Good news: My fave sipping spot in town is in the running to win the "Best Retail Tea Shop, Café, Bar" award at next week's World Tea Expo 2018! Miro Tea in Seattle, you have my vote.
My favorite thing about Miro Tea
I'm fortunate enough to live in Seattle, where I don't have to drive or bike too far any direction before finding a good sip of tea. My favorite thing about Miro: They feature a tea bar in the back of the cafe, and they always have 4 pots brewed and ready to sample, any time of day or evening you walk in the door.
Their tea menu has a couple pages devoted to green tea. If I ask for something Japanese and grassy, they'll offer me a medium-grade sencha, or a cheaper option for every day, or a high-end Gyokuro; I love having a range to select from, and I love that they know the difference.
They also serve French and American snacks - which at one point in time took over the tea service. (They got really good at making crepes, but had no tea people on staff. They didn't brew it very well, and they seemed put out if you asked to sniff or take a look at the canister of tea before you ordered, or even just wanted to start a conversation about tea in general.) But they've thankfully turned this around recently. With a tea bar remodel and scaling back their food menu a bit, they brought back the respect to tea, and got back to the roots they opened with 11 years ago.
Others in the running for Best Retail Tea Shop are:
- The Tao of Tea in Portland, OR
- Samovar Tea Lounge in San Francisco, CA
- TeBella Tea Company in Tampa, FL
- The Tea House in Santa Fe, NM
- Camelia Sinensis in Montreal, Canada
Also in Seattle
Seattle's own World Tea Series, by the NorthWest Tea Festival, is a nominee for the "Best Grassroots Tea Education Campaign" award. A volunteer, not-for-profit organization, this group hosts monthly tea knowledge/culture events every month - my favorite of which was a Rare Japanese Teas event last fall. The tasting session included dark green teas, aged green teas, and one green tea that has almost ceased to exist!
Every fall this group curates a gathering of tea brewers and experts from across the Northwest and around the world. Am already looking forward to the 11th annual NW Tea Fest in Seattle this Fall!
Also in the running for the "Best Grassroots Tea Education Campaign" award:
- International Tea Sippers Society – Sip for Peace
- Spirit Tea & Marco Beverage Systems – The Spirit of Tea Tour
- Tea School by Camellia Sinensis Montreal – Kevin Gascoyne
I've cast my votes for Seattle's top tea heroes, Miro Tea Cafe and Seattle's World Tea Series. Please stay tuned, I'll keep you posted after the award ceremony, held Tuesday evening, June 12.