90
drank Berry Noir by American Tea Room
1118 tasting notes

It appears I’m the first to taste this, and sadly, it appears I may be the last.

I went to look for this tea on The American Tea Room site, and I can no longer find “Berry Noir” available for purchase. There are other berry teas available from ATR now, but not a single-flavor blackberry.

Which is a shame, because the first thing I noticed when I opened the sample packet was the big honking dried blackberries among the tea leaves and a singularly amazing blackberry smell.

Alas, the poor blackberry. It seems to get short shrift in the berry world, taking a second seat to its more popular cousins, the blueberry, the raspberry and the strawberry. I will admit to putting it in my grocery basket as an afterthought when I’ve been berry shopping. And yet, I’m always very happy when I eat a really juicy blackberry. Though I can’t conjure the taste of blackberry in my mind in the same way I can with its little friends. Perhaps that explains the fate of this tea.

Would that it were not so. The tea’s steeped aroma is a deep, luscious blackberry peacefully co-existing with a mild tea base that I suspect is Ceylon. The liquor, in any case, is very similar in color to the other single fruit blends I’ve tried from ATR.

The taste is remarkable. Really, truly, like having a mouthful of sweet berries with each sip. And since they’re not blue, rasp, straw, or any lesser known berries I’ve tasted, I’m comfortable with the idea that they’re blackberries.

This would definitely go on the shopping list if only it still existed.

Le sigh.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
JustJames

damn! i love blackberry! ah well, i have a ton of tea…. =0)

__Morgana__

James, I know, right?

Fjellrev

Aww, too bad they took it away from you. I like blackberries, but I’ll admit that I prefer more sour berries such as raspberries.

__Morgana__

Fjellrev, I like raspberries a lot, too. This tea was really awesome though.

MissB

I’d send them a note; I’m finding them really easy to work with, and they’ll tell you if it’s a temporary or permanent removal.

__Morgana__

Thanks, MissB, that’s a great suggestion.

American Tea Room

We can tell you – we now offer two teas – Blushing Berry (which has all the red fruit – currants and strawberries) AND Black & Blue (which has all the black and blue fruit – blueberries, blackberries) SO my guess is you would like the Black & Blue – sorry we no longer have your favorite but we think these two are awesome as well.

__Morgana__

Thank you. I’ll be sure to try them!

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Comments

JustJames

damn! i love blackberry! ah well, i have a ton of tea…. =0)

__Morgana__

James, I know, right?

Fjellrev

Aww, too bad they took it away from you. I like blackberries, but I’ll admit that I prefer more sour berries such as raspberries.

__Morgana__

Fjellrev, I like raspberries a lot, too. This tea was really awesome though.

MissB

I’d send them a note; I’m finding them really easy to work with, and they’ll tell you if it’s a temporary or permanent removal.

__Morgana__

Thanks, MissB, that’s a great suggestion.

American Tea Room

We can tell you – we now offer two teas – Blushing Berry (which has all the red fruit – currants and strawberries) AND Black & Blue (which has all the black and blue fruit – blueberries, blackberries) SO my guess is you would like the Black & Blue – sorry we no longer have your favorite but we think these two are awesome as well.

__Morgana__

Thank you. I’ll be sure to try them!

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Profile

Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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