American Tea Room
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Recent Tasting Notes
I have been so bad about tasting notes the last two days! Just super busy I guess, and a feeling of not knowing what to write.
Continuing with the cupboard chronology, I finally picked up a few ounces of this tea last fall. I’ve only ever had it in my cupboard as random samples before, but I finally got to add a substantial amount. This tea is kind of amazingly expensive, but it’s also kind of amazingly good. Getting it at one of ATR’s many 20% off sales was key.
This is sweet and creamy, and it has a distinctly fruity character as well. It’s a tieguanyin, not a jin xuan or one of those quangzhou milk oolongs, so it’s really quite unlike other milk oolongs. I’ve never come across another oolong like it, which is kind of amazing. Happy I have some more, and I will probably hoard it a fair bit due to the price.
This is better as a cold brew, than it was hot but at the end of the day, it is just not for me. It is sort of like a more muted and more vegetal version of Teavana’s Fruta Bomba. Not bad but not a tea I am sad to say goodbye to. I am glad I got to try it though so thank you Kat_Maria for sharing with me!
I’m close to a sipdown here, but I haven’t anticipated clearing this one out before I leave. Partly because I drink it very rarely, and partly because we’re planning to go to California in August, so I have a few months before I can get more.
This tea embodies brioche perfectly. Liquidized brioche.
Also it’s 6am and it was one of those morning where I had to get up the second the alarm went off. Does anyone else get an upset stomach when they have to get up and start moving so quickly? I always do, bleh. Hopefully that will pass quickly.
Thank you Kat_Maria for sharing. Unfortunately, I brewed this hot and it just tastes like a generic fruit green tea with a vegetal green base. I will try it cold brewed but this is not a promising start. I am starting to feel as though, with the exception of Brioche, I am not a lover of American Tea Room teas and that is okay because you can’t like them all.
This is yum.
I think I bought this sample because I liked the name (both because of the London neighborhood and because of the movie), but I’m glad I did. It’s a bold, hearty breakfast tea without being heavy. In the packet, I can smell both a bit of sharpness from the Assam and maltiness from the Yunnan. The steeped tea has a sweet, malty aroma and is a clear, mahogany color.
It has been a while since I had the Earl Grey Shanghai, but this reminds me somewhat of the base of that tea (must be the Yunnan) without the bergamot. I definitely get the “woodsy sweetness” of the description, as there’s something very arboreal about the flavor. I’m conscious I’m drinking something made from leaves when drinking this, and it’s a pleasant reminder. I can also get a hint of sweet tobacco.
Definitely many notes in this one, all of which work together nicely. It’s going on the shopping list.
And happy Easter to those who are celebrating.
Flavors: Malt, Tobacco, Wood
First of all, thanks to Tea Brat for sending this to me to try. I LOVE cardamom and was looking forward to this tea. Sadly, there is very little cardamom in it. I read a note on this tea by Flowery who called it “undistinguished.” I think that is the perfect description. I’m glad I got to try it – but I made it MUCH better by adding a bunch of my own cardamom to it.
Good morning Steepster—
I am having this tea today because I was in the mood for something cardamom-y, I just wish this tea had more cardamom in it, I usually just end up adding my own so I’m not thinking this will be a repurchase for me. Adding both soymilk and sugar makes it slightly more pleasurable.
Hoping that today I will be feeling better than I did yesterday. I got electro-acupuncture for the first time yesterday and that was pretty interesting. It could be my imagination but I think it helped a bit with the pain I was experiencing…
I have seen many amazing reviews of this tea, so it was recently added to my wish list. I am glad I got to try this one. The first sip actually reminded me of a snicker doodle. Very cinnamon and almond cookie like. I drank the first half of the cup straight, then decided since I was drinking a dessert tea that I would add some milk and sugar. The milk and sugar really helped bring this to life for me. This is very enjoyable. If I ever order from ATR I might consider adding a small amount of this.
I just received this tea in the mail. It’s the 2014 picking. I brewed it after lunch according to the American Tea Room’s instructions, which is twice as long as I would steep the 2012 Canton Tea Co. version of this tea. I’m not enjoying this anywhere near as well as I enjoyed the Canton version. It’s so much more vegetal, which maybe is partially because it is so fresh. But it doesn’t have the same sweet vanilla, floral, and apricot that made me love Canton’s offering. My other favorite tea from the Darjeeling region was also from 2012. I wonder if that is just coincidence or if that year had an unusually good harvest. I’ll try this again with a shorter steep and a cleaner palate and see how I feel about this then.
i do love this tea. this ATR blend was a game changer for me~ i had thought previously that i just wasn’t big on fruit teas? nope….. PEACH TEAS. apricot is a whole other story!
i love the depth in this one. i am persuaded that someone has brutalized an apricot on my behalf into my teacup =0)… and it makes me smile! (horrible, i know, but there it is).
so glad i finally have a full sample of this beauty!
right off the bat thanks need to go to david and jeff at american tea room~ this order was fraught with ghosts in machines and almost didn’t happen. they worked very hard, also very honourably to ensure a smooth result despite hiccups. i appreciate your efforts hugely- thank you both.
