Spirit Tea

Mar 15, 2019

Stumptown has a new tea in the house. Spirit Tea was founded in Chicago in 2015, with the mission to reframe tea in the U.S as a beverage to be enjoyed with care and attention to detail. You can find a full menu of Spirit Teas in all of our cafes now, and dang are we excited for you to try it.

So what makes a fine tea? Just like with our approach to coffee, Spirit strives to find teas that will become a singular experience for their audience. They work with producers seasonally, always striving to highlight the natural expression of the plant.

Camellia sinensis is a shrub that is grown all over the world, but originated in Eastern Asia. It’s an evergreen plant with sweet yellow and white flowers, and once the top leaves of the plant have matured, their sprigs and buds are plucked to produce tea. It has had a vital history across millennia in many cultures, but has largely been overshadowed in the United States by other options. The people of Spirit have a deep-rooted enthusiasm for this wondrous plant’s incredible potential for flavor and cultural impact, never forgetting the pivotal aspect of honoring the hard work of the producers who tirelessly preserve its traditions.

"We believe in tea—that a great cup is the result of passion and strong relationships. All of our teas are seasonally curated selections that feature no fruits, flowers, flavorings, or sweeteners. Just the natural beauty of the tea plant. From cultivation to cup, we appreciate the relationships that are built entirely along the way. We are as thankful for the producers who painstakingly harvest and handcraft our teas to the passionate purveyors who are as enthusiastic as we are about the diversity, origins, and flavors of the teas we source. The teas we do choose for our menu we choose as ones that will yield an extraordinary cup and best embody the unique potential that can grow from the plant itself.” - The Spirit Tea Founders

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In the same vein of coffee companies who lift up and support their producers, nerd out on particular expressions of bean varietals, and the careful method of preparing and brewing beans, Spirit wanted to explore tea with a similar ethos. As a group of industry veterans with decades of combined experience in tea, coffee, hospitality and herbalism, they’re set on putting the same care into these leaves as we at Stumptown are with our beans.

“Some that we are lucky to find are wholly unique and rare, making them beautifully ephemeral. Even in our classic menu of teas, we want to find the most full-bodied, flavorful cup. When we travel to our countries of origins, we are not searching for an exact, defined flavor profile, but for a cup that has an in-depth history to it, is a remarkable incarnate of its farmers’ traditions, and makes for an incredible brewing ritual, whether shared or personal. It brings our ethos full circle: enjoying tea in and of itself is our passion that we are both humbled and honored to share.”

  • The Spirit Tea Founders

Swing by one of our shops to try our new tea menu from Spirit:

Green

Kodama Sencha
Toasted nori, sesame, and honeydew

Morning Mist
Alfalfa honey, sweet corn, and white pepper

White

Nepal White
Concord grape, lemongrass, and white rose

Oolong

Da Yu Ling
White peach, jasmine, and sugar cane

Black

Sunstone
Spirit Tea's signature breakfast blend, full-bodied and low in astringency

Iron Goddess of Mercy Black
Passionfruit, baked peach, and rose

Herbal

Malabar
Chinese ginger, turmeric, malabar black peppercorn, lemongrass, licorice root

Rosella
Hibiscus, lemongrass, licorice root

Peppermint
Classic peppermint, cooling, crisp and fresh