Monday, October 26, 2015

An Indonesian White Tea Bud Story

In 2008, Chariteas owner – Charity Chalmers – took her first tea sourcing trip out of the country. Sometimes – in order to judge the quality of a product before buying it wholesale – one needs to try tea directly from the source. However, her first sourcing trip wasn’t to one of the usual suspects like China, Taiwan or India, but rather Indonesia. 

The location for her search? The Dewata Tea Estate.  It was one of six estates owned by the Chakra Tea group. The name “Dewata” translated to “home of the gods and goddesses” in the local language. The tea estate resides in the heart of Gunung Tilu, a protected national forest in West Java, Indonesia. Teas produced there are grown at an elevation of 1,000-1,500 meters above sea level. 

Charity arrived in Jakarta a day prior to the estate trip. Dewata was a good six-hour drive from the city – mostly uphill. The next day, she and her group began the trip by car. After three hours, they arrived at the main office at the base of the mountain. She met with the owner, the owner’s family, and a few others for a meeting before heading in another car for the second leg of the journey. Up the mountain. 

By late-afternoon, they arrived at the plantation. Lush hills were blanketed with bold green tea plants. The estate also possessed a nature reserve, a tea processing plant, a large tasting room, and a guest cottage. They met the owner’s son and a few of the women workers at the plantation. Soon after, they had their first tasting session. It was a sencha-style green tea with a fresh and delightful profile; a perfect prelude to the traditional Indonesian dinner that followed.

The next morning, they embarked on a jam-packed tours and tastings. Their schedule began with a provided breakfast, followed by a tour of the tea garden proper. First, every visitor was required to plant a tree to aid reforestation. Charity thought this was a wonderful thing. 

While exploring the garden, the group learned that they only plucked the top two tea leaves and one bud of each shoot. Charity was even allowed to pluck some green leaves herself from the lush, healthy-looking tea plants. All the while, birds chirped from the neighboring nature reserve, like a musical accompaniment to the proceedings. 

The next item notched off was the tea processing plant. Spectators were required to don hair nets, hats, white coats and shoe covers before entering. Charity remembers the smell inside the factory. She had difficulty identifying a prominent aroma, but it there were fragrant notes of flowers, nuts, herbs and . . . toast. All vying for prominence. 

“Like walking into a house, smelling the scent of fresh-cooked bread,” she thought to herself.
They watched as green leaves were unloaded, dried, processed, graded and sorted according to quality. The operation was a continuous one – leaves came in and finished tea came out, like clockwork. All of it was quite industrious to behold. 

The penultimate leg of the tour was the cupping session.

The group was presented with thirty-five different teas to taste-test. Loose leaves were weighed, lined up, and placed in steeper cups – ready for hot water. Sippers were also presented with a spittoon while continuing down the tasting flight. Charity began down the line, slurping and spitting as she went, making mental note of the – well – taster notes of each one. 

Then she encountered one that really stood out. A Silver Needle-style white tea she later dubbed “White Tea Bud”. Charity couldn’t quite recall the exact notes she detected on taste, but did remember her initial reaction, “Heavenly.” After the tour, she spoke with those in charge about procuring some tea. The site tour concluded with a pleasant lunch outdoors, basking in the unique sights, sounds and tastes

To this day, that first Indonesia trip remains the highlight of her tea travels. The most rewarding experiences stem from the surroundings and the people one is surrounded with. Beautiful scenery and lovely teas don’t hurt, either.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Returning To Tea

Over the last few years we've dabbled in many different things including providing food for a school lunch program. It has been wonderful to provide food to so many children. What an impact we've had on the community!

Chariteas has always been a place to buy tea. As we start our fifth year, I'd like it to be about returning to our roots. This means bringing back our annual World Tea Tasting Event, setting up regular tea tastings, and other events, travel to more tea producing regions, and continue to make tea the center of every Chariteas experience.

On September 5th, October 3rd, and November 7th, we will be having open houses. We'll be partnering with local vendors and staying open until 8pm. On September 5th, look for the party to be in the garden. We at Chariteas will be serving up $2 Iced Tea and some light appetizers. Aaron of Bunsen Brewers will also be on hand to talk about his craft.

So here's to a new year at Chariteas. May we be able to share many cups of tea on this wild adventure.  #chariteas

Thursday, June 14, 2012

World Tea Tasting Tour 2012

Sandy, OR, June 14, 2012

Announcing the World Tea Tasting Tour

CHARITEAS: a place of communitea and qualitea, an oasis of whimsical fun, quiet reflection, and most important a source of GREAT TEA.

Come join us June 23rd at 10am for our first ever World Tea Tasting Tour.

