Six months pregnant and dealing with the challenges of COVID-19, Bend Community rallies around Metolius Tea

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Photo by Sarah Lightley

Metolius Tea is a company that is locally grown in Bend, Oregon. The Owner, Amy Stahl, started out with the study of plant medicine.  “teas that might cure headaches or ease stomach cramps.”

But she soon realized that tea needs to taste good.

“I quickly realized the teas needed one more important quality to be effective: they should taste good,” said Stahl. “That’s when I flipped my vision: I made teas that taste amazing, leaving the medicinal qualities of my blends as the underlying architecture.” 

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Stahl makes many different types of tea, with ingredients from small production farms. 

“We have been developing farm-direct relationships and designing beautiful teas ever since,” said Stahl. 

When asked about the types of tea she has created, Stahl said. “At Metolius Tea, we make loose leaf tea, liquid chai concentrate, matcha, artisanal syrups, and we are launching an oatmeal line soon.”

Photo by Tess Freeman, Brooke Gates brewing Metolius Chai

There are 16 loose leaf teas to choose from, and you can find and order them along with the other types of tea on Metolius Tea’s website. 

Stahl said, “If you are local, select “factory pick-up” in the shipping section. You can also buy our teas at most grocery stores and coffee shops in Bend.” 

Metolius Tea was not always called Metolius Tea.

“My first company name was “Lovely Goat Plant Medicine.” When I approached Tetherow Resort about serving my tea in their restaurant, the owner Chris van der Velde communicated to me in a series of Dutch swear words that I had better change the name if I want my tea at Tetherow,” said Stahl. “So I came up with a new name.”

Amy Stahl would drive to Sisters to deliver her tea to Sisters Coffee Company and Angeline’s Bakery. Stahl would keep driving to the Metolius River to jog, make wishes, and catalog medicinal plants along the river.  

“While I did just change the name so Chris would buy my tea, Metolius has come, like a river, to represent both where we came from and where we are going,” said Stahl. 

“We have stayed “plant-forward,” true to our organic roots, we have grown into a company with viable goals to enrich our world with our work and through our products.”

Metolius Tea was hit hard by COVID-19 but has made it through because of the community. 

“The Bend community has believed in us…when COVID hit, we were 90%wholesale facing, and we thought the business would fold. Laying off my entire team, who were close friends, was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The Bend community rallied for us and bought tea…in quantities, I could have never anticipated,” said Stahl.

“I was six months pregnant, working alone in the shop, and people would come in to buy a jar of tea and leave a $100 tip. We thought we were going to close, and you saved us. Thank you,” said Amy Stahl. 

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