my days off to study or catch up with friends, and I always made it a point to go to the Tea Bar. I love this place so much that it is where I meet clients for freelance work. Below are a few of the many times that I've been there (checking in on Instagram is a must, obviously).
Until a few weeks ago, the Tea Bar only had one location on NE Killingsworth, near the Alberta District. But recently they expanded and opened a new location on SE Division St., which made me the happiest person. When I found out they were opening a new space on Division I knew my visits were going to be more frequent because it was on my way to and from work. Unlike the first location, my drive to the Tea Bar on Division would only be 15 minutes instead of 25 minutes. The new location is also near some of my other favorite spots such as Salt & Straw, Petite Provence and St. Honore. Unfortunately, the company that I work for moved their office to Lake Oswego, so my trips had to wait until a free weekend came along.
Another thing I love about the Tea Bar is their branding; it’s so simple and lets the tea and their space speak for itself. Like the first location, the space is as minimal as it can be - white walls, concrete flooring, light wood countertops, wickerwork chairs and some greenery for accents. What makes this location better than the original is that it’s much larger; it seems almost double than the original. The whole storefront is counter and bar seating with a few tables on either ends of the cafe. My favorite part of this new space is the floor to ceiling windows that exposes the whole café to those passing by. The natural light gives the space a cheerful mood.
Sometimes minimal spaces can feel cold and unwelcoming, but the Tea Bar does a great job of warming up the space with greenery. There are beautiful white flower arrangements on the countertops and little succulents on the tables that give the space life. The lightly colored tabletops and wicker chairs also help warm up the space by adding color and texture. Minimal spaces can also give a manufactured vibe, making the space feel impersonal because they tend to look so similar to each other. So in choosing wood textures for both their cafes, it gave it a special touch.
Other than the space, the Tea Bar is the best place for tea. I can only think of other place in the city with really good matcha. I love their matcha, whether it’s iced, as a latte or a milk tea. And if you’re a tea enthusiast they have a wide variety of teas ranging from greens, blacks, herbals, whites, oolongs, pu’ers and mat´es. Other than tea they also serve other types of drinks like steamers, lemonades and mimosas. This is a great place for everyone because there is so much variety!
The main reason I love the Tea Bar is that it’s an Instagram “hotspot” for creatives like bloggers and designers. The pretty drinks and minimal design of the space makes it perfect to style photos. If it weren’t for bloggers that I follow, I don’t think I would have known that this place exists because I rarely branch out from my regular hotspots. I feel like the Tea Bar has brought a lot of creatives together and with this new location the creative community will continue to grow. Also, being in a beautiful space helps influence my creativity. Everytime I visit the Tea Bar I feel at home because the environment and space matches my aesthetic so well.
So if you’re ever around the Alberta or Richmond neighborhoods I definitely recommend that you stop by and try a drink. It’s a casual place to catch up with friends and unlike coffee shops it’s not as loud, perfect for reading that book you’ve always wanted read.
teabarpdx.com | 4330 SE Division St | 1615 NE Killingsworth St