Review: American Tea Room Organic Yunnan Golden Needles

American Tea Room, Black Tea, Organic Tea, Yunnan Tea Add comments
K’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea has a great scent, perfect balance, good depth, a fine aftertaste, and no bitterness."
K’s Teaview: 9.2/10
Other Teaviews: Lynn gave it 9.5/10, Laura gave it 9.25/10, Geoff gave it 10/10
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americanyunnanAmerican Tea Room is making a real effort lately to become my favourite tea room of all time, a position I imagine will never be filled because there are just too many amazing contenders. I love the way ATR's proprietors have a way of making even a customer with a tiny budget feel like a celebrity, much like the many celebrities that apparently frequent the shop. That being said, you may think you're paying their higher-end prices for merely the customer service and what I'm sure is an exceptionally high upkeep cost for their Beverly Hills brick & mortar store. I was admittedly sceptical at first, but, and while this varies from tea to tea and is a matter of opinion, even I will admit that many of the teas are worth every penny.

Spoiler alert: This is one of those many teas. For my first cup, I stuck with the packaging suggestion pretty closely. 1.5 heaping teaspoons of leaf, 200 degrees, 4 minutes. The cup smells luxuriously of cocoa, butter, and tobacco. For the asking price and considering it's from American Tea Room, I expected a lot from this tea, and sip after sip, I am not disappointed. Notes of pepper, cocoa, and tobacco dance across my tongue. It has all the flavours I want from a Yunnan, and they are all well balanced. It is pleasantly rich and brain-explodingly smooth.

I am not unhappy with this brew, but time to attempt another cup with more leaf. This does help the tea pop a bit more, make it heavier, and bring out a richness, but the stunning subtlety of the first cup completely struck all the notes I wanted it to hit. So I am perfectly content with making my leaf go a bit further by using less with each cup. A five-minute second steep is... meh. Just meh. It's fine, but after the first steep, fine just doesn't cut it. This is the kind of tea where I would hog the first steep then get someone else to drink the second, or I just wouldn't bother with a second steep at all.

Upsides: This tea has a great scent, perfect balance, good depth, a fine aftertaste, and no bitterness. it is an amazing leaf. Downside: I know this tends to drive Dave B. nuts, but I have to mention that it is on the higher end of the price scale, which is fair because it's also the peak of quality. Like I said, it is worth it, but that doesn't mean that the average consumer can afford to buy this often, if ever.

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2 Responses to “Review: American Tea Room Organic Yunnan Golden Needles”

  1. David Says:

    thanks for the nice words Katie…it is very expensive and its not for everyone, but for those that can it is wonderful.

  2. Katie Says:

    Worth every penny!

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