A Portal to Success: The Magic of QR Codes and Tea

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Sally Wright Aug 14, 2023
Put simply, QR codes are a major part of everyday life; they allow us to quickly and efficiently access the information we need the moment it’s required. Over the years, QR codes have become a common tool for small and large businesses alike — and the tea industry is no different.  

Enter Tea Chai Té — now Portal Tea — a small tea shop in Portland, Oregon. Despite tea’s ancient roots, a touch of technological wizardry goes a long way.  

A Story Twenty Years in the Making 

The story of Portal Tea begins in 2003 with Dominic and Angela Valdes. After a good deal of planning and hard work, the couple opened their first tea shop in a quaint Victorian house, selling top-tier, hand-blended teas. They quickly made a mark on the scene as the first company to bring boba (bubble) tea to Oregon, going on to win six first-place prizes at the state’s inaugural State Tea Competition. 

“In the years since,” said Ethan Hauck, Portal Tea’s media correspondent, “we’ve expanded to four locations: three shops in Portland (including a tea caboose!), and one in Eugene.” 

Over the next twenty years, the company built a reputation for friendly service; delicious drinks; and safe, welcoming spaces where one can get lost in a project, a good book, or anything in between. But with two decades of experience came a great deal of change — and with it, the need for a rebrand. 

“After twenty years of local love, we’ve opted to rebrand to a name more fitting of our identity — Portal Tea,” Hauck shared. “With the new name comes a host of new offerings, including nitro canned teas, kegs of kombucha and sparkling teas, and more — but we had to spread the word.” 

Following the pandemic, it became clear that technology was the way forward; offering delicious teas might never go out of style, but having a strong online presence can only help businesses, small or large, to grow. 

QR Codes & Tea: Ingenuity Brews Success 

So — why QR codes?  

Portal Tea has used Shopify for years to sell teas to people all over the world; because of this, they needed a seamless, easy-to-manage way to create QR codes and drive marketing efforts. 

The brand’s first true test of this technology, though, came in April of 2023 at the Specialty Coffee Expo. Here, Portal Tea displayed its new identity, showcased prototype packaging and products, and built word of mouth. 

With each product came a simple QR code that enabled Portal Tea to gather contact information from prospective wholesale clients and pique the curiosity of eagle-eyed tea lovers that discovered these codes “in the wild” on specially-created stickers. The results?

“With 215 scans in less than two months and roughly ten minutes of setup, QR Code Generator was an excellent resource for our needs,” explained Hauck. “We were able to quickly and seamlessly update the code’s link to a custom-made landing page for the event, switch it back to our live site when the event ended, and get on with the day. No fuss, no extensive setup, just one and done.”

How Can Your Business Use QR Code Technology

The success that Portal Tea had with QR codes wasn’t unique to them, though — the degree of simplicity they experienced is the foundation of what we offer to every client.

Your business can use this incredibly straightforward technology to extend your reach to anyone with a mobile phone — helping bring your brand to the forefront in mere moments. Today, you’ll find that QR codes are used across countless industries for that exact reason.

As if the power to reach anyone with a cell phone weren’t enough, QR codes offer so much more, including:

● The flexibility and convenience for businesses to easily connect with their audiences
● Incredible diversity in design allows each brand to tailor the look of its code to their own visual identity
● Unlimited creativity; from physical locations to marketing materials and product packaging, QR codes can go just about anywhere you want
● The power to tangibly measure your campaign’s impact by tracking your QR code’s usage


Ultimately, Portal Tea’s creative use of QR codes allowed them to engage with their consumer base in a sleek, modern way

While QR codes can certainly play a role in building curiosity and engagement from your customers, the truth remains that ingenuity is what will drive your greatest successes. Portal Tea’s story simply goes to show how quickly a company’s online presence can change through the proper tools and mindset.

Whether large or small, your business can brew up something equally game-changing in mere minutes — so, see how a quick-and-easy QR code can help build your brand today.
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Sally Wright