I recently returned from a quick 2 day trip to Seattle. While I was there, I had a bit of time to make my way down to Pikes Market to check out the tea scene. My first stop was a place recommended by a tealover (the front desk clerk at the hotel) who said he and his wife visit there often, that it’s cool and that I had to visit. Vital T Leaf is amazing. I cant say enough about this place. You get to sit and taste any of the teas they sell, for free. Their hope is that you will find one you love and buy it. I met the owner Ben, who was easy to talk to and generous with sharing information. He let me sample an Oolong from Fujian that was priced at $503 per pound. He only had 2 bags left which tells you how good the tea is. I walked away with a $20 sampling and the possibility of carrying it at Pearl Fine Teas next year.
Just a block or two down the road is The Crumpet Shop. Fantastic little place with the tastiest crumpets I’ve ever had (crumpet with nutella). I got chatting with the owner Nancy as she was making a new batch and learned that she and her husband had started the business years ago. They have a small selection of teas, but the quality is good! I sampled two oolongs from Taiwan in a side by side taste test and found that the 2007 Spring Harvest was my favorite. I ended up leaving with a pack of 6 crumpets to take to Denver.
My last stop in Seattle was over to the Perennial Tea Room. Another lovely treasure. I didn’t have the chance to sample any teas due to time, but I’ve heard they carry quite a good selection of teas along with books, and tea ware.
I recommend any of them as a destination should you find yourself in Seattle.