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Tea Lovers

About us

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Portal Tea

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From our beginnings as a class project to the unexpected inclusion in FX’s “Portlandia”, one thing has remained constant — our drive to share the joy of tea with our community.

Tea Chai Té began as a tandem effort between co-owners and husband-and-wife duo Dominic and Angela Valdes. Together through college, the pair pursued the corporate lifestyle for which they'd planned; the issue, though, arose quite quickly — they weren't happy.


When we first kicked off this journey, we had one goal.

We just wanted to make great tea! 

While that mission hasn't changed, it's evolved thanks to the people that have given us their time and attention over the years. We've watched teens mature into adults in our shops, seen romances bloom, and anxiously waited to see the next masterwork to come from our most understated guests — paintings, poetry, and more, each created in our own slice of paradise.

Perhaps most importantly, the people that have supported us haven't always done so through direct patronage.

We've seen time and again how important community is when times get tough. While the pandemic is an obvious example, we've had numerous instances where a loving passerby or customers stopped to help and show a touch of kindness. And each time, it reinforced that what we were doing, the spaces we'd created — they were good.

This switch in names wasn't an overnight process. In fact, our branding has grown every few years to reflect the changes we've undergone; it felt natural then, and it feels natural now. 

Portland Oregon

Why Portal?

We chose the name Portal Tea for a few reasons — first of all, Tea Chai Té can be a pain to pronounce. While that's not a huge problem for a teahouse, we wanted to begin expanding where our teas were offered. Realistically, that meant that ease of pronunciation was important — after all, it's hard to ask for something if you can't say it! (If you think that's bad, wait until you have to say it over the phone for the first time.)


Chai Tea

Endless Possibilities | We are forward-thinking risk takers inspired by the world around us. We believe in embracing creative potential and encouraging personal growth and exploration.

Intrinsic Beauty | Beauty is all around us waiting to be discovered. We believe slowing down and focusing on the present moment to help us find tranquility, happiness, and harmony in our lives

Meaningful Connection | Tea has the power to bring people together and strengthen connections. We believe in building deeper and more trusting relationships by remaining open, respectful, and humble

