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Our Story

The Perennial Tea Room is a small, independently-owned tea shop located in Post Alley in the historic Pike Place Market in Seattle. We offer over 100 high quality teas and accessories. We welcome anyone from tea novices starting to explore the wide world of tea to experienced tea-lovers looking for something new. We specialize in a personalized shopping experience: we help you choose the teas that best suit your tastes, make sure you have the accessories needed to brew them, and educate you along the way.

We strive to create an accessible retail environment with a low barrier to entry so everyone feels welcome to enjoy a delicious cup of tea. We welcome folks from all walks of life by providing the same level of service to every person who walks through our door. Our staff are highly educated without being highfalutin’: instead of preaching one right way to brew tea, we are adamant that “if it tastes good, you’re doing it right.” We make people-centered decisions and prioritize the wellbeing of our employees, customers, and suppliers in our business strategies and purchasing choices.

The Perennial Tea Room team includes Dolan, the owner, Mikaela, Stacey, Sarah, and Nan. We also love Nora, our occasional shop dog. The Perennial Tea Room was founded in 1990 by two friends looking for new horizons after their social work careers. Dolan joined the team in 2015 and took over the business in 2019. 

Dolan's Story

A smiling man with glasses, sandy blonde hair, and a glorious reddish beard.
I spent my childhood in a small town in California restoring a house that should have been condemned. Through hard work and, my family and community succeeded in transforming it into a bastion of warmth and togetherness.

Through all the transition in my childhood, one thing remained constant: we always had a large tea cabinet, it was always full, and my family made a ritual of trying new teas together. When I moved to Seattle at 22 to experience life in a larger city, it seemed only natural to find work at the Perennial Tea Room in the historic Pike Place Market.

What began as a part time gig while I pursued coursework in jewelry and printmaking quickly became the central force in my life. Over the last five years, I have become completely steeped in tea, discovering new passions for its history, chemistry, and accompanying rituals along the way. In April 2019, I put my educational pursuits on hold to purchase the Perennial Tea Room and invest all my energy in learning how to run a business.

The process of restoring my childhood home, though painful at times, taught me to take pride in quality craftsmanship, whether I was building functional artifacts or meaningful relationships. I apply that lesson daily in the Perennial Tea Room to foster an environment that creates space for emotional connection between people and tea through social and architectural openness. Knowing that my purchasing decisions directly impact others, I prioritize ordering tea from family and fair trade farms to ensure that tea can be enjoyed by everyone involved in the supply chain. I’m proud to grow Seattle’s tea community by offering a nonjudgmental place for people to learn, smell and taste new things, and find their cup of tea.