I took my friend and her mother here because we happened to be in Kent. The owner will quite vocally insist that you wash all of your tea before actually steeping it. I don’t quite agree with this, since although you might be washing away bacteria, you might also be washing out flavor. However, the owner also spent about 2 hours with us, showing us how to brew green tea and oolong. Apparently, there’s a trick to brewing green tea, and that trick is to steep it for seconds rather than minutes. I learned a lot during my time here, and you can clearly tell that the owner loves what she does and cares about tea and your tea experience. The tea that we smelled and sampled was all quite good, so I was willing to pay more than I usually do for 3oz of each flavor. Should I ever be in Kent again, I’ll definitely be a repeat customer.
My friend and I had a phenomenal experience here. Virginia and Chris spent a long time with us talking about the qualities of various teas and letting us smell and taste a few. You can tell they’re passionate about tea; they’re both friendly and approachable, and they enjoyed the tea tastings as much as we did. Though I don’t know a lot about loose leaf tea, I felt comfortable asking them “newbie” questions, and they answered in great detail and very patiently. When our visit ran late, they even assisted us after official store hours. I’m so glad we decided to stop by—it ended up being one of the best tea experiences I’ve ever had. Also, we loved the little clay tea pets.
The shop is located next to a nursery, so the outside of the store looks like you’ve walked into a floral fairy tale. Not a bad thing—I found it to be very charming and inviting. The store is small, offering a few tea sets and a moderate selection of loose leaf teas. Some of these are already bagged and ready to go in 1oz sizes, which is perfect for sampling purposes. Of all the tea shops I’ve visited, this one seemed to have some of the most fragrant teas I’ve ever smelled. They have a good selection of flavored and unflavored teas, including a surprising (and welcome!) variety of whites and oolongs. They have some single-origin black teas I’ve never seen before, like Antu Valley and Sessa. Also, their Premium Roasted Yerba Mate is amazing. The employee behind the counter was knowledgeable and friendly, and she applied self-printed labels to all the orders she bagged for me. I wish I had spent more time in this store, and I will definitely visit again the next time I’m in Puyallup.
Took my friends here for an afternoon tea service, and all of us LOVED IT. British Bites is run by actual English people, and they’re not shy about it! The decor sports a large “God Save the Queen” flag, a couch patterned after the UK flag, and two bathroom doors that are outfitted to look like a red telephone box and the TARDIS. Their tea pots come out in cozies that also have the UK flag pattern, and the kettle spouts have adorable hair scrunchies to catch tea drippings. The afternoon tea service has standard sandwiches with a twist (chicken curry, cucumber and salmon, ham and tomato, and sausage rolls). For desserts, I particularly enjoyed their “mini Vickys” and blackberry tarts (the orange trifle was a little iffy though). The scones and clotted cream were delectable. What I enjoyed most about this service (besides the general ambiance) was the delicateness of the food and the small portion sizes. Most American tea services (that I’ve been to) load up on the food, but British Bites lived up to its name and gave us just enough food to enjoy with our tea. Highly recommended.
Took my friends here for an afternoon tea party. The decor is sort of Victorian, and the cafe has a quiet, classy feeling to it. We were impressed by the delicate china, which the owner said she got from various thrift shops. The waitstaff were all very warm and friendly, and they came to check on us frequently… maybe too frequently. Among the finger sandwiches, they had an interesting open-faced cucumber on sourdough and a delightful chicken curry. Our topmost tier included fresh fruits, which I thought was unique. The desserts were a little heavy for late spring; our selection included a decadent caramel/fudge brownie, a mini pecan pie, and a cute little glass of strawberry lemonade (my favorite thing). The owner came out a couple of times to say hello and to ask for feedback on the tea service, which she says she put together despite never having been to a tea service herself. At certain points, I felt uncomfortable, like she and the staff were trying to win us over with excessive attention. My friends, however, really enjoyed themselves, and none of us had complaints about the food or quality of service. In fact, one of the servers went out of her way to take our group picture, which I appreciated. I would recommend this place to other people, but I would also mention how I felt about the owner being a little too chummy for my taste.
