With a vibrantly diverse population comes unique specialty niches. From English tea to Japanese tea ceremonies, Seattle is rich in tea culture. Whether you’re hoping to get dressed up or stay casual, enjoy in-store or purchase in bulk, the Emerald City is steeped in exquisite tea options. Here are a few that won’t steer you wrong.
Starting as the mother-daughter catering company of Cecile and Natasha, Cederberg Tea House was named after the area in which Rooibos tea naturally grows. The South African tea house now has a brick and mortar location with tea and South African treats, including koeksister and malva pudding.
Spreading Tea Leaves for Outdoor Oxidation | Courtesy of Floating Leaves Tea
Carrying oolong, black, green, white, and pu’er teas, Floating Leaves Tea offers limited amounts of high quality tea and teaware. Its staff learns about tea directly from tea farmers by traveling at least once a year to their sources around the world. Passionate about the best teas, they are proud to bring back tea and pertinent information learned from its producers to share with their customers in Seattle and all around the U.S.
Providing a place for the community to gather around tea since 2007, Miro Tea offers a list of almost 200 artisan teas and herbals. Each quality option is available for bulk purchase or to be enjoyed in-store, perhaps with a crepe, sandwich, or pastry. Other than loose leaf tea, Miro presents chais, tea lattes, iced tea, and fusions.
Located in the iconic Pike Place Market, Perennial Tea Room sells their loose-leaf tea both in bulk and to enjoy in-store. Options range from white, green, oolong, and black, to house and herbal blends. Their selection of teaware is impressive, including silly patterns, elegant sets, and everyting in between. Products are available at their location as well as online.
Queen Mary Entrance | Courtesy of Queen Mary Tea Room
Since 1988, Queen Mary Tea Room has been providing traditional English afternoon tea in a Victorian atmosphere. It is the oldest independent tea room in the United States; it’s a place of excellence and elegance alike, where patrons feel “warm and welcomed, not stuffy”. Other than tea, try their breakfast, brunch, and lunch, with gluten-free as well as catering options.
This casual tea house has grown from the Taiwanese culture of oolong tea. Since 1996, the founders have developed their childhood tea traditions with over 50 years of tea education to bring an authentic Taiwanese tea experience outside of Taiwan. Thanks to family connections to top tea farmers in Taiwan, Seattle Best Tea is able to provide high quality products at an affordable price.
Shoseian Tea house | Photo Credit, Aurora Santiago
For a “tea ceremony in a traditional roji garden setting”, venture inside the Seattle Japanese Garden to find the Shoseian Tea house. The presentation costs no more than $10 per person and lasts 40 minutes. During this time, guests are hosted by one of three of Seattle’s tea groups, seated on tatami mats, and introduced to Chado or the Way of Tea.
For those searching for tea in the late hours, look no further than Tea Republik. With loose leaf tea to purchase in bulk or to be brewed by the cup, this favorite on the Ave offers green, chai, and oolong teas, as well as pastries. Their specialties include sweetened fruit and cream tea blends.