Friday, December 4, 2009

New Teas for the Holidays!

Boy, have we got a bunch of new teas! We always bring in some great seasonal blends, perfect for yourself or as a gift for the tea-drinker in your life.

So, let's get to it!

First is Peppermint Bark, a black tea flavored with vanilla and peppermint. It even has tiny candy canes blended right into it! This one always sells quick, so get it before it's gone!

Next is Sparkling Sugar Plum, a very special black tea with a lovely bright plum flavor. It tastes wonderful, but the best part is that it really sparkles! There are little sugar crystals blended into the tea that, when dissolved in hot water, release glittering sparkles into your cup! You really have to see it to believe it!

Next is Winter Chocolate Spice, a seasonal blend that has become a favorite since we first brought it in a few years ago. It's a black tea blend with real cacao nibs for an authentic chocolate flavor. It also has ginger, cardamom and other chai spices for that "chocolate chai" flavor. Great with a splash of milk on a cold winter morning.

We also have a wonderful herbal version of the same tea, Winter's Eve Rooibos. The same spices and flavor as the black tea version, but with an herbal Rooibos base. Makes a great evening cuppa!

Don't forget, we've also got some great teas in teabags, like Harney & Sons' Holiday Tea and White Christmas Tea, and Taylors of Harrogate Spiced Christmas.

Friday, November 6, 2009

November Blend of the Month

Hey, it's been a while since we had a blend of the month, hasn't it? We've been so caught up in all the stuff we're getting in for the holidays that we sort of had to put it on the back burner. Until now, that is!

I've had this particular blend in my mind for a while, but I've been waiting to make it available until the weather was just right. This month's blend is Amaretto Spice, a warming blend of Rainbow Rooibos (our almond scented rooibos) and Rooibos Chai.

Perfect for cozying up next to the fire in the evening while the wind blows the leaves around outside. This blend really says "Autumn" to me. Even the color reminds me of fallen leaves. Oh, and it's naturally caffeine free!

You can pick this tea up in the shop throughout the month, and after November we're happy to blend it up to order as long as we have the ingredients on hand.

Happy tea drinking, and stay warm!

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Teapots from Bali

We just recently received these fantastic teapots made in Bali!

They're imported by a local company, and they're handmade from the local river clay in Pejaten in south central Bali.

The little animals on the cups are all made individually by hand, and each rattan handle is made to match the pot.

One of the best things about these teawares, though, is that they're all fair trade, and of course FDA certified lead-free.

Come and see these charming teapots in the shop!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Winter Seasonal Teas

Well, it certainly seem to be Autumn here in Seattle. It's been pouring rain the last few days, perfect for sitting inside looking out the window with a nice hot cup of tea. In fact, we just happen to have a couple of seasonal blends perfectly suited to this situation!

First up is our Winter Chocolate Spice, a black tea blended with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and other chai spices, along with real bits of roasted cacao beans.

It's great served as-is, but with a little milk and sugar, it's wonderfully decadent.

We also have Winter's Eve Rooibos, a no-caffeine version of the Winter Chocolate Spice, made with a rooibos base. The rooibos makes it a little lighter and gives it a slightly different flavor.

This blend also has pieces of cinnamon sticks, a lovely visual treat. Since it has no caffeine, this blend makes a great after-dinner drink to warm you up on those chilly evenings.

Both of these blends are also wonderful when made like a traditional chai; simmered with milk for a few minutes and then strained and sweetened to taste.

You can find them on our website as well as in the shop.

Just a quick note

Thanks to all the folks who came to the 2nd Annual Northwest Tea Festival!

It was a great success, and we hope to see you all again next year!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

They grow up so fast...

Well, Summer is almost over and Timmy has grown quite a bit since we last saw him. Here's what he looked like last time I blogged about him back in April.
And here's a picture I took this afternoon.

Just look at all those new leaves! Now that the first (Spring) and second (Summer) flushes are over, he probably won't grow much more until next Spring. Come say hi to Timmy next time you're in the shop!