Took my friend here on a Saturday for afternoon tea. Cederberg is located in the Queen Anne area of Seattle, which is north of the Space Needle and not as crowded as the downtown area. (Also, there’s free street parking, which is more than most of Seattle can say!) Cederberg is unique because it’s got a South African vibe, which its menu also reflects. They have a wide selection of rooibos teas and a few other non-rooibos flavors. The store itself is a cafe, and we were seated by the window overlooking the block’s fountain. It might have been nice to be in a more private area, but I soon forgot about privacy when the food arrived. Absolutely everything was delicious. My favorite dessert was the Malva pudding (caramelized sponge cake). For savories, they had a lot of fried puff pastries, including a sausage roll, spinach and feta swirl, meat pasty, and a mini quiche. I have a huge sweet tooth, but the savories were actually my favorite part of the service. The owner came out to say hello, and my friend and I really enjoyed the ambiance, service, and food. Would definitely recommend to anyone wanting a different (but excellent!) tea experience.
The store was crowded when we visited on a weekday morning (to be fair, Pike Place is generally crowded). They have a whole wall of loose leaf tea in the back of the store, and a lot of it is flavored. They have a lot of funky options like Orange Creamsicle (not my favorite, but I had to try it). I liked the ability to pull jars off the shelves and smell the teas within. The wall also sports large and legible signs that say “Please do not remove jars from the shelves when ordering,” but almost everyone removes the jars from the shelves when ordering. When I was done browsing, I took a list of ~13 teas to the central counter, and a staff member bagged my order up expertly. My tastes are not very sophisticated, but this store seems to cater to people who like novelty teas; people with more refined palates might do better elsewhere. Fun if you’re willing to brave the crowds. Definitely not for the claustrophobic.
The store is located in a nice area of Tacoma. I went with my friends for a quick visit, and I wish that I had budgeted more time for my stay. The person behind the counter (I think he was the owner) offered to let us smell or sample any of the packaged teas we were interested in. However, I like to browse on my own, and I wish that there had been samples for us to smell without staff assistance. They have a wide selection of all kinds of tea, and the packaging is charming. Each bag has a black and white picture on it, along with a French sentence that I believe translates to “this is a [insert name of tea]” (their website, charmingly, says “ceci n’est pas un site internet” in the footer). The staff member who helped us mixed a bag of Sandalwood in the City on the spot (it smelled SO GOOD). When I told him that I was visiting from out of state, he gave me an extra bag of Ginger Peach & Apricot to take home—I’ll remember that kindness forever. Overall, I love the store’s quirky sense of humor, tea quality, and array of flavors. I’d give it 5/5 if they had smelling samples.
High Tea at the Prince is actually put on by the hotel’s Marina Front Cafe (reservations required 24 hours in advance). The Cafe technically closes at 4pm, so I had to go across the lobby to the Reef Lounge to let the waitstaff know that I had arrived… at 4pm. They seated me on the dais in the middle of the hotel lobby, which was awkward; I felt like a lot of the hotel guests were staring at me while I ate. After a while, I turned myself around so that I was facing a support column, and I was able to enjoy my tea after that. There were about three different finger sandwiches, nicely presented. The one on taro bread I didn’t especially care for. The scones were good, and so were the sweets. They have about 5 teas to choose from, all from the Tea Chest. The thing I remember most about my visit was that I enjoyed the best pot of second-flush Darjeeling I’ve ever had.
Went here for Afternoon Tea with my mom and my aunt. It was early afternoon on a weekday, and the restaurant was rather busy (i.e., service was slooooow). The array of sweets and sandwiches was good, and I enjoyed the tropical flavors in their desserts. They have maybe 6-9 different teas to choose from, and I believe they all come from the Tea Chest. I’d come again if parking weren’t such an issue (hello, Waikiki).