Before last year’s Portland International Film Festival, Film Center staff members were given the opportunity to visit Smith Teaworks and, working with a variety of ingredients, create their own blend of tea. Participants concocted blends ranging from black and green teas to herbal infusions, before conducting a blind taste test to find the one they liked best. “In regards to the particular tea that was chosen, I offered very little guidance,” said Smith. “I tasted and commented on each of the blends, but they pretty much had free rein.” The winning blend, created by School of Film Education Program Assistant Miles Sprietsma, was then scaled into a larger batch by Smith for a 50-box series.
“I really enjoy drinking tea so I was eager to try my hand at making my own blend,” said Sprietsma. “I just smelled and tasted all the ingredients and chose things that I thought would fit in the same palette of flavors. It’s definitely exciting that mine was the one chosen to be the official tea of PIFF.”
“Red Carpet,” like the other specialty teas in Smith’s line, is a blend of rare ingredients found around the world: African rooibos and honeybush, Indian sarsaparilla, Guatemalan cardamom, European linden flower, and Egyptian chamomile and cornflowers. The tea is $15 per box and will be available for purchase throughout the Festival at the Advance Ticket Outlet and at the Whitsell Auditorium before screenings. Proceeds benefit the Film Center School of Film.
“It is a great blend: international film and tea that we are able to provide to Festival goers. Thanks to Steven Smith for this creative partnership,” said Bill Foster, Director of the Northwest Film Center.
WHERE TO PURCHASE:
Advance Ticket Outlet: Mark Building, Portland Art Museum, 1119 SW Park Avenue
Whitsell Auditorium before PIFF screenings: 1219 SW Park Avenue