During the Hundred Year War, Pao opened a tea shop in the Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se. Despite Iroh's claims that the tea was not very good, he managed to sustain his business until at least 100 ASC.
Pao hired Zuko and Iroh to work in his tea shop, stimulating significant growth of his business due to Iroh's remarkable talent for brewing tea. Everything went well until Quon, a higher-class citizen, visited his tea shop, after hearing about Iroh's magnificent tea-making skills. When he offered Iroh the opportunity to open his own tea shop and reside in an apartment in the Upper Ring of the city, Pao made every attempt to keep Iroh, including offering numerous job promotions, all to no avail. Excited, Iroh accepted Quon's offer, much to the distress of Pao.