Ice cream shop serves up cold version of herbal sensations

PORTLAND, Ore. - The way Salt and Straw sees it, what works in a tea cup can easily be served in a cone.

The popular local ice cream chain is drawing on Portland's tea craze by offering flavors of the herbal kind, like chamomile, chai, kombucha and ginger. The new tea flavors will be offered at Salt and Straw through the end of next month.

To create the creamy concoctions, ice cream designer Tyler Malek teamed with three area tea makers, Steven Smith Teamaker, Dragonfly Chai and Townshend's Tea.

Malek said the herbal flavors easily be served up cold.

"In my opinion coming from a flavor mixologist perspective, they're really putting together some amazing spices and working with phenomenal ingredients," Malek said.

So with ingredients like lotus seed and brown rice, how is the ice cream shop going to sell that to customers who prefer the standard chocolate?

"It's really taking the opportunity to try five different things we've never tried before," Malek said. "So I suppose every menu is a risk."

Salt and Straw has two Portland locations: 2035 N.E. Alberta St. in Northeast Portland and 838 N.W. 23rd Ave. in Northwest Portland.