Teahouse Kuan Yin
Nestled unassumingly on Wallingford’s busy Market Street, Kuan-Yin is about as relaxed a tea room as you are likely to find. The furniture is just the right amount of worn. A bookcase provides books on architecture, travel, and classic cinema. The tea is a deep, diverse mix of traditional teas from around the world, including puerh, oolong, and black and green teas from India, China, and Japan. Just far enough away from the university to keep the more frantic younger crowd out but close enough to attract a clientele with plenty of character.
Give a try: Darjeeling Risheehat Estate - Second Flush
Stepping into Remedy, you might think you’ve mistakenly wandered into a Group Health research lab. The walls are lined with test tubes and the counter is backed by over a hundred large numbered cylinders. This is tea science at its most precise. Beyond the space age appearance, the atmosphere is very inviting and the staff is happy to wax poetic on the merits of any of their 150+ teas. Remedy has plenty of old classics plus dozens of fresh, inventive blends like “Fire and Ice,” all served in aerodynamic, clear tea pots and cups.
Give a try: “Blue Hawaii,” a blend of white tea, coconut, vanilla, and blue cornflowers
Where: Capitol Hill
A cozy yet sleek shop on Ballard Avenue, Miro Tea is the perfect place to steal away on those drizzly Sunday afternoons that bring you to Ballard for a misty stroll. For those who brave the elements, Miro will reward you with an abundance of loose teas, some classic and some as funky as their corner of the city. Looking for a little more? Their baked goods and crepes are just right for a “not quite hungry enough for potatoes and 6-egg omelet” mornings. Try the “London Fog” while you’re there: a rich milky tea infusion with just enough sweetness.
Give a try: "London Fog," a rich milky tea infusion with just enough sweetness.
The Queen Anne old guard may pine for the nook-of-a-shop only steps up the main drag, but the larger cafe on the corner of Queen Anne Avenue and Boston streets creates the perfect counterpart to the coffee corner. Tea Cup has everything you could want at the top of the hill: plain yet perfect pastries, free wi-fi, quiet tables, and a fire place. This standby for your tea staples will keep your home collection stocked for reasonable prices compared to their trendier competitors. So grab a book, scope a window seat, and enjoy one of their many loose-leaf brews. They even have homemade tea cozies to keep your pot warm.
Give a try: Phoenix Green Dragon Pearl
Where: Queen Anne
You know how they say the best way to find great Italian food is find where your local Italians get their fix? Tea is not so simple (China, India, Japan alone represent almost half the world’s population), but a devoted Taiwanese -style tea house that is frequented Taiwanese-Americans at all hours of the day? Probably doing something right. It’s right in the center of the youngest parts of the Hill and U-District, so you’ll liable to find a lot of patrons here solely for the bubble tea and sugary fruit drinks, but do not be deceived--the small-batch Taiwanese oolongs are rich, complex and unbeatable.
Give a try: Iron Goddess of Mercy
Where: Capitol Hill, U-District
Village Eatery and Tea Company
The cups don’t match, but don’t let the details distract you from a refined experience at the Village Eatery and Tea Company. Tea-sized pastries with jams, finger sandwiches, and other delights will accompany your favorite traditional brews. They even have a "high tea" which is as much about the ritual as it is about the layers of treats you’ll receive. So step into a different time, take in a pot, and remember the empire.
Give a try: "Mug, Bread N’ Jam," a mug of Village House Tea with homemade bread