- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Steven Smith, a Portland tea entrepreneur who brought three separate companies to prominence, has died at 65.

His current company, Steven Smith Teamaker, announced his death Monday, saying it was a result of complications from cancer.

Smith’s previous companies were Stash Tea, eventually sold to a Japanese company, and Tazo Tea, which was sold to Starbucks.

The Oregonian reports (https://bit.ly/18UOHBB) Smith specialized in high-end specialty blends that redefined tea in a fashion resembling developments in Northwest coffee, beer and wine.

His Stash partner, Steve Lee, considered Smith a top taster, able to distinguish teas by region and plantation.

Smith traveled widely for tasting and to encourage organic, sustainable production.

Smith Teamaker said it would continue, including a southeast Portland expansion, under his wife and company co-founder Kim Smith.

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Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com


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