Traveling Teacup: The Teacup Seattle, WA
By Elin Headrick
The Teacup Interior
In the quaint upper Queen Anne district of Seattle, Teacup offers 'A World of World Class Teas.' This teahouse is a casual spot with a friendly, knowledgeable staff who guides their guests through the large variety of quality tea.
The place definitely has a neighborhood feel and was packed with patrons. Small, with light blue walls and highlighted with deep red accent surfaces, it's a cozy and enjoyable place to meet. Shiny silver tins, filled with tea, line one wall with a beautiful botanical drawing of the Camellia Senensis plant above. Tapestries from around the world hang in the seating area. Sidewalk tables extend the space a bit.
Ever so popular, the Teacup is moving to a larger space a few doors down from their current location on Queen Anne Avenue. It will be interesting to see the new atmosphere they create.
This shop, or tea market, as they refer to themselves, has an extensive collection of teas. One hundred and fifty teas make up their permanent collection and teas are continually added to their line. There is a large variety of classic teas organized by type and region including white, green, oolong, black, pu-erh, herbals, rooibos and honeybush. Teacup is a large importer of the French line, Dammann Freres, which offers a selection of twenty premiere flavored teas.
Their selection of biscotti, scones and cookies are delicious accompaniments to their tea offerings. A wall is lined with a variety of accessories for sale including pots and cups in various styles, tins, strainers and books. Russian Lomonosov teacups highlight the wares for sale.
The well-prepared tea is served on a tray in a small pot with infuser basket and topped with a cozy. The staff sets a timer and tells you when your tea has been appropriately steeped; multiple steepings are encouraged. My cousin and I enjoyed two teas: the Phoenix Dragon Pearls and the Assam Silver Needles. The lovely Phoenix Dragon Pearls are a mix of jasmine flowers and green tea rolled into pearls that are a joy to watch unfurl while brewing. The Assam Silver Needles is a rare white tea. It is a mix of subtle nuances found in white tea and malty notes that characterize teas from Assam. This complex but mellow tea is a new favorite.
Teacup is a tea enthusiast's kind of place. The variety and quality of tea will bring me back!