We will be adventuring to the exotic lands of China, Japan, and Sri Lanka as we explore the tastes of each country's tea culture.

The day will begin with Chado, Japanese tea ceremony. Peace and harmony will be our main focus as we reveal the beauty and art of Chado, and continue with a demonstration of Chinese tea ceremony. As these ceremonies are going on, there will be a table for Sri Lankan tea tasting. Delicious and enjoyable, this event is the little vacation you’ve been waiting for, and best of all, it’s free!

Chariteas is located at 38687 Proctor Blvd, on the corner of Procter Blvd. and Scales Av. in Sandy, Oregon.

Hope to see you there.

 You can also become our fan on Facebook!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Faces of Chariteas

Yes Chariteas is growing! If you've stepped into Chariteas recently you'll notice many new faces. So without further ado let's meet everyone...

CRYSTAL, she's been hard at work keeping the loose leaf tea fresh and in stock. Come check out all the teas she's packaged up for this holiday season. Her organization has made Chariteas easier for everyone to find things.

DAMON, she's been training really hard to be point for our dinners. I like to think of her as speedy Gonzales as she's quick and is done with the chores before I even remind her to do them. Her love for all things tea shows as she talks to you about all of teas on the menu.

DANIELLE, our chief food purchaser. She's in charge of making sure there's always fresh ingredients for our wonderful salads, soups, sandwiches, and desserts. Her generosity with her time and resources has been a wonderful addition to the shop.

EMMA, also working during the dinner hours, has a gentle spirit and bright smile. She has been pivotal in making sure that people get served in a timely manner. Her concern with doing things right and her trustworthiness is a great asset to Chariteas.

KARLIE, helping with all the baking, she sure makes a mean pie crust, sweet and salty cake, and peppermint cheesecake. Often working behind the scenes, her willingness to bake anything is helpful for making sure you have a wonderful High Tea.

KIKI, very attentive to getting things done, she has adapted well to the procedures of Chariteas. She also is the queen of making our Trash Can cookie...only the best Chocolate chip cookie ever. You'll have to ask her about it.

KAREN, the newest addition, works on Monday afternoons. Her sweetness and desire to do the right thing is so infectious. Do stop in on a Monday as she will make your afternoon brighter one pot of tea at a time.

KATEY, the designer and creative genius, she's often scurrying around the retail area designing new displays and developing ideas on how we can be more eco friendly. One of her projects is a Blend Your Own Tea Bar. Also look for her as she manages Chariteas monthly Open Mic.

JESSICA, the youngest in the bunch, is helpful in making sure Saturdays run smoothly. She is often seen in the back making sure you have clean plates to eat off and keeping things clean. Her attention to detail is a great addition.

MARZELL, running the show on Saturday night, she's been great with bringing in handy new things to make sure Chariteas works better. Her smile is also very infectious and will light up your Saturday afternoon and evening.

SHAYLEE, has been with us for almost a year now and knows the in's and out's of Chariteas. The way she treats Chariteas as if it was her own is key to Chariteas success. Her latest endeavors include developing a Chariteas baking schedule and experimenting with blending tea. Come check out our latest tea: Fireside Orange.

Thank you ladies for your service and dedication. Without you Chariteas wouldn't be where is it today.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holidays 2011 at Chariteas

Looking for a great gift or a great place to bring that special someone for the holidays. Why not visit Chariteas? We have many gifts for all sorts of Tea Lovers. We're even having a special Holiday High Tea which includes a holiday, exclusively blended at Chariteas, tea and live music. Please call today to make your reservation.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chariteas Presents The Amazing Scone Baking Race

Open to anyone, Come join the Fun! This event will be happening in conjunction with out 2nd annual FesTEAval July 7-9, 2011

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Coming up for the Holiday Season….


Gingerbread House Contest

Dec 4th, 2010 1-3pm

Teams of 3 or 4

· -We provide supplies

· -You have 2 hours to complete your house

· -Winning team will receive a PRIZE!

Holiday High Tea

Reservations appreciated, $15 a person

Come sing along to your favorite Christmas Carols and enjoy live music during this special High Tea. Your tea will include a scone, an assortment of sandwiches, a holiday dessert, and the tea of your choice. There’s even going to be peppermint bark! You don’t want to miss this, call to reserve your spot… they are filling fast!

Needing some gift ideas for the tea lover you know?

We have a special gift set for a High Tea here at Chariteas and a 30 min Relaxation Facial from LeMark Spa for only $30! We also have lots of gift sets, tea pots, and loose leaf here at Chariteas, so don’t forget to stop in and shop local.


38687 Proctor Blvd.

Sandy, OR 97055

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