Townshend's Tea CompanyEdit Company
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Flavors: Sweet, Vanilla
This is one of my all time favorite teas. I often make it latte-style (after having it that way a few times at Townshend’s tea house). I add 1/2 tsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of honey to 8 oz of double-strength tea and fill the rest of the mug with frothed warm milk. It’s my favorite part of my weekend morning.
I highly recommend visiting one of the Townshend’s tea houses if you’re ever in Oregon!
Flavors: Bergamot, Cream, Vanilla
This the best coconut flavored tea I’ve had – I think because it uses flaked coconut and not coconut oil flavor. I’ve found other coconut flavored teas to taste somewhat fake, even though I’m sure their flavor is usually from real coconut.
This tea really shines in the second steep, so I recommend re-steeping if you haven’t tried it already.
I usually add whole milk and raw cane sugar to this tea. It’s delightfully smooth, yet with that sharper breakfast tea flavour that I’ve come to appreciate. Definitely not as malty as other Assam teas that I’ve tasted, but it’s not a bad thing in this case. I knocked a few points off my rating because the flavours are not as complex as I’d prefer.
This is by far my most favorite way to consume Yerba Mate. This is quite a spicy chai – one of the spicest, in fact, so if you do not like spicy, I don’t recommend this tea. The yerba mate flavors are fresh and well-accented by the array of spices. This makes a phenomenal latte – in fact, that is my preferred method of consumption.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Dark Bittersweet, Spices
Townshend’s is a tea house local to Portland and Bend. I go there about once a month to get enough loose tea to hold me over between orders, but otherwise try to avoid it. They are much more of a hipster hangout spot, and mostly deal in the blasphemy known as “tea lattes”. That being said, they have some acceptable loose-leaf to be had in a pinch.
It is finally spring after a very erratic and generally miserable central Oregon winter. It is time for green tea. Japanese greens are about as “fresh” and “spring” as you can get, and they are calling to me. This is a celebration, and so I will opt for the more expensive gyokuro over the basic sencha.
I walk up to the counter and ask for an ounce of gyokuro. The guy at the counter suggests I go instead with the sencha because “it is the same thing and much cheaper”. I struggle to contain my annoyance and insist that I want the gyokuro. $14 for an ounce (not a terribly expensive gyokuro, but almost this particular one is almost certainly not worth that much). I take a look at the leaf through the clear plastic bag, already a bit disappointed. It seems that this was the very last of what was in the tin. It is about 50% powder, with the rest composed of broken leaves and stems. It’s probably been sitting in the giant storage container for way too long to be fresh, too. Oh well, can’t expect perfection from a place such as this.
Once home, I immediately begin brewing it. I pre-warm my six ounce cast-iron pot. I opt to use one tablespoon of leaf, careful to use the most whole leaf pieces. I heat the water to 160 degrees, steep for 40 seconds, and pour my first cup. The liquour is a very faint green, verging on clear. I sit on my porch and soak in the sunshine, and shift my full awareness to the aromas, textures, and flavors to come as I lift the cup towards my mouth. The smell is what you might expect: veggies. The texture has a bit of “umame” thickness to it, but I have to concentrate to pick it up. I think silky is a better word to describe this particular cup. An overall light an airy profile, but with a touch of buttery thickness. The flavor is nothing to write home about. It is unmistakebly a Japanese green. Extremely vegetal and fresh, with a nice mineral quality. It is much more bitter than expected, especially considering the delicate manner in which it is brewed. The sweetness I had hoped for is not there, not even a little bit. Overall it just tastes like a mid-level basic sencha. It is brisk, refreshing, and suits the spring season well…but this is not what I want/expect from a gyokuro. I would take a $7, 4-ounce tin of Harney & Sons sencha over this any day.
I do two more steepings, each a bit longer than the previous. Not much changes. Same flavor profile to a smaller degree. By the third steeping, the leaves have no more to give. I think this tea will be much better suited as a cold-brew iced tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Mineral, Vegetal
This one!! It’s sweet and kind of fresh tasting, I think it’s got mint in it maybe? Anyway, it was a great balance of warmly spiced and sweet. My favorite from last night for sure. Seems I’m always underwhelmed by Townshend’s Earls but enthusiastic for their chais. Yum!
Stovetop 10 to 20 minute milk n’ honey dance, per their instructions I used water and milk (and I do the stovetop warming with the sweetener instead of adding after, because in my experience it’s always better that way). Worth it!
I ordered this tea out of pure curiosity. I’m glad this tea doesn’t smell the way I thought it might smell, it has an earthy scent and I note a minty undertone. The brewed tea smells vegetative and earthy.
This isn’t so bad. It has an earthy taste (from the Yerba Mate) but it’s not overly earthy. There is some sweetness to it and a warmth that tastes like a cross between ginger and cinnamon. Peppery like ginger, sweet/spiced tone of cinnamon. Pleasant.
The Kava gives it a hint of grassiness, and while I’m not usually particularly crazy about Kava, I’m not minding it here.
