Story and photos by Lara Alexander
Husband and wife Ann and Joe Budharaksa are itching to open the doors of the new Baicha Tea Room in downtown Edmonds. Although they were ready last week, their inspection indicated that they needed to first outline a plan for a parking curb outside. No problem say the owners, they will draw up plans right away and be ready for their grand opening on the lucky 11th day of the 11th month of 2011.
For now, dozens of gleaming mental canisters line the shelves behind the register, all filled with different varieties of tea. Beside the register sits the glass display case, ready for salads, sandwiches, cupcakes and other breakfast and lunch foods. Daily hot soups will also be on the menu. On the counter, glass containers hold miniature muffins and cookies, baked by Ann herself.
The main floor of the tea room offers counter seating as well as tables and chairs in front of the large front windows. A staircase leads to the downstairs sitting area, which houses numerous niches for tea drinkers and their families to sit together on couches and upholstered chairs. “We are a kid-friendly place,” say the owners, who themselves are parents to two young children. “We will also have warm cocoa in kid-sized tea pots for moms who want to keep the kids busy while enjoying their tea.”
Customers will be able to choose from almost 80 varieties of tea, by the cup or by the pot. A cup of tea is $2 to $3 and a pot is $4 to $6. Ann hopes that Edmonds residents will find the tea room to be a warm and comfortable place, offering an atmosphere as cozy as home. On the day that I was there to look around, a smiling couple knocked hopefully at the door, hoping to warm up with a cup of tea on their morning walk. Soon enough, Ann and Joe are hoping to be warming up all of Edmonds with steaming pots of tea. They will be open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Baicha Tea Room
622 5th Ave. S.