NW Tea Festival Cups

Do you know about the Northwest Tea Festival? It's happening at Seattle Center on October 3-4th. There will be all kinds of tea tasting, vendors selling teas and teawares, tea experts doing presentations, tea classes and a bunch of other stuff! You can check out the festival website at

For just a $5 donation (which goes to help fund next year's festival), you get a porcelain tasting cup so you can taste all the wonderful teas at the show. We just got the cups the other day and they are beautiful!

Our supplier says they're made in one of the four cities in China most famous for high-quality porcelain. The porcelain is so fine that if you hold it up to a light, it will shine through the cup.

Here's a picture for size comparison.

$5 is a steal just for the cups, but then you get to taste all the fantastic teas at the festival, too! You can only get the cups at the Northwest Tea Festival, so come by and see us at our booth while you're there!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Best of Western Washington

We've been nominated for best tea house in King5's Best of Western Washington!

You may have noticed the little button at the right side of the blog. Click on it to vote for us! You have to register with their site, but it also lets you vote for businesses in other categories, too, like our good friends around the corner from us at 94 Stewart. They're nominated for best French restaurant (although they're not exclusively French, more contemporary American...) so show them some love, too!

We managed to get 4th place last year, so let's see if we can make it to number one in 2009!

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Forlife Teapots!

We just got the new teapots from Forlife, and they are great! It's called the "Hospitality" line.

They all have a white ceramic body, with a colored spout. The really cool thing is that the spout is made of silicone! You definitely don't have to worry about breaking the spout on this teapot! In fact, they were originally conceived as teapots for restaurants and cafes, so they're made to take some abuse. The silicone also helps to make the pot drip-free.

And when I say drip-free, I mean it! I tried pouring out of this teapot and I couldn't make it drip if I tried! You're welcome to come to the shop and try it yourself if you'd like. It really is amazing.

The teapot also comes with a stainless steel infuser with a superfine mesh, so you won't get bits of tea dust in your cup. The pots hold about 12 ounces of tea, enough for a big mug or two small cups.

There are 7 spout colors to choose from: Red (pictured), Paprika (kind of a bright orange), Lime, Marine (a rich blue color), Black, Brown, and Grey.

We'll have these on the website soon, so keep an eye out for them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hey, long time no see!

It's been pretty busy in the shop, so I haven't been able to do as much blogging as I'd like. We've got some new stuff in, though, so I managed to squeeze in some time!

I think this new kid's tea set is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen, or at least the cutest thing we've sold in the store.

It includes service for four, with silverware, napkins, even a tablecloth! And it all comes packed in a lovely wicker basket, perfect for a picnic tea party.

You can find it on the website here, as well as in the store.

We're also expecting a new line of teaware from Forlife, the company that makes those great Curve teapots. They're really good at making high-quality, functional teawares. You can really tell that the designers understand what a tea drinker needs in a teapot. And the best part? Almost all of the teapots they make are drip-free! Hopefully we'll get the new stuff soon, and we'll let you know when we do!

Bye for now, and happy tea drinking!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Blend of the Month - August

It's certainly been great iced tea weather lately here in Seattle! On Wednesday, SeaTac Airport reported a record-breaking temperature of 103F! It's cooled down today, just in the mid 80s, but it's still important to keep hydrated. And why not drink iced tea? It keeps you hydrated, and you get the bonus of all those healthy anti-oxidants!

Anyway, on to the Blend of the Month - Peaches & Cream!

It's a 50/50 blend of our Vanilla Cream black tea and Decaf August Peach. It may seem odd to blend a decaf tea with a regular black tea, but the peach flavor in the August Peach seemed to match up the best. And really, how could we pass it up for the August blend of the month?

You can get it here in the shop and online all this month.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Caramel Pu-Erh

As some of you may know, we can often special-order teas that we don't normally carry, or seasonal teas in the "off-season". We usually have to order at least a pound or two, so if you have a few friends who want to go in on a special order, that's a great way to make it work.

Anyway, one of our customers recently special ordered a kilogram (it's a Canadian company) of Caramel Pu-Erh, a tea we carried last Winter. They never came to pick it up, so now we're selling it in the store!

