The Teacup has become one of my favorite places in Seattle in the past year to just sit and do nothing except enjoy a pot of tea and watch the world go by. It is a wonderfully welcome unpretentious hole in the wall atop yuppified Queen Anne. The interior is small, cozy, humble and very peaceful with a few wood tables, a few shelves of tea pots, china and tea accessories and books about tea. I like to sit outside on the sidewalk at one of two outdoor tables they provide when I have my pot of tea and watch the shoppers, couples and families go by. The variety of tea is staggering, and as mentioned in a previous review, Brett does a tea taste every Saturday at 1pm, which is where I learned about a nice oolong tea and about the importance of temperature and steep time. He and all the staff are cordial and welcoming. My favorite teas that they distribute are the Dammann Frères Teas imported from France. My favorite is Silk Road, but I also like Opera, Poet's Tea, Paris Romance, La Belle Helene, and Jardin Bleu. When they serve a pot of tea, they give you a fine china tea cup & saucer, a whole pot, a little dish to put the leaf basket in, a timer, and even a really cool tea cozy for the pot, and you can have them refill the pot with hot water too. It's a great place to take an hour out of your day to enjoy the present.
I have been to Abbey Garden twice now (the second time being this past weekend). The atmosphere is excellent. The tea room is tucked away at the end of a beautiful little stone-laid alley with a big overhanging tree, and the tea room is small and cozy and very beautifully decorated. This past weekend was very hot, and they provided two outdoor tables with umbrellas in the alley, so I enjoyed a cream tea (scone with Devonshire cream, fruit and tea) outside in the shade. The iced tea was passion fruit and it was delicious, but I can also vouch for the rose black tea, which tastes very elegant and Victorian to me, and the Paris blend which has floral and vanilla notes. The servers have been cheerful and attentive when I have been there. I have to rave about the scones. They are the best I have ever had, served warm with a light sugar crust and they just melt in your mouth. The food is always presented on beautiful floral china. My only complaint is that I think the price is a little high for what you get on the two 'teas' I had. For example, the cream tea was $7.95, and although the scone is sizable and delicious, the fruit was merely three thin slices of apple, 3 slices of orange, and 1 or 2 strawberries cut up. I think there should be more fruit at that price. Also when I had the Gentleman's Tea, I remember the portions were small for the price. But I'd still recommend that you splurge and try it out, and be sure to get a scone!