Monday, February 22, 2010

Tea in Seattle

I recently had the opportunity to explore Seattle's tea scene with a fellow Portland tea person who has been kind enough to show me around. It was a day trip, but we managed to check out quite a few spots:

Jade Garden - A dim sum place in Chinatown/"The International District" known for its delectable shrimp dishes. The jasmine pearls wasn't bad for a restaurant.

New Century - A charming tea shop, also in The International District. They have a gorgeous tasting area, complete with a carved old-growth tree tea table. I was impressed with their selection of teaware and picked up a basic gong fu boat while I was there.

The Teacup - A cafe-style tea shop with lots of regulars hanging out and plenty of people stopping in for a quick cup of tea. Good blended tisane selection. I've heard The Teacup's owner speak at The World Tea Expo, so it was fascinating to see in person what she had spoken about. Bonus - Brett (who is, I believe, the manager there) just got back from Taiwan and brought some of his finds with him. Awesome!

Floating Leaves - Not much to write home about in terms of ambiance, but my favorite in terms of tea selection. Very impressive Chinese and Taiwanese teas ranging from flowering teas to artisan oolongs. Bonus - The owner, Shiuwen, is extremely knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor. She also offers tours to Taiwan... and I have to say that I am seriously considering going on one soon!

Miro Tea - A cute, trendy tea cafe that, at first glance, reminded me a bit of Soy in NYC (across from Tea & Sympathy). I can't say much about it, as I was famished when I stopped in and ended up heading over to Root Table for dinner instead of teasing my appetite with Miro's crepes, etc., but I hope to visit again next time I'm in Seattle.

Speaking of next time... I hope to have time to sit down with Elin Head (who also writes for World Tea News) and Michael Coffey (of Tea Geek) and to stop by a few more tea places (Recommendations welcome!). I'll probably be in town for the Northwest Tea Festival, but perhaps sooner. We shall see!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another Year in Tea

Today is my 28th birthday. Age 27 was an eventful year! Here are a few highlights:

* Got to work with some great tea companies! From staff training to events to copy (mostly copy), I loved learning about what makes each tea business successful in its own, unique way... and helping them do better within their niche. It's incredible to see such a diversity within the growing world of tea in North America. I'm thrilled o be a part of it.

* Continued to work with World Tea News. No one else is taking a look at the tea industry the way they are, and it has been a joy to be a part of the team.

* Started writing for as their Coffee.Tea guide. Figured devoting time to coffee is worth it if I can spread the love of tea. (I'm kidding! Kind of...) Continued to work toward my goal of exposing more people to great tea.

* Left NYC. Temporarily relocated to Charlotte, NC to help my mom open her second location of Urbana Cityspa & Teabar. When my work was done there, my husband and I traveled across the country to Portland, OR, a city much more suited to our lifestyles. (You can read about my journey, mostly my many stops for tea, on World Tea News.)

* Tasted some amazing teas. Got deeper into oolongs. Had a month of focused tastings. Sipped entire collections of tea from multiple vendors. Subscribed to Teance's teas of the month. Realized that, even if I tried, I could never get tired of tea.

* Worked hard. Lived well. Late last year, I realized that I was verging on burnout. After re-evaluating some priorities, making a commitment to only taking on clients I really want to work with and getting back into a regular exercise routine, I'm happy to say that burnout is no longer on my horizon. Might sound like a small task, but those who have been there will likely agree with me that it is not.

I hope that this year will be as much of an adventure as the last one (though I wouldn't mind moving less!). There are a few exciting projects in the works, including writing a book (the topic of which is currently secret), writing copy for several promising new clients and maybe even taking a trip to Japan and/or Sri Lanka. One of my goals for the year is to blog more, so I'll do my best to share news of these projects (and whatever else may come along this year!) here as it comes up. Until then! ~Lindsey Goodwin, Age 28