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About Us

Ray picking tea with Mr. Choi of Bohyang Tea Farm in Korea
Ray picking tea with Mr. Choi of Bohyang Tea Farm, May 2014, Bohyang, Korea

The Portland tearoom came to be after many visits to the first US model in Burlington, VT.  Portland tearoom owners Ray Marcotte and Ellen Kanner were very intrigued and thought, “Why aren’t there more of these great tearooms, and how can we open our own?” Lifelong tea drinkers, world travelers and health-conscious individuals, they were delighted to find such high quality teas served in a unique setting using traditional teaware and brewing techniques.

With an interest in returning to Maine and offering a unique avenue to discover tea, they aimed to build a community space for sharing tea, art, conversation and music, while providing knowledge about this little understood beverage while supporting the farmers and producers of these beautifully-crafted leaves, along with supporting local Maine businesses, farmers and suppliers .

In the Spring of 2010, connections were made with the Dobrá Tea founders in Prague, CZ, Jirka Simsa and Ales Jurina, and the process began, opening the 4th tearoom in the United States at 151 Middle Street on April 1, 2011. In the Fall of 2014, the tearoom was relocated  to its current location, 89 Exchange Street.

Learn more about Dobrá Tea tearooms around the world!

You can read about our journeys for tea:

Yamacha garden
Ellen in high-mountain Yamacha tea garden, May 2014, Japan

How Dobrá Selects Tea

Dobrá Tea carefully selects and imports teas of superb quality that are organically grown. These delicate, loose-leaf teas, which stand out above all for their freshness and distinctive character, are selected directly in the locations where they are produced. As the direct importer, the Company of Tea-Devoteas is devoted to providing teas of consistent quality and grade, which are meticulously selected from the myriad samples dispatched to it by the growers immediately after harvest. Personal contacts made during annual trips to India, China, Japan, Turkey, Nepal, Africa, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan guarantee the unrivaled quality of Dobra’s Tea selection.

Proud to offer many items from local vendors.

The Beginnings of Dobrá Tea

The seeds of Dobrá Tea began in Prague during the last few years of Communism when a group of young tea lovers began meeting to sample rare Indian, Chinese, and Japanese teas smuggled into then Czechoslovakia.  Because of a shortage of foreign currency, high quality teas were available exclusively to the Party, State, and Military elite. Then came the “Velvet Revolution” and the fall of Communism in 1989.  In 1992, the “Society of Tea Devotees” was formed, and the following year the first Bohemian-style tearoom, Dobrá Čajovna, opened in Prague.  Although most people were initially skeptical about the chances of the tearoom’s success in a country known for drinking beer, 19 more tearooms were opened across the Czech Republic in the following decade. The first U.S. Dobrá Tea partnership began in 2003 in Burlington, VT. All of the Dobrá tearooms are individually created, locally owned and owner-operated. Dobrá means “Good” in Czech.