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Friday Afternoon, in Wallingford, features geeky tea blends, like those inspired by Pride and Prejudice characters or video game culture.
Rich Lilly

Drift Away at Seattle's Top Tea Shops

Find places to sit and sip rich Japanese green tea, funky aged pu’erh, roasty oolong, and geeky or medicinal herbal blends

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Friday Afternoon, in Wallingford, features geeky tea blends, like those inspired by Pride and Prejudice characters or video game culture.
| Photo by Rich Lilly

Made from the Camellia sinensis family of plants, true tea has caffeine and comes in a half-dozen varieties that have been processed in different ways: black, oolong, white, green, yellow, and pu’erh. Shops featuring herbal tisanes — made from other plants, like chamomile, rooibos, and spearmint —and various flavored and blended teas are lumped in here, too. Places focused primarily on bubble tea are excluded, as are tea retail shops where customers can’t purchase a cup or pot of tea.

This map also includes contributions from Brenna Ciummo.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Zen Dog Studio

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2015 NW 85th St
Seattle, WA 98117
(206) 784-8289
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This Crown Hill hybrid of tea house and art gallery serves more than just a much-needed cup of oolong. Zen Dog, the owner, curator, and tea master, runs the show, where customers can rent out the gallery for private tea tastings and dig into some epic views of the Olympics.

2. Coyle's Bakeshop

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8300 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 257-4736
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This modern bakery's concise tea selection and proper preparation are the perfect match for huge front windows and exquisite pastries, like delicate chiffon cakes, cream scones, and crunchy twice-baked hazelnut croissants. The shop also hosts infrequent but popular ticketed afternoon tea events, which it describes as "part classic high tea, part pastry chef’s tasting menu," featuring copious savory treats and sweets along with tea pairings and even an option to add sparkling wine.

3. Miro Tea

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5405 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 782-6832
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This minimalist Ballard cafe is Seattle’s top tea shop, serious about tea education and quality but simultaneously casual enough for anyone whose main interest is sipping a breakfast blend while getting some work done. Miro boasts more than 200 teas and unique specialty drinks, utilizes proper brewing techniques, offers free Wi-Fi and outdoor seating, serves tasty crepes and guest pastries, and welcomes guests to resteep to their heart's content. It’s almost too good a deal — the place is always hopping, so it can be hard to find a seat.

4. Friday Afternoon

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4228 Stone Way N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 420-2798
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An online shop that added a retail location in Wallingford, Friday Afternoon serves a wide variety of true tea, herbal blends with a medicinal focus, and geeky mixes based on films, games, and literature, like Mrs. Bennett’s Nerve Tonic, inspired by Pride and Prejudice and combatting frazzled nerves with chamomile and sage. The shop is relatively small, with just a few tables for sitting with a personal French press filled with hot tea, but supremely welcoming. The walls are lined with a rotating selection of local art, and the owner, Friday Elliott, hosts frequent gatherings, from blending workshops to queer nerd-friendly theme parties.

5. Tea Republik

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4527 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 497-7631
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Open later than most tea shops, especially on weekends, this U District hangout is popular with students in particular, as it’s a perfect alternative to the club or bar. As with any teahouse worth its salt, Tea Republik has jars upon jars of loose-leaf teas to choose from. There are also fruit or cream tea blends, including highlights like the Chocolate Chimp Chai or Lavender Cream Earl Grey.

6. Queen Mary Tea Room

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2912 NE 55th St
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 527-2770
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This small Ravenna shop is the primary place in Seattle to get traditional English tea service, with an astounding number of treats and a glittering bowl of colored sugar accompanying high tea. The interior is decked out in full Victorian splendor, flaunting plenty of frills and flowers; even the shrubs surrounding the entry are neatly manicured. It’s all very majestic, but anyone who truly wants to feel like a queen for the day should ask for a tiara to wear during their visit.

7. Perennial Tea Room

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1910 Post Aly
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 448-4054
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This little brick store, tucked away from Pike Place Market’s bustle in Post Alley, has an old-timey British feel, and the hard-to-find imported British snacks to match. Customers can sample a few teas while they peruse the huge selection of leaves by the ounce. Once they find a flavor they like, they can buy a cuppa, grab a seat at one of the few tables, and watch the world go by.

8. Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee

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607 S Main St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 515-4000
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This historic hotel, designated as a National Treasure, is still operational, and its cafe is a lovely place for tea. If diners want to linger in the mismatched cushioned chairs, they can resteep a pot of Japanese green tea for hours, or buy a shot of whiskey to add to a roasty oolong. The shop’s vintage photographs and unclaimed personal belongings — from Japanese-American residents forced into camps during World War II — are also a devastating reminder of what results when xenophobia and racism go unchecked.

9. Seattle Best Tea

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506 S King St Seattle, WA 98104
Seattle, WA
(206) 749-9855
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This International District teahouse is steeped in the culture of Taiwan. Owners Joe Hsu and Lydia Lin bring a spirit of tranquility, beauty, and well-being to their shop even as they continue to acquire and build knowledge of oolong and other tea varietals; they also serve flavored bubble tea for a sweet treat. This is one of the friendliest places in the city to learn about leaves, though it’s a little bit of a tight fit for diners who want to stay put for a while.

