written by Lauren Sharp
The product of a mother daughter partnership, Aesthete is a brand defined by the appreciation of art, nature and beauty with the goal of bringing people together through carefully crafted herbal teas. Owner Briana Thornton and their mother, herbalist Maggie Cassidy, have formed a collaboration that keeps the traditions of folk healing alive in southwest Portland and beyond.
The inspiration for Aesthete, a loose-leaf tea purveyor and teahouse, is deep in Thorton’s roots. Growing up, their mother Maggie was constantly mixing her own herbal teas as part of her own studies in herbalism and natural healing. Thorton gained a new appreciation for her mother’s teas while working at a faced-paced advertising agency. Their mother often sent care packages with custom blends offering a range of physical and mental health benefits. Thornton’s friends and colleagues quickly noticed her unusual, aromatic teas and urged them to go into business.
Buoyed by mounting support, Thornton founded Aesthete in 2017, first with local distribution in the Pacific Northwest then quickly expanding throughout North America and internationally. All of Thorton’s blends are proprietary, and are entirely crafted by Cassidy. Favorites include Witches Brew, a melange of organic roasted dandelion root, burdock root and chicory for a smoky flavor intended to aid digestion, detoxification and stress relief. The Mint + Coco, a blend of Yunnan black tea, peppermint, coconut flakes and cacao, is reminiscent of a peppermint hot cocoa, blended to support digestion and be mood-lifting, among other benefits.
Thornton cares deeply about developing relationships with ethically sourced suppliers and the social impact of the business on the local and global community. As much as possible, Thorton looks to source as close to the Pacific Northwest to reduce their carbon footprint.
The most recent expansion of the brand came with the opening of the Aesthete Teahouse, in southwest’s Multnomah Village neighborhood in early fall 2021. Along with several hot tea offerings, Thornton is cultivating a community space, including Sunday afternoon yoga sessions. They’re elated about expanding into healing offerings, such as community sound bath sessions and herbalism workshops at an accessible price.
Whether you are a tea connoisseur, or looking for a little more peace in your life, Aesthete has something to offer. Their loose leaf teas are available online or at natural foods retailers.
3530 SW MULTNOMAH BLVD.