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A Guide to Tea in Seattle

Guest blogger Amie Simon takes us on a tour of the best tea in Seattle, in settings and forms both traditional and modern. She lists a dozen favourite tea rooms and teahouses and takes a closer look at six of them, with a recommended sip from each.

There is nothing nicer than pouring a hot cup of Earl Grey at home, but Seattle has plenty of teahouses you can relax and sip in when you need a break from binge-watching episodes of Downton Abbey or Sherlock. Here is a guide to Seattle tea rooms where you can enjoy a cup, a pot — even treat yourself to full tea service.

Hotel Sorrento Fireside Room
900 Madison St, on First Hill
http://hotelsorrento.com/menu/afternoon-tea

Hotel Sorrento Fireside Room

The cozy Fireside Room at the Hotel Sorrento features an Afternoon Tea service every Sunday. The room’s lush vintage setting is the perfect place to enjoy a pot of tea (including herbal blends and tisanes) along with a spread that includes lox & watercress with herb cream cheese sandwiches, cherry-ginger scones with Devonshire cream, orange & pistachio thumbprint cookies, macaroons, and more! You can even add a glass of sparkling wine or an English-inspired cocktail if you feel like celebrating.

Recommended sips: For tea I’d choose Seattle's own, MarketSpice's signature Cinnamon-Orange blend (Black tea, cinnamon and orange flavoring and spices)—and for a cocktail, the Pimm’s Cup sounds like the ideal afternoon beverage (Pimm’s #1 with muddled lemon, orange, cucumber & mint, topped with lemon-lime soda).

Remedy Teas
345 15th Ave E, on Capitol Hill
http://remedyteas.com/

In addition to carrying over 150 organic teas for you to enjoy, Remedy Teas on Capitol Hill has tea lattes and tea smoothies, as well as a full menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and more. You can also choose one of their “hi-tea trios” (two options: service for 1-2 people or 2-4 people) with your choice of tea and tea sandwiches plus chocolate confections, cookies, sliced fruits, and baked goods with butter and jam. Remedy even has a kids’ tea service with peanut butter & jelly sandwich squares! Cute.

Recommended sips: When I need to feel Zen, I order up some of their Twilight tea (organic passionflower, lemonbalm, lemongrass, green rooibos, spearmint, and lavender), but their Antiox Berry smoothie (organic berry rooibos tea, organic soy milk, organic banana, and mixed berries) is REALLY GOOD, too.

The Queen Mary Tea Room
2912 NE 55th St, in Ravenna
http://www.queenmarytea.com/

The Queen Mary Tea Room

You can order individual cups of tea at The Queen Mary Tea Room in Ravenna, but if you feel like being treated to a full service, try their traditional Afternoon Tea. It’s served anytime and includes a pot of tea (your choice!). You’ll enjoy a delectable variety of small bites served on pretty tiered stands, like smoked salmon mousse & English cucumber finger sandwiches, cranberry-orange scones with butter & jam, English crumpets, shortbread, and chocolate cookies.

Recommended sips: The Queen’s Royal Afternoon tea is quite nice (a blend of Assam, Ceylon, Yunnan, black & green teas, with orange peel, vanilla bean, rose, safflower, and marigold petals), and so is the Chamomile Citrus Mint Rooibos (hibiscus, chamomile, rosehip, mint, orange blossom, lemon grass & citrus peel).

Teahouse Kuan Yin
1911 N 45th St, in Wallingford
http://www.teahousekuanyin.com/

Teahouse Kuan Yin specializes in high quality teas from around the world. You can find black teas from China, Taiwan, India & Sri Lanka, as well as green teas from China and Japan. If you want something to nibble on with your pot o’ tea, they also serve savory snacks like samosas and delish pastries and other desserts. Bonus: They stay open until 10pm and it has a nice, quiet and relaxed atmosphere.

Recommended sips: I’m partial to the Solstice Spice (Assam & Golden Monkey tea blended with citrus peel and spices), but if you’ve never been, the first thing you have to try is their super-creamy Pink Chai (green tea, almonds, and spices).

Miro Tea
5405 Ballard Ave NW, in Ballard
http://mirotea.com/

Miro Tea

Located on picturesque Ballard Ave, Miro Tea features a binder full of loose-leaf teas. They always have a line of teapots bubbling with samples on the bar, and if you’re not sure what you want the staff will help you find it. Hungry? They also have a lot of menu options, including some killer crepes. Cozy up inside when it’s cold out or hit the patio and soak up some sun when the weather warms up. They have a variety of iced tea fusions available, too.

Recommended sips: When it’s cold and grey, I’m partial to a pot of their Coconut Vanilla Black with cream. When the sun comes out, I usually grab a Strawberry Supernova (iced green tea muddled with strawberries & passion fruit syrup).

Tea Republik
two locations:
4527 University Way NE, in the University District
http://www.yelp.com/biz/tea-republik-seattle

202 Broadway E, on Capitol Hill
http://www.yelp.com/biz/tea-republik-seattle-2

Tea Republik serves up your hot tea in a brightly colored personal tea pot, complete with matching tea bag caddie. Their robust menu contains a variety of spins on traditional tea flavors and the creative staff whips up daily specials you won’t want to pass up. Regulars even have knowledge of a “secret tea menu” — although I can’t imagine how much more inventive you could get than Chocolate Chimp Chai.

Recommended sips: The Lavender Cream Earl Grey (lavender herbal tea blended with Earl Grey black tea & sweetened with soy or cream) gets rave reviews for good reason; it’s amazing. Iced Tropical Rainforest (fruity iced lemon tea with lemon, key lime, passion fruit, and apple slices) is really nice in spring and summer, too.

A half dozen more great places to find tea in Seattle: Floating Leaves Tea in Ballard who offer the very best and most difficult to acquire Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese tea, the historic and fascinating Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House in the International District, the charming Perennial Tea Room on the picturesque Post Alley in Pike Place Market, the sweet and knowledgeable steampunks at B. Fuller’s Mortar & Pestle in Fremont, the friendly and passionate Zen Dog Studio & Tea House Gallery in Loyal Heights, and Vital Tea Leaf Downtown, who also host workshops and pu-erh focus groups for experienced tea lovers.

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The Crumpet Shop has been in The Pike Place Market for 39 1/2. We serve Organic Tea which is blended by the owners. We sell loose tea in 4oz & 8oz bags. We also brew tea to serve in the shop. Please consider us for the list.

Elizabeth and Alexander's Tea in Bothell - Country Village. Been a tradition with my friend and daughters for years!

This is a great list for sit down tea shops but what is missing are the two best teahouses in or around Seattle. First is Floating Leaves Tea, a Taiwanese tea shop in Ballard on Market & 17th. Quite literally the best tea in Seattle but may not be for everyone as the owner Shiuwen focuses on primarily excellent Taiwanese oolong tea with some good Japanese and Chinese teas. The second is Phoenix Tea in Burien on 152nd east of Ambaum. A great shop with an awesome selection of teas from around the world. Like Floating Leaves is the best teahouse in Seattle, Phoenix Tea is the best outside of Seattle. There are also many others but these are my top two.

It looks like someone beat you to this post by about two years: http://seattle.eater.com/maps/heres-a-map-of-9-of-seattles-best-teahouses

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