The inhabitants of Stumptown love their elixirs. Hipster breweries and coffee shops are a dime a dozen. They also like their strip clubs too, but that’s neither here nor there. Tea is an odd woman out in this set-in-its-way drinking community, but with the likes of the Exotic Spice and Tea Shop, it’s becoming the in thing without serving the usual handle bar mustached and sleeve tattooed Portland clientele. Or the potheads either.
Portland likes its city kept weird but the people who come in for tea don’t meet any of the criteria. Rumor has it; the shop is a haunted cop hangout. Warnings or red flags never deter the staff at Restaurant Fiction.
The tea shop sells other trinkets and tschotskes, but the tea is what it’s known for. One walks in and there are elements of a Severus Snape potion shop. It’s dark, musty, and yet, inviting. The contents of Grimoires are studied, the mise en place is arranged, and each dehydrated leaf and flower petal is hand picked based not on the one’s likes or dislikes, but their whole genetic makeup. The craftswoman behind the cauldron is less a witch and more of a true mixologist in the rarest of forms.
The first tea is called Stevie Weavy. It’s primarily served at Ayahuasca ceremonies, or one who wants to experiment with transcendental meditation. The mimosa hostilis and vinegar mixture is too much to take in large doses and professional monitors are recommended.
No one goes to the Exotic Spice and Tea Shop to get high or hallucinate. The teas served are medicinal in some way or another. They release any inner demons both physical and mental one contains.
A generic shroom tea is the second concoction. One gulp and the heart and the mind connect as if the body’s two most vital organs went to the Korean spa for a day filled with massages and body scrubs.
Pu-erh black tea is the last tea tried. These Chinese teas from the Yunnan province are the quintessential substitute to coffee. One sip is like a heavy dosage of Adderall. It was available this time, but usually these teas are on back order because undergrad and grad students pulling all-nighters drink it up like a milkshake.
Tea is an art and a craft that goes back thousands of years. And of all places to pay homage to one of the oldest miracle drugs, it’s this tiny shop where no hipster is allowed.
Exotic Spice and Tea Shop
ATMOSPHERE: Harry Potter like institution cures and helps more of the not only weird, but the plain out-of-normal too.
SERVICE: Attentive and caring, just one woman with her cop and fairytale like friends.
SOUND LEVEL: Quiet and calming like a library
RECOMMENDED: Pu-erh black tea
DRINKS AND WINE: Just teas
PRICES: $20-$1,000, or the owner uses the barter system if you save her life
OPEN: Tuesday through Saturday 11-6