this tea. wow! it’s completely named for the smell… exotic, nutty, dark fruit, no flowers at all. i almost didn’t want to drink the tea… i just wanted to sniff it.
the next stage of the testing process: does the smell hold up once water is added? it did! a 4-5 minute steep…. i didn’t want to wait. i paced, which probably looked funny because i’m a clutz on my legs (in my chair i’m just a threat/menace, lol).
i gave a minute or two…. blisters on the tongue not so much fun aaaaaaaand. what’s this? it does not taste like how it smells. what does it, what do i…. um…. hmmm.
i was so confused! okay, i’ll admit- i stomped my foot a bit because i really wanted the tea to taste like that incredible smell!!!! and then i had to go to school for my last psych lab…. i couldn’t stop thinking about the tea i’d left behind. it was very smooth, not cloying or overpowering, really expertly balanced.
i’ve never had a tea remotely like it. the sesame is a perfect accompaniment… nutty but no bitterness like walnuts can sometimes lend.
very, very nice.
american tea room comes up with from remarkably unique blends- i find i don’t always like them, though i usually respect them. this one i both like and respect. i will buy again!
I bought this tea back in November with the intention of trying it out before giving it to my father. It sure does pack a berry flavored punch, I really like the combination of strawberry and currant. The strawberry adds a much needed sweetness to the blend, but doesn’t mask the tartness of the currants. I think this will make a very refreshing iced tea once the weather warms up some, it’s a shame I didn’t keep any more for myself.
Well, this final cup was the best one I’ve made thus far but it looks like the final tallies are in and, well, this just isn’t the blend for me.
I seriously do get the flavour notes I see others messaging, and in this cup in particular I really did get the sweet breadiness of it – but that amazing “Wow Factor” doesn’t translate and this falls short of the expectations I had built up for it.
On the somewhat “plus” side of things, I think I’ve figured out what it reminds me of, though; Candied Almond from Cuppa’T Specialty Teas (which I have an unopened 50g bag of in my closet). The main difference though (and why I recall liking Candied Almond more) is that CA is sweeter, and more marzipan like. I think that, all in all, makes it seem more ‘full’, flavour wise.
But so much thanks to Courtney for the sample; trying a Steepster favourite was a worthwhile experience, even if I didn’t love it.
I have a lot of this and decided I would brew some up today and have it iced. This was a really good decision, I think I prefer it cold and if you pour it over ice the tartness is diluted somewhat and it becomes more refreshing. I will have to try giving this the cold brew treatment soon. I’m glad I discovered it’s good cold because I might actually finish it someday. ;-)
Ok, apparently I lied last night – when I went to measure out what I thought would be a sipdown it turned out I still had enough leaf left for one more cup, so I’ll finish this one off tomorrow most likely, for realsies.
Anyway, while this is certainly a step up from last night’s botched disaster – I still feel like this is kind of a let down for me. I mean, I get most of the tasting notes others are describing; spices like cinnamon, baked bread or pastry, a nuttiness, maybe a touch of butter – but regardless of that, this just seems a little bland. For my tastes, I think I’d like it better if it was richer. And all that said, there’s still something alarmingly familiar about it; I swear I’ve had another tea practically identical to this (but I want to say better, even though I can’t place what I’m reminded of).
It always sucks when you don’t love a Steepster favourite.
Oh well, like I said I still have one more cup so maybe that cup will really surprise me and turn my opinion around!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cinnamon, Nuts
Well, I made this in my timolino for work – but then when I got home I fell asleep for a straight seven hours (just like I did yesterday), so when I cracked the timolino open to try this highly raved about tea, it was stone cold…
I’m not really getting a ton of flavour from this now that it’s cold; maybe some cinnamon in the mid sip, and a little more of a baked bread kind of vibe in the aftertaste. It’s really disappointing, actually – I feel like I’m totally missing out on something that’s supposed to be so good!
I have enough leaf left from the sample that Courtney gave me to give this one more try tomorrow; fingers crossed I don’t fuck it up!
For now – leaving this ratingless…
Yummy! The aroma is intoxicating! It smells so much like the brioche I remember from the pastry shop near where i used to work. The taste fulfills the promise given in the aroma. For me, the beginning of the sip has the strongest of the brioche taste. If I drink again right away it seems to be less prevalent but if I wait between sips the taste is right back where it should be. I’m probably am just imagining it. Very tasty cup of tea. I am definitely going to put this on my wish list.
So before I go to bed, and while I’m wating to see if TK will actually stay in bed or if she’s just gonna get up and bolt out of her room at mach 9, I like to stand by my tea cupboard and pick out a tea for tomorrow. Something nice that I’m not drinking for a sipdown, but because it’s a real treat that I love. It’s a nice calming ritual.
That is, until you forget what tea it is the very next day! I spent about half my bus commute trying to remember what tea I had brought with me and trying to visualize where I’d grabbed it from etc. No idea. But then I looked at it and saw the almond chips and KNEW, just KNEW it was Brioche.
What a treat. Yes, I love this tea. And I appreciate everyone who has sent me a sample of this one! Miss B, VariaTEA, Sil and possibly others?