Absolute Tea to bring the wonders of cheese tea to Capitol Hill

Vince Shi sees cheese teas in Capitol Hill’s future. Along with his wife, Kathy, Shi is the future proprietor of Absolute Tea, a shop slated to open in new construction at 1715 12th Ave in late summer.

Shi will serve cheese tea—or zhī shì chá in Mandarin—a drink originating in Taiwan that quickly became all the rage in China and throughout East Asia over the past few years. It consists of a green or black tea topped with a slightly salty froth made of a mixture of cream cheese, milk, and whipped cream. It will be served along with a selection of bubble and traditional teas, matcha, and light snacks.


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Shi’s passion for teas was stirred when he first tried matcha at Cha Cha Matcha in West Seattle. “I fell in love with matcha. It really gives you energy but it’s not so strong compared to coffee. It’s energy throughout the day, not just a short burst.”

Vince and Cathy (their English names—“Easier to remember” says Shi) initially looked into franchising a bubble tea shop, but they were put off by all the prefab powdered ingredients that go into many of their drinks. “We want to provide real stuff—real purees, real teas,” he says.

Shi estimates that they’ll probably open by September after completing the city’s arduous permitting process. The shop will be located on 12th Ave across from Bergman Lock & Key and Scratch Deli, a block from Cal Anderson Park.

More 12th Ave food+drink
Here’s a quick note about a new restaurant coming to a 12th Ave space a few of you have asked us about. Mr. Saigon is the new joint being readied to take over the space formerly home to the University Market and Deli at 12th and Columbia.

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