Seattle Best Tea is one of the oldest tea houses in Seattle. Owners Lydia Lin and Joe Hsu opened the cozy Taiwanese tea house in 1996 after moving to Seattle from Korea. Lydia is Taiwanese and her husband is Chinese, and they both previously worked for the Taiwanese embassy in Korea. When the couple came to Seattle, they noticed there weren’t many tea houses in the city. Now, Seattle Best Tea is a destination for a diverse community of folks to come enjoy and learn about tea.

Lydia Lin takes tea very seriously, and only sells and serves the highest quality tea from high altitude mountain regions in Taiwan. It is important to drink tea grown at high altitudes, she explains, because pests cannot live at that altitude so there are no pesticides used on the tea plants. Not only do pesticides contaminate that year’s tea harvest, they seep into the soil and affect plants for years to come. Drinking good tea, Lydia says somewhat jokingly, is a matter of life and death. “It’s like if you eat bad food, after a while it make you sick and give you cancer. It is the same with tea, if you drink good tea you will have a long and healthy life.”

Lydia also teaches classes at her shop to educate people about tea. “I want our customers to be experts in good tea,” she says. She helps customers understand how to recognize good tea and how to preserve and prepare it correctly. “One teaspoon of good tea is better than medicine,” Lydia says.
Fun Fact
According to Lydia, teas taste different depending on what time of year they are picked - each season’s leaves have a distinct flavor.
Business Owner
Lydia Lin and Joe Hsu