My new friend, Terri, decided to surprise me with an invite to head out with her and a friend to the Chinese Garden in Portland OR. I love surprise outings.
Because I’m a hermit and don’t do well with other people at times, I thought about not going. Then I also thought about my recent goals to meet more people and to try new things. So I went.
I have to say it was a glorious trip. Not only was the day beautiful, but the garden was really nice as well. It was quite a shocker to me that this little oasis existed in the middle of a bustling city, surrounded by tall office and apartment buildings. I took tons of pictures and got to know my new friends better over the beautiful landscape as well as a good few hours in the tea house.
I almost tried to convince them not to go in the tea house since I stopped drinking tea for the last few years due to caffeine inducing my killer migraines, but they wanted to go and I gave in.
I’m such a sucker for a pretty face.
I am really glad I went though. I thought I would be just sipping ice water until I found the selection of herbal teas. It’s almost like I forgot that herbal teas existed! How silly is that.
I went with hibiscus tea, Terri had tea flowers (as in the flowers that bloom on the tea plant) and her friend Kelly had black ginger peach tea. I didn’t try their teas but I was in heaven with the hibiscus. It was nice and strong, tangy and almost citrusy. Plus it was a beautiful red color. I love strong flavored teas.
We also ordered some snacks go to with them, some vegetable dumplings as well as a red bean cake.
Red bean cake? Really? To the uninformed, silly, sheltered American this sounded really odd and not too tasty.
I was proven wrong, yet again. If you’ve never had it, try it. It’s sweet, rich and almost has undertones of a fruity chocolate. It was baked in a really beautiful pastry crust and was really moist and delicious. It went beautifully with my dark red hibiscus tea.
The dumplings were pretty awesome also. I’m not really sure what was in them but they were pretty tasty.
We each got our own little teapots and little (and I mean LITTLE) cups for our teas, which I found just charming.
All in all it was a great day, meeting a new friend and growing closer to my other friend, plus the “reintroduction” to tea for me.
I highly suggest going there if you are in the area or plan to visit. It’s small but a wonderful experience. And don’t miss out on the tea house, it is quite lovely.