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!