Smith Teamaker Blog

Meet the Teamakers – Kim H.

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Photo @TTalbott

We have another Kim in the office. Introducing our newest customer accounts person extraordinaire. Give her a call and find out how pleasant, how professional and how much she enjoys helping you select your next favorite tea. She may be sipping a freshly brewed cup of Lord Bergamot with milk, but you’ll only hear her smile.

Q: What was your happiest time drinking tea?

A: Birthday tea with my mom.

Q: Which famous figure in history would you most like to have tea with?

A:  Georgia O’Keefe and Frida Kahlo.

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Meet the Teamakers – Donovan

donovanPhoto © Tiffany Talbott

 

Our newest Teamaker is busy preparing flights of tea for visitors to the Tasting Room. He boasts a swell collection of vintage sweaters and is the only guy who wears a tie around here. He’s warm-hearted, has a great smile, and loves to talk tea. Welcome, Donovan!

 

Q: What was your happiest time drinking tea?

A: Sipping Jasmine tea around a camp bonfire on the coast with some of my dearest friends.

Q: Which famous figure in history would you most like to have tea with?

A:  Teddy Roosevelt, Buster Keaton, Nikola Tesla, C.S. Lewis.

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Meet the Teamakers – Jayna

Jayna Martin PortraitPhoto © Joy Castiglione

Disguised as Claire Kent, Jayna is a wiz with spreadsheets, columns and numbers; all a decoy to her superior skills with pie crusts and baking utensils. It’s possible she keeps a cape in her desk, but we’re still not sure.

Q: What was your happiest time drinking tea?

A: Christmas mornings with my grandmother, mother, and sisters while we waited for the rest of the family to wake up.

Q: Which famous figure in history would you most like to have tea with?

A:  Da Vinci, Marie Curie.

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Meet the Teamakers — Michaela

MichaelaO'Malley

 

The Teamakers have a dedicated fashionista among us. Michaela is the newest member of the “ladies loft” where a flurry of phones, customer service, special requests, and the logistics of all your tea shipments originate. She has jumped into our world of tea with the grace and style of a princesse de mode.

Q: What was your happiest time drinking tea.

A: As soon as I wake up!

Q: Which famous figure in history would you most like to have tea with?

A: Zooey Deschanel

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Meet the Teamakers – Ryan

 Ryan
Photo@TiffanyTalbott

 

We think Ryan looks like a NASCAR driver, even if it is the forklift he’s racing around on. This guy is sharp, handles our shipping, and tucks every package together with the care and manners of a Southern gentleman.

 

Q: What was your happiest time drinking tea.

A: First time at Crater Lake and having a cup of tea while watching the sunrise.

Q: Which famous figure in history would you most like to have tea with?

A:  MLK, Jr. or Che Guevara.

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Meet the Teamakers – Tyson

 Tyson

 

This is Tyson – Our most recent Teamaker. Quiet and thoughtful, artist and manga fan…is he the caped crusader? We just don’t know.

 

Q: What was your happiest time drinking tea?

A: Relaxing with a cup of matcha after a long day of work.

Q: Which famous figure in history would you most like to have tea with?

A: Bruce Lee (more…)

Meet the Teamakers – Aaron

Photo@TiffanyTalbott

Photo@TiffanyTalbott

It’s about time we introduce the other half of our friendly tasting room staff – Meet Aaron:  Jazz enthusiast, writer and maker of the best Chai Latte in town.

 

Q: What was your happiest time drinking tea.

A: All the cups I share with my girlfriend. Also, the mugs I had with my Mom at the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse, high up in the mountains of Canada’s Banff National Park. No roads lead there. It’s only accessible by foot.

Q: Which famous figure in history would you most like to have tea with?

A: John Coltrane – I don’t know if he even drank tea, but he was so exploratory musically and intellectually, that I’m sure he’d go for at least one cup. Also, tea with True Grit author Charles Portis would be a thrill, even though he’s not historical or famous. He still lives in Arkansas, and he likes drinking beer in his local watering hole. With his wit and sly sense of humor, I bet he could generate endless plays-on-words with the names ‘oolong’ and ‘Bai Mu Dan.’ (more…)

Meet the Teamakers – Alex

Photo@TiffanyTalbott

Photo@TiffanyTalbott

At long last, we bring you Alex; our kind- hearted, tech savvy, tea guru. Always ready to tackle the next problem with a genuine smile and can- do attitude. Aficionado of all things Japanese and a pleasure to work with.

 

Q: What was your happiest time drinking tea?

A: Drinking Maté as a child in the back of my dad’s auto body shop. Something about the frosty garage, the hot Maté, the smell of old cars, and the taste of the metal bombillá always stands out in my mind.

Q: Which famous figures in history would you most like to have tea with?

A: Sun Tsu. I bet he would have access to great tea and great advice. (more…)

Meet the Teamakers – Jason

Photo by Tiffany Talbott

Smith Teamaker would like to welcome Jason:  A Former Tazo who  can heft a 50 lb. bag of tea, build a pallet and manage a forklift like a Ferrari. Here is what a man of few words had to say:

 

Q: What was your happiest time drinking tea?

A: Drinking Mom’s sun tea.

Q: Which famous figure figures in history would you most like to have tea with?

A: F.D.R., Houdini. Elvis and Tesla (The inventor, not the band)

Q: What do you most hope to read in the tea leaves?

A: Health and Prosperity!

Q: What do you least want to see in the tea leaves(more…)

Meet the Teamakers – Dave

Photo @TiffanyTallbott

At Last: This is Dave – All things mechanical, manufacturing and operational. Master-mind of getting old things to work and  engineering new stuff – a philosophic problem-solver.

 

It isn’t right that a person who has been with us from the start, be so late to the introductions. But that’s what happens to the guy who controls all the power tools. Unbeknownst to Dave, an early invitation by Steve to “check out some equipment with me”, has turned into another chapter in his tea life.

Early partners since their days at Stash, Dave has been mixing it up with Steve in the tea world for a very long time. As a partner and head of manufacturing, He brings a wealth of know- how, a wry wit and a work ethic hard to rival. He is an integral part of our ability to blend and pack all the tea we produce right here in our tiny facility in Portland, Oregon.

You might even know Dave and wondered where’s he’s been lately?  Well, he’s here, at the Teaworks, keeping things moving Monday – Friday and probably on the off hours too. Come in for a pot of tea and you’ll see him through the glass window, a shy smile and an ever-present to -go cup of coffee nearby (yes, coffee) Feel free to knock, wave or leave him a sticky note.

Here’s what Dave had to say when recently interviewed over a slice of his favorite Apple Pie with melted cheddar cheese on top.

Q: What was your happiest time drinking tea?

A:”The happiest time is when I actually take my cup and sit down”. ( Dave doesn’t sit much) (more…)