American Tea Room - Brioche

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My first exposure to American Tea Room was about a year ago, when someone sent me a sample of Brioche. I loved it. I was also in the "try all the teas" stage still, and after some time I got past that and started narrowing my taste a bit. I still carried the memory of Brioche and it was a fond memory, but I always worried that after having had so many other teas, I might be remembering it through rose-colored glasses.

Fast forward to last week, when ATR had a free shipping deal. OK, fine. I'll order some Brioche. I was really surprised when the order shipped the same day, and even more surprised when it arrived with a super generous packet of Grand Yunnan Imperial. I haven't tried that one yet, but it's everything I love in a tea (how did they know?) It looks like a full ounce - and so many companies send one tiny tea bag, so I was impressed.

The dry leaf smells delicious. A bit of cinnamon, a little raisin maybe? As you can see on the photo below, I took the dry leaf outside to take a picture in good lighting, and the wind kept bringing the smell to my nose and it smelled like fresh baked cinnamon bread. It's chock full of almonds, spice and some pretty flower petals for color.  Even the neighborhood cat wanted some - you can see a little of his fur in the edge of the picture.

I feel like I am drinking dessert, but not a dessert that is too sweet. Just comforting spice bread, maybe with a tiny smear of butter. So many times with flavored black teas, the base doesn't stand up to the added flavors, but that is not the case with this tea. I still taste the tea. The front of the sip is cinnamon, and the aftertaste is where the raisin sneaks in. The almond is not heavy, but I can definitely identify it. It is blended in perfectly. I steeped mine for the recommended four minutes and have just the tiniest bit of astringency, so I might try slightly less next time. I'm really happy that I ordered this again!

And, Happy Memorial Day weekend!  ATR is having a site-wide sale.  20% off your purchase with code MEMORIAL, and free shipping if your purchase is over $50. Knock yourself out.

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