Not Your Usual Ice Cream

Written by Henry Gu

Bright lights illuminate rustic wooden counters and tables while a neat blackboard displays the assorted ice cream, toppings, and baked goods available. Clean metal containers house a truly diverse variety of flavors, from “toasted coconut” to “sweet cream with a honey balsamic twirl.” Founded in Palo Alto, California, Tin Pot Creamery is one of the most unique ice cream shops I have ever visited, having opened a new location in San Mateo. The strongest appeal of Tin Pot is its arsenal of distinctive ice cream flavors that are either completely original or include a special twist. Flavors such as “Four Barrel Coffee with Cocoa Nib Toffee” and “Pumpkin with Bourbon Caramel Swirl” boldly declare themselves to customers, attracting them to try and experience an entirely different type of ice cream. Even “ordinary” flavors were deceptive. Before trying the mint chocolate chip flavor, the server warned me that the flavor would be different from other versions of the flavor I had previously encountered, stating that Tin Pot used unique “herbal mint leaves” for their flavor instead of usual mint extract used in other shops. This resulted in a fresher and more refined taste than any mint ice cream I had ever previously tried. One sale even advertised a Harry-Potter-themed “Butterbeer Float,” elevating the classic root beer float to greater heights. Flavors such as these were extremely intriguing, enticing me to ask for more free samples at the Tin Pot Creamery than any other ice cream vendor. Despite their uncommon and sometimes even complicated names, the flavors were on par in terms of quality with many of the popular ice cream flavors we often enjoy. The texture was described to be “extremely luscious,” as stated by junior Patrick Chiang. My order was the regular-size ice cream bowl, which included a scoop of the “cookie monster” and a scoop of the “salted caramel” ice cream flavors. The combination was delicious and would have earned a perfect score from this reviewer if not for the high price tag, which was almost six dollars for just two scoops. For some, however, the unique taste and flavors may be well worth the higher price. The taste experience was greatly enhanced by the clean ambience of the store. The Tin Pot Creamery’s physical design, much like its flavors, is that of a classic ice cream shop with a unique twist, with wood furniture that gives off a classy and retro feeling. This is emphasized by the large blackboard in the center of the store that lists off the multitude of cold treats available to buy, hinting at the vibe of a cafe or coffee shop. It was both pleasing and satisfying to enjoy my cold treat in this kind of environment. Overall, I would rate the Tin Pot Creamery four out of five, due to its unique offerings of ice cream and wonderful shop design which is only held back by its slightly extravagant price tag.