About Us

Why choose us?


Great Selection.

More than 150 different teas in stock all of the time, with seasonal rotation. Our teas come from more than 10 different tea growing countries.



We are passionate about educating our customers about tea and tea culture. We can help you discover what is interesting about tea, and find you teas that you really enjoy.



We have teas to suit any budget and learning level. We can spend time tasting teas with you, or we can quickly sell you just what you need and get you out the door in less than 5 minutes.

A few words about us

We hope that you have the opportunity to come into the shop and share some tea at our table, but we would be glad to provide you with great teas and tea wares online as well!

Phoenix Tea was started in 2010 as an online-only tea merchant by Virginia Wright, who is known more commonly as “Cinnabar” within the tea community. In creating the company, she was motivated to use what she had learned about tea in the previous few years to bring fine teas, tea wares, and other tea-related products to tea aficionados.

In July of 2011, Brett Boynton joined Phoenix Tea after many years working at The Tea Cup in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, and Phoenix Tea, LLC was formed. In December of 2011 Phoenix Tea opened a retail shop in the two-block area called Olde Burien, enabling the company to serve the educational and tea-drinking needs of local and visiting customers, as well as continuing to provide fine and unusual teas and tea wares online to customers all over the United States and beyond.

From 2011 to 2015 Phoenix Tea was under the co-management of Cinnabar and Brett. At the end of 2015 Brett decided to retire from the tea industry, and Phoenix Tea, LLC is now under exclusive ownership by Cinnabar.

In July of 2016, after the building housing the charming and tiny retail space that had housed Phoenix Tea for five years went on the market, the business relocated a few blocks east, to the heart of downtown Burien. The business is now in a more spacious location with greater visibility, across the street from the King County library and Farmer’s market, and surrounded by a number of other great local businesses.

While in-person tea adventures and education are a great source of enjoyment, Phoenix Tea also enjoys the opportunity to interact with customers and other tea friends online, throughout the world. Keep tabs on us throughout social media, and enjoy shopping our teas and wares on this site.

Explore our selection of teas


...You can tell they're passionate about tea; they're both friendly and approachable, and they enjoyed the tea tastings as much as we did. Though I don't know a lot about loose leaf tea, I felt comfortable asking them "newbie" questions, and they answered in great detail and very patiently. When our visit ran late, they even assisted us after official store hours. I'm so glad we decided to stop by--it ended up being one of the best tea experiences I've ever had. (Also, we loved the little clay tea pets.) Thanks, Phoenix Tea!

Nicole Lee
via Facebook

It's so very nice to have a quality tea shop available. These people are experts on tea and have forgotten more than I will ever know about the various types. You can also have tea prepared in the formal and traditional manner for the given brew and that's quite an experience, and educational as well. My favorite is the Burien Blend which is a nice breakfast tea.

Gary F.
via Yelp

Our team

Virginia (Cinnabar) Wright
OWNER: Cinnabar is sometimes identified as “Gongfu Girl,” which is the name of the tea blog she has written since 2006. She can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and welcomes contact by email. She is passionately committed to studying particular tea cultures and traditions throughout the world, and is inspired by the multiple levels of exploration that tea invites her to: art, science, culinary, cultural, etc.
Feris Rupp
SALES ASSOCIATE: Feris works in the shop, helping to guide customers to discover the teas they want to drink every day or for special occasions. She has been a staff member at Phoenix Tea since early 2016. 
Chris Wright
UNOFFICIAL COMPANY SPOKESPERSON: Chris is a passionately committed tea aficionado, and can often be found at Phoenix Tea serving delicious teas and doling out sage advice to customers. He has a lot of reliable tea knowledge, but has been known to use a bit too much of his imagination. Chris writes the blog Hostilitea, and he can be stalked on Facebook Instagram or Twitter.