Now, I know what you're thinking; "caramel pu-erh? Seriously?" It sounds crazy, but it's actually pretty good. The earthy richness of the pu-erh pairs nicely with the caramel flavor, making it a very satisfying cup. It's probably better in cold weather, but if you store it in an airtight container it should stay fresh until it starts getting cool again.

It's available here on our online store as well as our shop in Seattle.

Blend of the Month - July

Apparently I completely forgot to blog about the blend of the month for July!

This blend is Berries Noir, a blend of our Blackberry, Blueberry and Blackcurrant black teas. Perfect for iced tea, and a lovely hot tea as well.

Berries Noir is available in our shop at Pike Place Market, as well as online.

You'll find it there until the end of the month, but if you don't get some before then, don't worry! As with all of our monthly blends, we can always blend them to order any time of the year (as long as we still have the ingredients.) Just give us a call and ask, or come in the shop.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

New Tea Books

We just got some great new tea books in the store!

First is Tea with a Twist by Lisa Boalt Richardson. As befits the name, it is about different ways of preparing tea and food for tea parties in ways you may not have thought of before. In particular, her Tea Sangria sounds quite refreshing this time of year. This book is packed with beautiful pictures and delightful recipes.

Next, Tea For You by Tracy Stearn (also author of Tea Party). This new book is a guide to blending your own custom teas, for yourself or for gifts. It's one of the only books I've seen that is specifically about blending your own teas, and it's got lots of great info. There are also a few recipes for teatime treats tucked near the back of the book.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Digestive Biscuit Review

There's a certain time of day in between breakfast and lunch where I can't quite wait until lunch to have something to eat. A cup of tea and some biscuits fits the bill quite nicely, so today around that time I decided to do a review of a classic biscuit, the Digestive.

This was also a great time to test the new "%50 less saturated fat, same great taste" claim on the package.

First, a little history about the Digestive. It was invented by Alexander Grant at McVitie's in 1892. McVitie's is still one of the largest biscuit brands in the UK, now owned by United Biscuits.

The name "Digestive" came from the high amount of baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, used in the biscuit. Sodium bicarbonate has antacid properties, so it was thought that the biscuits would aid in digestion.

But enough history, let's taste some biscuits. As said in the book Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down, "Tea without biscuits is a missed opportunity". I would assume that the reverse is true as well, so I made a cup of tea to go with my biscuits. Since the Digestive is considered the "quintessential" English biscuit, it seemed only right to have the classic English tea, PG Tips.

Now, let's take a closer look at our biscuit.

McVitie's is very fond of stamping their name on biscuits, and this is no exception. Since the Digestive is copied by so many other biscuit companies, this serves as a sort of "certificate of authenticity".

The Digestive is also a rather large biscuit, measuring about 2 3/4" in diameter. This can pose a bit of a problem when dunking in a small cup, as you tend to get a situation like this:

So make sure you have a good size cup if you plan on dunking. Speaking of dunking, the light, crispy texture facilitates rapid tea absorption, so don't leave it in too long or you'll end up with a cup of biscuit sludge.

The flavor of the Digestive biscuit is probably best described as being very similar to a graham cracker. It has just a touch of sweetness, so it goes great with a wide variety of toppings, from lemon curd and jam to sliced cheese. They're also great to use in recipes. Try using them in place of graham crackers for a cheesecake crust, or make s'mores with them!

Truly, the Digestive is a versatile biscuit, and a wonderful accompaniment to any cup of tea.

You can find them in our shop in Seattle, or online here.

Happy dunking!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Decaf August Peach

Boy, we sure have been getting a lot of new teas in lately! Today we received our new Decaf August Peach, a lovely decaf black tea bursting with peach flavor.

This makes a great iced tea, too! Since it's decaf, you can have it on a warm summer evening and not worry about it keeping you up all night. We've definitely had iced tea on the brain lately with all the unseasonably hot weather here in Seattle!

This tea will be up on the website soon, and is available in the shop now.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Blend of the Month - June

Well, it's that time again; time to unveil our new Blend of the Month for June!

This month we've blended up some Lemon Jasmine, a lively mix of jasmine-scented green tea and Lemon Myrtle, an herb from the rainforests of Australia.

The combination of floral and citrus flavors makes a unique and refreshing iced tea, and a wonderfully aromatic hot tea.

