“Tea is the second drunk beverage in the world, next to water,” points out Anne Johnson, of Beaverton’s two-year-old tea emporium. The Kenyan-born proprietor of Mamancy Tea is hoping to bring the same connections around tea that she grew up with.
Admittedly, she’s battling Portlanders’ “strong affiliation with coffee,” but for Johnson, tea can be a more personal beverage. “Tea becomes about you, “ she says. “The connection that tea creates removes any unfamiliarity.”
Johnson doubled down on her cultural connection with tea at a tea sommelier school in San Francisco, where she learned about individual blends, a knowledge she brought to her Beaverton store.
Opening during a pandemic was challenging—construction on the new space finished in March 2020—but Johnson has been steadily building a clientele nonetheless, while also offering her teas, as well as chocolate and honey, for sale online.
“The whole idea of stranger around tea does not exist,” she points out. “It’s that traditional connection that just removes anything that is foreign or different. It’s a very deep-rooted thing.”