  • How many servings are in an ounce of tea?
    While this depends on the tea in question and your tastes, you will get between five and eight servings per ounce of dry tea. For example, some teas require a meager one teaspoon per serving; in contrast, others (like our chai blends or any herbal/apothecary blends) require two heaping tablespoons per serving. In addition, some people prefer to use more (or less) loose tea per cup, further changing each tea's "mileage" per ounce.
  • Where can I find information on where a teaware product is made?
    Each product page on our website details the manufacturer of the teaware in question; as always, reach out to us via our contact page for more detailed inquiries
  • How should tea be stored?
    Store your dry tea leaves in a cool, relatively dry environment that's as free of oxygen as possible. Dry tea leaves are damaged by: Oxygen - Store your tea in an airtight container; we've found that sealed Mason jars work great (if stored in a dark area), though anything that will create an airtight seal will do the trick. Light - Keep your tea in a cabinet or pantry; alternatively, if using a glass sealed jar to store your tea, use dark brown glass. Moisture - An airtight seal with prevent moisture from damaging your tea. If you can't create an airtight environment, try to keep your tea away from any sources of water or moisture (humidity & steam), such as near cooking surfaces, your refrigerator/freezer, or bathroom. Heat - Do not store your tea leaves near an oven, air fryer, or toaster; the radiant heat from these devices will damage your leaves. Strong scents - Scents can "soak" into your dried tea if it's left uncovered. While some scents (like cinnamon) may be fine, allowing your delicate green tea to sit next to the onions and garlic is a recipe for disaster
  • Where can I find information on a tea's sourcing and ingredients?
    We try to list all ingredients on each tea product's page, also citing source of origin when possible. Over time, we will be adding our Portal Learn section, which will grow to contain a wealth of information on each tea's history, proven health benefits, and caffeine content, among other details. For now, reach out to us through our contact page for more detailed information
  • What are natural flavors?
    The term "natural flavors" can bring out a few questions in the critically-minded — and that's a good thing! While the phrase can be somewhat broad, it's defined by the FDA as: "The essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive... or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf..." In other words, a "natural flavor" means that its primary flavor comes from a real plant or animal product; with our teas, common natural flavors include vanilla, cinnamon, coconut, and similar extracts that bring an extra punch of the needed flavor.
  • How much caffeine is in tea?
    This isn't a question with one single answer. Rather, it's a sliding scale based on a large number of factors, including: 1. Tea type: Lighter teas, like green or white, generally have the lowest caffeine content. Oolong teas often contain a middling amount of caffeine. Black and puer teas tend to have the highest caffeine content of "real" tea. Herbal, rooibos, and apothecary teas are almost always entirely caffeine-free. Yerba mate and guayusa are both extremely high in caffeine, often reaching 1.5-2 times the content of a standard black tea. 2. Brewing: Tea steeped for longer will infuse more caffeine. Using more or less than a "standard" serving of dry tea will alter its caffeine content. Tea steeped at a hotter temperature (up to boiling, or ~212 °F) will release more caffeine. 3. Tea Leaf: Tea plants generally get their caffeine as a percentage of the leaf's total weight. The larger the leaf, the higher the caffeine content (usually). Smaller variants of the tea plant, such as the Chinese Camellia sinensis, tend to have a lower caffeine content (somewhere around ~1.5% by weight). In contrast, larger variants like the Indian Camellia assamica, generally have a higher caffeine content of around 3-4% by weight.
  • Why did my shipment not arrive?
    There are several reasons for a shipment to not arrive, though most commonly, it ties back to a typo in the shipping address or an inability to deliver on the part of USPS. If you chose USPS Priority Mail, select the tracking link in your email and double-check its status, if not, send us an email letting us know your package didn't arrive along with your shipping address and name.
  • How can I create a new account?
    Click here to create a new account and provide your information. Your information is never sold to any other company and is kept completely private. Please view our Privacy Policy for more information.
  • What are your shipping rates?
    We offer free domestic shipping in the U.S. on orders over $25, though international customers may pay customs or import fees in line with their country's current tax and import policies. All shipping rates are calculated automatically before submitting your payment information. As you modify your cart, the new rates and shipping options available to you will update in the checkout page
  • How can I update my account information?
    Click the Sign In link in the upper right-hand corner of the website
  • How do I order online and pick it up in one of your tea shops?
    If you are hoping to pick up your order from one of our tea shops, please message us in the notes in the checkout that you prefer that option. We will then cancel shipping charges for the order and coordinate with the shop of your choosing to arrange a pick up time. Please note: This option may take longer than shipped orders, as we deliver to our shops only once each week.
  • Shipping outside of the United States
    We do not charge any additional fees for customers outside of the United States. However, all packages sent to foreign countries are subject to the their country's local taxes and/or customs fees associated with their package. For example, Canadian citizens are subject to Canadian taxes as well as brokerage rates applied by the shipper; we cannot control this. Note that in many cases, your local customs office will have final say on what, if any, fees or taxes are applied to your package. If you're unsure whether your order may be subject to similar taxes or fees, please inquire with your local customs office before finalizing your order.
  • My order seems incomplete — how can I tell if it processed on the website?
    Please send us an email and let us know what's missing from your order. We are more than happy to ship the missing item(s), credit your account for a future order, or simply refund the difference - just let us know your preference.
  • How can I track my shipment?
    There are two ways to track your shipment/order: Once you place an order, you can save the page as a bookmark and visit the page at any time. If you select USPS Priority Mail, you will receive an email confirming that your package has shipped. Click the link to track your package. The First Class shipping option does not allow tracking at this time.
  • What is your return/exchange policy?
    We will happily replace any items that are defective or damaged during shipping. Please contact us with further questions or concerns, including images of the products in question.
  • How can I change or cancel my order?
    We are more than happy to update or cancel an order for you, provided it has not already shipped. To do so, just contact us and let us know of any required changes!
  • How can I return or exchange a product?
    If you would like to return an item purchased online, or if you received the wrong product please contact us, sending images of the wrong product received, so we can quickly find a resolution for you.

Our Philosophy

From the plants in our nooks to the incredible artwork on our walls

Portal Tea has a simple mindset — to create delicious tea in cozy spaces that are safe for all. We want our shops to reflect their surroundings; for that reason, we use the mantra Tea as You Are as the guiding light in all we do

This is demonstrated most clearly in our shops — including a 1920 red caboose and Victorian home — whose unique characteristics are highlighted in a reflection of both the local community and those that keep the shops running.

Over the years, Angela has curated a collection of murals, table art, and hand-crafted artistic lighting that allows each shop's best qualities to shine. In that same vein, some of our teahouses host art showings to lend customers the opportunity to find inspiration in the work of other local creators.

In other words, from the plants in our nooks to the incredible artwork on our walls, it's all community-oriented. While this may seem like a small step, it helps keep us centered — after all, without our community, we wouldn't be here today

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