89 Exchange Street • Portland, ME 04101
207-210-6566 • dobrateame.com
Lifelong tea drinkers Ellen Kanner and Ray Marcotte were looking for career changes when they took a “huge leap of faith” to open Dobrá Tea of Portland in 2011. The married couple had made frequent visits to Dobrá’s first U.S. location in Burlington, Vermont. They were impressed with the company’s Bohemian-style tearooms and its commitment to quality and freshness of product, as well as sustainable farming practices.
The tearoom is a perfect fit for the historic Old Port neighborhood, close to cobblestone streets but away from the noisy nightlife. Customers feel as if they have entered a different world, with soft music and spicy aromas that engender an atmosphere “somewhere between a pub and a church,” says Ray. “It’s a place to be social with friends or a place to be quiet and introspective.”
Ellen and Ray wanted to create a community gathering spot, and they’ve done just that. The works of area artists and craftsmen are on display, and a local Middle Eastern ensemble performs every third Saturday evening. Dobrá draws an eclectic clientele, from mothers with young children to businessmen—and everyone in between.
But it’s the tea that’s at the heart of this place, and Ellen and Ray strive to share their extensive knowledge. Explains Ray, “We want to educate our customers that there is an incredible world of loose-leaf artisan tea to experience.”
Karen Callaway is a former magazine editor who writes on a variety of topics from her home in Birmingham, Alabama.
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