Steeping Room in Austin, Texas
Cameron B. rated this place
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!

The Whistling Kettle in Ballston Spa, New York
Cameron B. rated this place
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.



Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include piano, knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, planners, bento, KBeauty, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

- January Sipdowns: 6
- Total 2024 Sipdowns: 6

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using big mugs or small teapots depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I’ll also often use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, and honeybush. I love matcha and drink it often! Fruit tisanes are not a favorite, but I’m always willing to try them.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

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, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: 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 very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura, chamomile, and elderflower. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or 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 starring 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.

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Old Barrel Tea Co
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts

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 or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:


Austin, Texas


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