We'll be brewing it up in the store periodically, so come give it a try and take some home!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Teas!

Holy cow! We have got a bunch of new stuff in the store, including four new teas! I'm going to show the teas off here and I'll post some of our new tea wares soon as well.

First up is one of two new wine-scented teas that Julee found at the World Tea Expo a couple weeks ago. This is called Pink Sonoma, a lovely white tea with rose petals and jasmine flowers, scented with cabernet.

I admit, I was skeptical at first about this tea. I mean, wine-scented tea? But after tasting it, I discovered that it had a wonderful fruity aroma, with a nice grape-like flavor. This one is excellent iced, wonderful for a hot summer day.

The second wine-scented tea is called Wild Monkey Marsala, a China black tea with cinnamon and scented with Marsala wine.

You can tell that a high-quality black tea was used for the base, because of all those lovely golden tips. The aroma is spicy and rich, with just a hint of wine. The flavor reminded me of dried fruit, and something I couldn't quite put my finger on. Then it hit me: mince pie! The wine flavor adds that slight tanginess that mince pie has, and the spice and dried fruit flavor make a great combination. I don't know if we'll keep this for the summer, but I definitely think it will make an appearance this fall as a seasonal tea.

For something a bit more conventional, we have the Gopaldhara Estate Darjeeling. This is a first flush tea from this year, so it's one of the most recently picked teas we have.

As you can see this is a very "green" black tea, in fact I'm almost hesitant to call it a black tea. It has a light flavor with a bright, fresh aroma. The taste is unmistakeably Darjeeling, though.

And finally, a tea that I have been looking forward to for some time: Shincha Kunpu. This is a "first flush" tea from Shizuoka, Japan. Shincha literally means "new tea" in Japanese, and Kunpu translates to "fragrant breeze".

This tea has beautiful shiny dark green leaves with an intense vegetal aroma. There is a sweetness hidden in the flavor which can be accentuated with careful brewing. The color of the liquor is a bright, almost lime green. It's really got just about everything one could ask for in a Japanese green tea. We only brought in two pounds of this special tea, and when it's gone, it's gone until next year. I might do another blog post with a more in-depth review and photos of the brewing, so stay tuned!

That's all for the new teas right now, but I'll post some of our new tea wares soon!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Blend of the Month - May

This month's blend is Blueberry Citrus Mint, a blend of our Blueberry black tea with Sweet Citrus Mint tisane.

The licorice root in the tisane adds a pleasant sweet aftertaste, while the blueberry adds a hint of fruitiness. It makes an excellent iced tea, but it's great hot too.

This blend is available in the store as well as on the website this month.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Meet Timmy

Spring is the time for tea plants to send out new growth, an event known as "flushing". That's where the term "first flush" comes from. Our resident tea plant, Timmy, is no exception! We noticed that Timmy has some new little leaves just making their way out now.

Timmy is still pretty small, just about a year old. In about 3 or 4 years, he'll be big enough to harvest leaves from. Timmy came from Rockridge Orchards in Enumclaw. They grow all sorts of things there, and even make their own wine and cider. You can say hello to them (and even buy a tea plant to grow at home yourself) at the University Farmer's Market.

Next time you're in the shop, be sure to say hello to Timmy and his new leaf buds!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Makaibari Autumnal Flush Back in Stock

The 2008 Autumnal Flush Darjeeling from Makaibari Estate just arrived today! We were quite pleased with this picking when we tried samples, so we're excited to finally have it in stock.

The Makaibari Estate is a truly spectacular garden. It's certified organic, biodynamic, and fair trade certified. You can find more info at

We only received ten pounds of this tea (and 2 pounds are already spoken for!), so if you'd like some, now's the time to buy it! We'll have it in-store and on the website.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Den's Tea Visit

One of the nice thing about the tea industry is that it's very close-knit. There's sort of a "we're all in this together" attitude, rather than a competitive feeling. Because of that, even a small tea shop like us often gets to meet the owner or CEO of one of our suppliers. And that's just what happened the other day.

