Set in the heart of Pike Place Market the Perennial Tea Room has to be my favorite tea shops in Seattle, I have been going there for as long as I have lived here. Located in Post Alley, in close proximity to Kells Pub, the Post Restaurant and the White Horse Trading Company it is easy to spot with the brightly colored rainbow flags that hang outside.
Inside, the store is as cute as any store could be. Filled with wonderful tea’s, beautifully made tea pots and cups and of course snacks to compliment your tea habits. My favorite of which has to be the McVitie’s English Biscuits Digestives that is perfect to dunk into your tea. Clearly as someone with British heritage, I’m somewhat bias towards tea! But for me the huge range of flavors and distinctive aroma’s far outweigh whatever coffee can offer for which Seattle is famous for. The Perennial Tea Room is the perfect place to experience teas in their finest form.
Owned by Julee Rosanoff and Susan Zuege the store is a mecca for tea lovers and those that are new to the art of tea. One thing that I love is that the teas are all within arm’s reach and the staff encourage you to pull down the vessels holding the tea and smell the aroma from the many different varieties and blends. It’s a great way to figure out what you like and the knowledgeable staff is always available to help guide you depending on your tastes.
For those busy visitors to Pike Place you might be in need of a break and the Tea Room always have daily teas that are brewed fresh. It’s the perfect encouragement you to take a break, grab a seat and enjoy a cup. If you visited the Perennial Tea Room and then left Seattle, don’t forget that they have a great online store too so you can buy your teas and have them ship directly to you. How easy is that!
A few weeks ago I got to sit down with Julee and Sue, over a pot of tea of course and asked them about their wonderful store. Here they are:
Tell us about yourself?
Julee: I was born in Springfield, Missouri and grew up in Southern California. I moved to Seattle in 1975 to attend graduate school at the UW and decided to stay for the fall colors and mild winter snows.
Sue: I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I came to Seattle in 1975 after graduating from University of Wisc. Millwaukee, to get away from the winter snows and the summer mosquitos and humidity.
Tell us a little about the business?
We opened the Perennial Tea Room in December of 1990 in Post Alley in the historic Pike Place Market. Prior to that we had been working out of our homes holding buying parties and shortbread tastings for our friends and a growing mailing list. A local hotel was kind enough to let is teach classes in how to create a 4 course afternoon tea. We finally decided that instead of doing this as a ‘hobby’ we needed to actually open a store.
What is your special ingredient?
From the beginning we have always sold products, tea and tea wares, that we like and use ourselves. The shop grew out of our love of tea. We give personnel service to our customers whether new to tea or experts themselves.
What is a favorite local café or restaurant that you love?
Sue: There are so much to choose from, but I would have to say Michou in the Pike Place Market because it is my fall back lunch place. That said Le Panier for my occasional coffee and of course their French pastries.
How do you spend your free time?
Julee: My hobbies are long walks – I do two half marathons a year and work to keep in shape in-between. I also read a lot and keep my local Seattle Public Library busy finding books for me to place on hold. I also enjoy movies with consideration of Academy Award nominations and awards.
Sue: My hobby is maintaining and reading all the incredible books on my Seattle Public Library hold list. I also enjoy cooking – the Mario Batali and Nigel Slater schools of cooking. Great ingredients, lots of improvisation with ingredients based on what is in the fridge, cooking interesting things everyday, not just for special occasions. I also enjoy old movies on TCM and anything starring David Tennant or Benedict Cumberbatch.
You can find Perennial Tea Room in the Pike Place Market. The specific address is 1910 Post Alley, Seattle, WA. 98101. If you are in the market area I would highly recommend a visit.
This local’s guide to Seattle is a new project for me. I have two more to publish and a number of photo shoots scheduled for the coming month. To view other places that I love click here.