News & Announcements

If you are looking for a reason to escape to the Lavender Festival this weekend, in Sequim, Washington, think about this: there is a new tea shop in town. Nicole Livengood (and that’s some name) opened the shop last year, selling bulk teas, culinary and medicinal herbs, and spices. The shop is well placed in downtown Sequim, next door to the Hurricane Coffee Company, which also sells some of her teas by the cup. I tried the organic Jasmine Pearls, which was light and delicate, and then the herbal Cranberry Citrus, which is really a tisane, not a tea. Tisanes have no true tea in them, just nuts and peels, roots and berries. I drink a lot of herbal iced tea during the day, for hydration. I don’t like the taste of tap water, and bottled water gets expensive.

Nicole Livengood attended the American College of Healthcare Sciences, in Portland, Oregon to learn about herbs, and her love of tea comes from a lifetime of being around good teas. Her shop carries classic green, flavored green, rooibos and honey bush teas. She also has oolong, pu’erh, black (flavored and not), and flowering teas. There are white, herbal, mate, and chai teas. In honor of the Lavender Festival, there are six lavender teas. The chocolate chai is a delight if you love all things chocolate, and the darjeeling is light and pleasant, if you don’t.

Nicole’s shop is the Sequim Spice & Tea Co. It’s at 115 N Sequim Ave, Sequim, Wa. Although she does not yet have a website, you can reach her at 360-683-2050 or Hours for the shop are Tuesday - Friday: 11am to 5pm, and Saturday: 11am to 4pm.

The drive to Sequim takes about 2 hours, the Lavender Festival starts Friday (that’s this coming weekend), July 20 and runs through Sunday, July 22. The Sequim Spice & Tea Co is open all year for herb and tea lovers. I wish Nicole good fortune with her shop, and hope to see her at the fabulous and informative NW Tea Festival, Oct 6 & 7, at the Seattle Center. I hope to see you as well.  

While at Phoenix Tea, in Burien, last weekend, I was led through tea tastings with Brett Boynton, owner of the tea shop. What I know about tea is this…some I like, others I don’t. But the subtlties of tea have not ever been explained to me, even after 50 years of drinking tea.  It was nice to have a guide, and Brett is good at it. We tried some ALISHAN, a high mountain Taiwanese oolong. The first infusion smells, to me, like seaweed, but the later infusions lose that smell, and the taste feels buttery in the mouth, or like olive oil. My companion said that it felt like when rain hits a hot desert. Whatever it is, it’s quite pleasant. Water that is too hot, say the standard boiling point, 212 degrees, gives the tea an iron, sulphur taste. Which means; don’t boil the life out of water before using it for tea. Have some respect for the drink. We also tried something called WHITE WHISPER, which is a Kenyan white tea, with huge leaves. Now that I had an idea of how tea should feel in my mouth, and I used water that was somewhere around 163 degrees, I could feel how buttery the tea felt in my mouth. This tea was a little sweeter than the Alishan for me, and had pear notes to it. 

Tea tasting is fun. And educational. You can tea taste with Brett at Phoenix Tea 10:30 on Saturdays, and then, when you come to the NW Tea Festival Oct 6 & 7th at Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center, you will have a better appreciation of tea. And maybe meet some tea vendors, like Brett, who know, and want to share, their love for tea.