Den Shirakata, president of Den's Tea happened to be in Seattle and stopped by for a visit! We get a few of our Japanese teas from him, including the Sakura Sencha and my personal favorite, Guricha. We chatted about tea for a bit and asked him a few questions we had about Japanese teas. We also preordered some Shincha, the highly-prized first picking of tea in Japan. We should be getting it sometime in mid-May.

Mr. Shirakata took some photos of the shop to show his staff in Japan. He said they love to see where the tea they produce is going. He also brought us a little gift, a lovely tin full of delicious cookies! Yum!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fox's Viennese Biscuit Review

Looking through the catalog for our British Import supplier, I spied some tasty-sounding biscuits from Fox's. We carry their Ginger Crunch Creams (which are quite delicious and very gingery), so I was excited to see what other biscuits they had to offer. I popped over to their website and saw the Viennese Chocolate biscuits were at the top of their user-picked ranking. Well, you can't get a much better recommendation than that, so we ordered a case.

I was charged with the oh-so difficult task of reviewing the biscuits and blogging the results. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. With a cup of Yorkshire Gold tea in hand, I sallied forth.

My first impression is that it's quite a bit like a Pepperidge Farms Milano cookie, only more buttery, and less crispy. The biscuit part is almost the consistency of shortbread, but lighter and more airy. The chocolate filling is also quite pleasant, with a light creaminess.

Of course, we must also test dunkability.

The shape of the biscuit makes it a lovely candidate for dunking, and the lightness helps to maximize the tea absorption. The ridges also help to keep your grip on the biscuit, which is quite convenient, since there's nothing worse than dropping and entire biscuit in a cup of tea and trying to fish it out before it loses all structural integrity.

Overall, I'm very impressed. The combination of light, airy biscuit and creamy chocolate filling is a really nice balance. The only problem is that they are highly addictive, and very rich. I could easily see myself sitting down with a package of these and a cup of tea and suddenly realizing that I had eaten all of them in one sitting.

This may be my new favorite biscuit, so please come buy some so I'm not tempted to eat all of them in the store.

Test-Drive a Teapot Today!

We recently got some more Lomonosov teapots in the store, and Lisa and I were curious about how well they pour. So of course, we had to try it!

It actually poured quite nicely, with just a slight drip at the tip.

Perennial Tea Room staff are not the only ones who get to try this though; you're welcome to test-pour any of our teapots in the store! We try to bring in teapots that pour well, but sometimes they vary from teapot to teapot, so if it's a concern of yours, give it a try! If you can't make it into the shop, just give us a call and we'll pour-test it for you.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Blend of the Month

Lately we've been having a lot of fun here in the shop, blending up various combinations of our loose teas to create new exciting flavors. We're having so much fun, in fact, that we'd like to let you in on the fun as well! Starting this April, we're going to spotlight a "Blend of the Month". We'll blend some up and sell it in-store and online, with a new creation each month!

Our first tea is Strawberries & Cream, a delicious blend of our Fresh Strawberry black tea and Vanilla Cream black tea. With a bit of sweetener and milk, it's like a dessert in a cup!

Look for it on our website as well as in the store this April!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Perennial Tea Room Tea in Tins

In addition to our Seattle Breakfast, we now have three other loose teas packed in 4-ounce gift tins!

There's our Earl Grey Extra Aromatic, double-scented with natural oil of bergamot. This is just about the best earl grey we've found, and it's the only one Sue (our resident earl grey nut) drinks!

It comes packed in an elegant black tin.

Next up is one of our favorite herbal blends, Market Rooibos Chai. It's a caffeine-free blend of South African rooibos (also sometimes called red tea), cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and a hint of vanilla. It's a sweeter, smoother spice blend than most other chais, so it makes a great after-dinner drink. Of course, it's also great any other time of the day!

It comes in a pretty burgundy tin.

Last, but certainly not least, is our Victorian Earl Grey. It's a blend of earl grey (with natural oil of bergamot, nothing artificial) with rosemary, lavender, and rose petals. The rosemary gives it a unique aroma that blends nicely with the rose and lavender. Perfect for a garden tea party with your best china, but it's just as good in a sturdy mug to start your day.

Comes in a vibrant violet tin.

All of these tins, as well as our Seattle Breakfast, are on our website.