Steeping Room in Austin, Texas
5/5
Edit
Cameron B. rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

I’ve actually been to The Steeping Room a few times now, but have never written a note about it before today. I have to say, both myself and my boyfriend have been very impressed by both the tea and the food.

First off – the tea. They have a surprisingly diverse tea list, offering a variety of both straight and flavored teas of all types, including black, green, white, oolong, puerh, and heicha teas along with maté, rooibos, and herbal tisanes. In most cases, there are several different single origin teas available in each category. For this visit, I tried the Noble Concubine (gui fei) oolong along with the White Tea #18. The gui fei was very good, with honeyed dried fruit notes. I was less enamored with the white tea, it was enjoyable but much less complex.

One thing I love about this tea room is that they present you with the steeped leaves along with the tea itself. I enjoy being able to see and smell the wet leaves, and they can also be resteeped multiple times.

The food menu is also quite diverse. There are multiple different tea services available, from the traditional English style to more modern takes on afternoon tea, such as the Asian-inspired Zen Tea Service. Personally, I particularly enjoy their selection of scones. They also offer a myriad of sandwiches, soups, and salads, along with more unusual plates such as Buddha bowls. There’s also a breakfast menu, and a brunch menu on Sundays, though I have not personally tried either of these items.

Definitely try out The Steeping Room if you ever find yourself in Austin, Texas!

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs1ElRKlqFH/

The Whistling Kettle in Ballston Spa, New York
5/5
Edit
Cameron B. rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

I found the Whistling Kettle here on Steepster, and decided I wanted to go. So my boyfriend and I drove over to try their afternoon tea on a Sunday afternoon. Their afternoon tea consists of your choice in three categories: savory (sandwiches, premium salads, crepes, quiche), sweet (scones, tea breads, sweet crepes, cake), and either a house salad or a cup of soup. My boyfriend and I were both very impressed with the food, and the quiche and soups in particular were very good. He didn’t get a tea, but I chose their Ancient Forest black and found it to be tasty enough. From what I can tell, they resell blends that they purchase online (they have several teas that I’ve seen before at many online retailers such as ESP, Culinary Teas, etc.). I don’t find this offensive, but I consider this to be more of a food establishment and not a tea blender.

Profile

Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m 29 years old and currently living in Austin, Texas with my boyfriend of 5 years. We’re both software engineers, currently working in the field of Machine Learning. I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-faced dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one.

I am also an avid yarn collector (errr, I mean knitter!) when the hot Austin weather allows for it… Find me on Ravelry under the name LorenWeiss!

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. I have recently started to brew gongfu cha style!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, just let me know via PM!

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms, including black, green, oolong, and white teas, as well as maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I am open to more exploration of puerh, but it’s not generally one of my favorites. I am not often a fan of fruit-based tisanes.

My very favorite straight teas tend to be from China, Japan, or Taiwan. I also enjoy matcha!

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially mango and pineapple.

Dessert: Again, all the things! I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I do very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose and lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a main flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea. Smoke can be tasty when it’s not heavy-handed.

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing
Yunomi

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.

My profile photo is by inkpug!

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/cam...

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