In the spirit of silver lining, one benefit of the Seattle area’s near constant overcast is that morning temps remain cool enough year round to thoroughly enjoy a warm beverage. In the land of coffee and Starbucks headquarters, tea tends to take a back seat. But if you can’t (or don’t) enjoy the beans that are one of the region’s claims to fame, or are like us and (heaven forbid) just enjoy tea much more, then these five specialty tea beverages are worth seeking out.
One additional note before we jump in – these are some of our favorite specific novelty tea beverages, not a list of our favorite shops based on their specific line of teas or tea selection.
Third Culture Coffee – Honey Rose Matcha
An organic matcha latte with honey and rosewater. Slightly sweet with the gentle caffeine kick of matcha green tea powder- this drink is a must try for those that like a fragrant, earthy tea. Conveniently located right next to Bellevue’s Downtown Park, Third Culture is the perfect place to grab a spot of tea and enjoy some fresh air.
Issaquah Coffee Company – Chai Tea Latte
Ahh Chai, quite possibly the quintessential “entry level tea drinker’s” tea drink. It’s spicy sweetness can be found as a staple at most all coffee shops these days, however most often chai lattes are made with a commercial, overly sweetened, pre-made syrup or dissolving powder. Not at ICC however! Their chai latte starts with a house made spice and tea blend, and is mixed with your choice of dairy or dairy free milk options.
Bonus tip: If you’re in Issaquah and looking to pick up some high quality loose leaf teas, be sure to pop into Experience Tea on Front Street. They also offer some unique tea tasting and education group events!
SoulFood CoffeeHouse – Hippie on the Beach
The only place we’ve ever found this dreamy tropical blend of an amazing non-artificial coconut black tea, and creamy hemp milk. Also the only place we’ve ever heard a barista call out “hippie on the bar!” You won’t regret a trip to SoulFood.
Peet’s Coffee – Lavender Tea Latte
House made lavender syrup is added to Mighty Leaf’s Summer Solstice tea – a blend of refreshing China and India black teas – and finished with steamed milk or non-dairy milk.
Zoka Coffee – Thai Iced Tea
If you’ve never been to Zoka, it is a must visit on the Eastside. Our final spot is the triple threat of our list: they have a gorgeous shop right off the Kirkland waterfront, an amazing thai iced tea – which we have a hard (impossible) time finding outside of thai restaurants, and a Magic Bar. Yes, that’s correct, it’s magic, and we realize it has nothing to do with tea. However, this heavenly, gigantic mashup of coconut, oats, chocolate, and other worldly goodness cannot not be mentioned when encouraging a visit to Zoka – you’ll thank us later.
There you have it folks – five of our favorite local tea treats. Give them a try and let us know what you think!