Food & Drink

Our Favorite Places to Find Tea in Seattle

Boba, Matcha, and More
February 27, 2024
Get a focused caffeine boost in the form of ceremonial-grade matcha from Atulea. (Atulea)
Whether it's a steaming mug of Earl Grey or a refreshing boba beverage, tea serves as a panacea for seemingly any problem. If you're looking for a pick-me-up, we've compiled this list of some of our favorite destinations in town to grab some tea, from distinguished loose-leaf blends to sugary iced concoctions. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

I've made no secret of my affection for this adorable tea shop—I'll often bribe myself into going for a hot girl walk or running errands on the weekend by treating myself to a special little drink here. The original shop is on Capitol Hill, but the business opened a second location List on Phinney Ridge earlier this month. Drinks include ceremonial grade matcha, espresso, various varieties of milk tea, and trendy "cheese tea" (for the uninitiated, it's not as weird as it sounds—we're not talking about Brie or mozzarella, but rather a fluffy cheesecake-like foam topping made from lightly salted cream cheese). I'm particularly fond of the pineapple matcha latte, which pairs earthy matcha with the tangy sweetness of house-made pineapple purée, and the butterfly latte, which incorporates refreshing mint syrup, brown sugar, and vibrant butterfly pea flower tea. They even carry reusable glass tumblers and hand-crocheted slings now, so you can tote your beverage around in eco-friendly style. 
Capitol Hill, Phinney Ridge

Don't Yell At Me
If you ask me, this curiously named chain owned by Taiwanese celebrity Yako Chan is one of the best places in town to get boba. The tapioca pearls are pleasingly chewy and bouncy, the tea is high quality, and the flavors are delicious. If you're a fan of floral flavors, I recommend the lavender or rose milk tea with the addition of brown sugar boba and rose tea jelly, and for a caffeine-free option, I like the pink lychee slush topped with cheese foam or the winter melon chrysanthemum. They also serve a crème brûlée milk tea special with a kitchen-torch-caramelized top that is just begging to be Instagrammed. If you need even more of a sugar rush, they've recently started carrying cookies from a brand called Pookie Cookie, and I love the strawberry Lucky Charms and pandan cranberry flavors. Plus, I've seen the employees at the Capitol Hill location dispense treats to many cute neighborhood dogs from behind the counter, which is just a delight to behold every time.
Capitol Hill, University District, Kirkland

Friday Afternoon Tea List
Loose leaf nerds will feel right at home at this cozy geek-themed tea shop in Wallingford. Owner Friday Elliott has lexical-gustatory synesthesia, which means she experiences words and concepts as flavors, and uses this gift to craft specific blends inspired by sources ranging from Studio Ghibli films to Lord of the Rings to Stardew Valley, making it a great place to pick up a niche gift. For a bespoke indulgence, you can even book a custom tea blending appointment to create the brew of your dreams. And the staff is super friendly and knowledgeable if you have any questions.

Miro Tea List
Those looking to expand their palate should check out this elegant tea shop in Ballard. You'll find a variety of over 150 artisan-quality teas from all over the world, including oolong, rooibos, puerh, chai, and more. The cafe serves all of the above, plus tea lattes, matcha, and infused iced teas.

Queen Mary Tea Room List
This place is where you should go if you want to don a flouncy dress and a sparkly tiara and hoist your pinkies in the air while nibbling on dainty scones, crumpets, and finger sandwiches. It's the oldest independently owned tea room in America and hosts a traditional British afternoon tea service, complete with china teacups and quaint decor like doilies and teddy bears. Just be forewarned that reservations are strongly recommended.

Seattle's Best Tea Co. List
I love stopping into this efficient Taiwanese shop for a quick bubble tea before work. Owners Lydia Lin and Joe Hsu opened the beloved business in 1996 after finding tea shops scarce in Seattle and added boba offerings to their menu in 2008. They also opened a location in the University District last year. The high mountain oolong variety is especially lovely and floral, and there's also a wide range of loose-leaf tea in canisters available for sale. 
Chinatown-International District, University District

Young Tea List
This shop, which moved from Chinatown to Wallingford in 2021, serves some of the finest boba in town, with impeccably sourced ingredients and house-made syrups. You can also purchase plenty of loose-leaf teas here, including osmanthus, jasmine pearl, silver needle, and high mountain oolong. If you're looking to learn more about tea, book a private tea tasting session and enjoy a one-hour tea ceremony with three teas of your choice, plus a hands-on brewing demonstration and a Q&A for all of your burning questions.

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