TEA DRINKERS, rejoice! Portland may be a coffee town, but more and more Mainers are getting into the tea business: importing, blending and selling it at cafes, by mail order and in retail outlets around the state. Also, if you feel left out with all this coffee talk, know that worldwide you’re actually in the majority. Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. Water has the No. 1 spot.
• BAXTER TEA CO.: (and coffee too): Owner Cassandra D’Alfonso handles online and mail orders via baxtertea.com; no plans for a retail shop for the Hallowell-based home business. She specializes in fundraisers. 215-3334.
• DOBRÁ TEA: Open three-plus years and serving more than 100 varieties of loose leaf teas, as well as light snacks and desserts with regular live performances of world music. Owners Ellen Kanner and Ray Marcotte are planning tea classes. Check dobrateame.com for updates. Located at 151 Middle St., Portland. Hours: Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 210-6566
• LITTE RED CUP TEA CO.: This small importer of Chinese tea is based in Brunswick but sells its eight varieties of black, green, oolong and white teas at 14 outlets and 11 cafés and restaurants throughout the state. Order online at littleredcuptea.com. 200-5728
• SELAH TEA CAFÉ: The Waterville tea café offers 40 varieties of teas, including a few blended by owners Bobby and Rachel McGee, either served via French press in the shop or packed in 2-ounce portions to go. They also serve bubble tea, soups, salads and other snacks. Located at 177 Main St., Waterville. Hours: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday to Saturday. Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 660-9181
• SOAKOLOGY: The teahouse aspect of this 10-year-old Portland business gets less notice than the foot sanctuary (massage, treatments and, yes, soaking) but there are 70 varieties of tea on offer, all served in elegant pots. Located at 30 City Center, Portland. Hours: Monday to Wednesday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 879-7625
• TEA MAINEIA: Open since October, Dan and Debbie Holmes’ Winterport café and retail shop offers 47 blends of loose leaf teas, 10 of them blended by the couple and two more by a wholesaler specifically for Tea Maineia. Order online at teamaineia.com or visit the cafe at 115 Main St., Winterport. Hours: Tuesday to Friday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 223-5133
• TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT: The Stonington online and mail order company (tempestinateapot.myshopify.com) has been in business two years, driven by two energetic women, Sarah Burrin and Jennifer Larrabee, who call themselves the “tea ladies.” They sell 14 varieties of teas, most of which incorporate some local fruit or herb and are hand blended in Stonington. This spring, Burrin and Larrabee opened the Tea Nook at 43 School St. in Stonington, serving salads, snacks and tea. Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday to Saturday. 367-2800