Floating Leaves Tea
- you simply must
go to... Allocate at least a hour or more to sit and drink/talk tea with Shiuwen. Bring your list of questions about Taiwanese oolong.
Internation District (chinatown):
- New Centry Tea Gallery - IMO the best place in seattle for chinese teas. Make sure you sample their Shui Xian, Gong Ting puer and green goddess. Save some budget for YiXing here.. Make sure to tell Grace you are not a tourist, but a tea person so get you the good stuff right away.
- Uwajimaya - make sure you spend some time in the bookstore too. There is a small section outside the grocery store devoted to chado, make sure you find it. They also have tokoname ware, etc elsewhere. They have dens and do matcha (as well as other high quality brands) on their regular grocery shelf... Their generic matcha is even decent.
- Panama Hotel and Tea (two blocks up the hill from NCTG). Good place for a light lunch, their paninis are decent and their teas are good. Plus, it's a pretty cool historic place.
in Ballard a few blocks from FLT. You have to ask them for gong fu service, but their regular service is nice bodum lechine with a timer, so that's ok too. Some of the staff isn't trained very well, but the tea is pretty good and the selection is great. Go on Sunday and get the bonus of a great farmers market
on the street in front of it.
on Capital Hill. Again, you have to ask for gong fu service and sometimes explain it to them and half their menu is tissanes and flavored tea, but there are good teas too there amongst the new age crap. And Cap Hill's alternative vibe is always fun and their food is good too.
There are a score of other teashops, all with charm of their own. A couple I would mention would be:
Teahouse Kuan Yin
Perennial Tearoom in Pike Place Market
Market Spice also in Pike Place Market
Queen Mary Tea Room
Seattle Best Tea
There are more, including some decent ones outside of Seattle proper, but you can check teamap for that..
Make sure you ride the ferry
while you are here.
If it simply must be about tea ride it to Bainbridge, take the buss to paulsbo and join the tourists at Poulsbo Tea House (ok tea, not great). Time it so you return after dusk for a spectacular night view of Seattle weather permitting.