10. Phoenix Tea

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447 SW 152nd St, Burien, WA 98166
Burien, WA 98166
(206) 495-7330
Visit Website

Burien’s gem of a teahouse is everything that Burien itself is: charming, off the beaten path, and generally underestimated. Phoenix Tea’s international selection and tea-related demonstrations and classes are truly worth traveling for. While the shop does carry non-tea infusions and blends, most of Phoenix Tea’s offerings are traditional, single-origin specimens.

1. Zen Dog Studio

2015 NW 85th St, Seattle, WA 98117

This Crown Hill hybrid of tea house and art gallery serves more than just a much-needed cup of oolong. Zen Dog, the owner, curator, and tea master, runs the show, where customers can rent out the gallery for private tea tastings and dig into some epic views of the Olympics.

2015 NW 85th St
Seattle, WA 98117

2. Coyle's Bakeshop

8300 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

This modern bakery's concise tea selection and proper preparation are the perfect match for huge front windows and exquisite pastries, like delicate chiffon cakes, cream scones, and crunchy twice-baked hazelnut croissants. The shop also hosts infrequent but popular ticketed afternoon tea events, which it describes as "part classic high tea, part pastry chef’s tasting menu," featuring copious savory treats and sweets along with tea pairings and even an option to add sparkling wine.

8300 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

3. Miro Tea

5405 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

This minimalist Ballard cafe is Seattle’s top tea shop, serious about tea education and quality but simultaneously casual enough for anyone whose main interest is sipping a breakfast blend while getting some work done. Miro boasts more than 200 teas and unique specialty drinks, utilizes proper brewing techniques, offers free Wi-Fi and outdoor seating, serves tasty crepes and guest pastries, and welcomes guests to resteep to their heart's content. It’s almost too good a deal — the place is always hopping, so it can be hard to find a seat.

5405 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

4. Friday Afternoon

4228 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA 98103

An online shop that added a retail location in Wallingford, Friday Afternoon serves a wide variety of true tea, herbal blends with a medicinal focus, and geeky mixes based on films, games, and literature, like Mrs. Bennett’s Nerve Tonic, inspired by Pride and Prejudice and combatting frazzled nerves with chamomile and sage. The shop is relatively small, with just a few tables for sitting with a personal French press filled with hot tea, but supremely welcoming. The walls are lined with a rotating selection of local art, and the owner, Friday Elliott, hosts frequent gatherings, from blending workshops to queer nerd-friendly theme parties.

4228 Stone Way N
Seattle, WA 98103

5. Tea Republik

4527 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Open later than most tea shops, especially on weekends, this U District hangout is popular with students in particular, as it’s a perfect alternative to the club or bar. As with any teahouse worth its salt, Tea Republik has jars upon jars of loose-leaf teas to choose from. There are also fruit or cream tea blends, including highlights like the Chocolate Chimp Chai or Lavender Cream Earl Grey.

4527 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

6. Queen Mary Tea Room

2912 NE 55th St, Seattle, WA 98105

This small Ravenna shop is the primary place in Seattle to get traditional English tea service, with an astounding number of treats and a glittering bowl of colored sugar accompanying high tea. The interior is decked out in full Victorian splendor, flaunting plenty of frills and flowers; even the shrubs surrounding the entry are neatly manicured. It’s all very majestic, but anyone who truly wants to feel like a queen for the day should ask for a tiara to wear during their visit.

2912 NE 55th St
Seattle, WA 98105

7. Perennial Tea Room

1910 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

This little brick store, tucked away from Pike Place Market’s bustle in Post Alley, has an old-timey British feel, and the hard-to-find imported British snacks to match. Customers can sample a few teas while they peruse the huge selection of leaves by the ounce. Once they find a flavor they like, they can buy a cuppa, grab a seat at one of the few tables, and watch the world go by.

1910 Post Aly
Seattle, WA 98101

8. Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee

607 S Main St, Seattle, WA 98104

This historic hotel, designated as a National Treasure, is still operational, and its cafe is a lovely place for tea. If diners want to linger in the mismatched cushioned chairs, they can resteep a pot of Japanese green tea for hours, or buy a shot of whiskey to add to a roasty oolong. The shop’s vintage photographs and unclaimed personal belongings — from Japanese-American residents forced into camps during World War II — are also a devastating reminder of what results when xenophobia and racism go unchecked.

607 S Main St
Seattle, WA 98104

9. Seattle Best Tea

506 S King St Seattle, WA 98104, Seattle, WA

This International District teahouse is steeped in the culture of Taiwan. Owners Joe Hsu and Lydia Lin bring a spirit of tranquility, beauty, and well-being to their shop even as they continue to acquire and build knowledge of oolong and other tea varietals; they also serve flavored bubble tea for a sweet treat. This is one of the friendliest places in the city to learn about leaves, though it’s a little bit of a tight fit for diners who want to stay put for a while.

506 S King St Seattle, WA 98104
Seattle, WA

10. Phoenix Tea

447 SW 152nd St, Burien, WA 98166, Burien, WA 98166

Burien’s gem of a teahouse is everything that Burien itself is: charming, off the beaten path, and generally underestimated. Phoenix Tea’s international selection and tea-related demonstrations and classes are truly worth traveling for. While the shop does carry non-tea infusions and blends, most of Phoenix Tea’s offerings are traditional, single-origin specimens.

447 SW 152nd St, Burien, WA 98166
Burien, WA 98166

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