Queen Anne's Cederberg Tea House Offers Rooibos Espresso

Seattle meets South Africa with rooibos espresso
Cederberg Tea House offers drinks made with rooibos espresso

Seattle’s many teahouses have long been sweet on the red bush tea known as rooibos (pronounced “ROY-bus”), but a new entry in the field is offering a fresh take: rooibos espresso. Open since July, Cederberg Tea House on Queen Anne (1417 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206.285.1352; cederbergteahouse.com) is named for the only region where the earthy, nutty, antioxidant-rich rooibos grows naturally: the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa. For rooibos espresso, tea leaves are finely ground and then pulled in shots via an espresso machine—just like coffee, but without the caffeine. South African Natasha Robson-Lovato (who co-owns the teahouse with her mother, Cecile Robson) opened the shop after a stint catering formal afternoon teas, and says she believes hers is the first place in the United States to offer concentrated rooibos espresso. Try a rooibos latte (topped with layers of honey and cinnamon; $3.95), a rooibos fresh (iced apple juice with two shots of rooibos espresso; $3.95), a rooibos frappé (a frozen, blended drink with two shots of rooibos espresso; $4.50) or perhaps a rooibos doppio (two straight shots of rooibos espresso; $2.19), if only because it’s so fun to say. Once you have your rooibos down, it’s time to explore the many buttery South African pastries available—hertzogs and koeksisters and melkterts, oh my.