Not bad. Better served hot than chilled.
This smells so yummy steeping. It’s a tad finicky for late night (I am so lazy about heating milk for some reason, always have been…my husband can’t drink normal hot chocolate and the kind I buy him, Dagoba’s Xocolatl, is really good but best with hot milk so we only have it when it’s snowing out ha) and I’ve never made chai before that used both hot water and hot milk, just one or the other, so it’s new to me but man. LiberTEAS is right that it smells a whole lot like a cinnamon sugar cake donut. It tastes delicious too. I have a couple more no-caf chais to try from my sample stash before I come to a decision about which will be this winter’s bedtime treat, but right now I have serious doubts any will smell this good. The convenience factor’s a bit ehhh but I haven’t bothered to see if the others need hot milk too so that point might be moot anyway. And besides, something that smells this good can definitely motivate me to heat some milk. Oh so good. Decadent! To be honest after some ok-but-not-astounding samples of their Earls months ago I was kind of hoping to be able to write off Townshend’s as a fond memory of my first trip to Portland (including the story of how a customer another table over tipped me off all friendly-like about Naked Bike Night, whee) but not amazeballs enough to reorder from (I’m trying to whittle my vendors list, it cuts down on shipping and all that) but this could well be Very Necessary (Salt n Pepa reference, har), which means I can get more Soaring Crane (a nice tasty undemanding green) in the process.
Delightful, plenty of flavor with little fuss (smooth without being wimpy, has enough lovely taste without calling a lot of distracting attention to itself with loud notes or complicated flavor interplay), ideal for reading on the couch after dinner. It’s so nuts how much I love green tea now when I’m in the right mood for it.
Wow. I’ve had a number of “sleepytime”-type teas, and few of them actually have a soporific effect on me, but this tea makes me wonder whether there are sleeping pills ground up in it or something. I can be hanging from the ceiling by my fingernails, vibrating with anxiety, and by the end of this cup I’m comfortably drowsy and happy with the world.
The taste is nice enough that I don’t even sweeten it. It’s not a flavor combo I particularly crave, but it’s so well-blended that I enjoy picking out the various ingredients as they blossom on the tongue.
Basically, I plan on keeping some of this tea next to my anti-anxiety pills and muscle relaxants.
3 tsp tea x 12 oz water x 6 minutes, no sweetener.
A delicious choice for an evening (decaf) chai. It does really need sweetener to cut a particular taste in the blend, I think it’s the carob, that comes off a bit too thick and claylike for me unadulterated.
Like all of Townshend’s chais, it benefits hugely from their recommended preparation, including steeping the tea directly in a hot water/hot milk mixture rather than adding milk at the end. This is also a beautiful and calming thing to watch in my IngenuiTEA brewer: the broad variety of shapes of herbs and teas working their way through the progressively more caramel-colored milky bliss. It’s hard not to feel relaxed before even the first sip!
1 Tb tea, steeped in 8 oz. hot water + 4 oz. hot milk together for 6 minutes. I added a Stevia sweetener equal to 2 tsp sugar.
Yesterday, after the storm moved through, my son went to the mailbox. He brought back a box that I swear had to be bigger than the mailbox. It must be a Tardis thing. It was the mystery box from Katiek. All I can say is WOW!
I grabbed this one first, as the packaging from the company is a ziplock baggie. The scent of this herbal blend can be caught through the bag, so I will need to move it into a tin. I do love the aroma. I don’t know my fruit smells but this reminds me of black raspberry jelly. It’s fruity, floral, and dark.
I used about 5g and heavy steaming water per instructions. I steeped a lot shorter than directed. The brew is very dark and purple tinted. This is tart when hot, even with Splenda added. Currant and hibiscus are what I recognize. I have no idea what elderberry tastes like. As this reached room temperature, I found it much more interesting. I want to try this again over ice. I think it could be quite refreshing served that way. Definitely not for you tart haters when hot.
I plucked up the courage to try this last night. It smells of forest fire and tastes surprisingly mellow, considering. I nearly set fire to my kitchen though. I was busy exclaiming over the burnt smokey smell of the tea, and didn’t noticed the burnt smokey smell from a pan which had burnt dry in the kitchen. Ruined pan, ruined dinner, good pot of tea. I won’t rate this yet as I haven’t drunk LS for ages and can’t compare it with anything. I added some to my breakfast tea this morning though. I think I’m going to really like this.
Rainy day here in pdx, surprise surprise, and the early morning is catching up with me. But the kids are asleep (for now) so it’s time for my local chai. I love Townshend’s Tea. They have a great shop/cafe here in portland. Right across from my favorite fabric shop, which is next to the best vegetarian taco cart in town. The trifecta. The rain sucks here, but we have our perks!
FYI — I make my masala chais with my Breville Tea Maker and I let the tea steep in the boiling water for about 10 minutes. Then I use my breville milk cafe (that I bought just for making chais and other tea lattes) to get the milk nice and frothy and then pour them both into my mug with some honey. Yum.