It is no secret that I’m an avid tea drinker, so when I heard that American Tea Room opened a location at Fashion Island, I popped in to take a look.
I was lucky to sit down and have a few moments with David Barenholtz, American Tea Room CEO and have the opportunity to chat with him about his vision and how he travels the globe in search of unique and rare teas. He says, “Drinking our tea is equivalent to enjoying a fine wine, so we’re looking forward to opening our guests’ eyes to some of the most exquisite teas they will have ever tasted, a few of which can’t be found anywhere else in the United States.”
There are more than 200 rare teas, all carefully sourced by Barenholtz, at American Tea Room. You will find a menu of various teas served by the glass, including a premium matcha selection, a complexly-aged 1992 Vintage Pu’Er Tea, and a holiday-inspired, spice-laden Pink Christmas Organic Herbal Tea.
Teas are prepared using state-of-the-art BKON craft brewers, which use RAIN (reverse atmospheric infusion) technology to brew a perfect cup of tea in less than 60 seconds—instead of a process that typically takes several minutes.
I tried the Himalayan Butter Tea, a hot beverage of Nepalese black, Oolong and Pu’Er teas, butter, salt, milk, and honey, exclusive to American Tea Room. I highly recommend this creamy, rich tea.
American Tea Room is also centered on education and discovery, and as you walk around the store, you’re able to explore all 200 global tea varietals through the Interactive Tea Zone. Teas are displayed in color-coded tubes, which you can open and smell. If you find one you like, simply scans the bar code on the tube, and a wealth of information, such as variety, appellation, tasting notes, mood, optimal food pairings, and brewing instructions, pops up on a 46” touch screen.
A menu will be offered in the new year, at which time, I’ll re-visit and post what you can expect in terms of things to eat. In the meantime, visit the store and find an exclusive and eclectic array of teas from the world over all in one place.
American Tea Room
549 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660