American Tea Room

Black Tea Review: American Tea Room Tangier

Tangier

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Tangier

Category: Black Tea Blend

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf:  Sri Lanka

The Leaves:  Stunning ebony leaves punctuated by intriguing orange-colored blossoms

Additions:  Saffron and Apricot Petals

Flavor: A medium-bodied, fruity-floral tea that tastes of apricots, citrus and honey

Overall: The Tangier is delicious both hot and cold, making it an indulgent beverage year round. This has fast become one of my favorite loose leaf teas.

Tea Review:

As the tea steeps it releases an enchanting fruity-flowery fragrance that intrigues the senses. I can’t wait to take my first sip. Then, as the warm liquid wraps itself around my tongue, a feeling of sheer joy washes over me.  I am at the mercy of an intoxicating dance of apricot and orange blossoms.

When I sink deeper into my cup and try to understand all the nuances that the Tangier provides, I find myself even more fully captivated. The apricot taste, which definitely plays the leading role, reminds me of alcohol for some reason, as if there were a drop of apricot schnapps in my tea. Good thing I wasn’t driving!

Next, I notice a hint of sweetness that is both fruity and honey-like.  Then hiding in the wings, waiting for the right moment to make its entrance, is a tart lemon taste that adds a bit of briskness to my cup.

Playing a supporting role, is an earthy, medium-bodied black tea that rounds out the Tangier perfectly.

Lastly, the finish is quite lovely, leaving me with a creamy mouth-feel with notes of apricots and honey that linger for quite some time.

As I sip this tea I am reminded of my days, as a child, in California picking fresh apricots from a neighbors tree. I had forgotten about that delicious memory until this moment. Interesting how certain flavors can bring old memories to the surface; I guess that is one of the reasons I love drinking tea.

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of the Tangier, which came in a well-constructed black bag with foil-lining. I am always pleased to see a foil-lined bag because this indicates to me that the vendor cares about keeping their teas fresh.

The bag was adorned with a helpful and colorful label that included the name of the tea as well as steeping tips. On the downside, these pouches are not re-sealable.

My New Tea Tasting Cup

Preparation Tips:

On the loose tea sample package it recommends using a water temperature of 200F and an infusion time of 4 minutes. I found these instructions to be quite accurate for obtaining the best tasting cup.

Since there were no specific directions about the amount of water or loose tea to use, I used one level teaspoon in my six-ounce glass teapot. I also gave my new tasting cup a spin!

I found that I preferred filtered water, as opposed to non-filtered water (plain tap water), to brew the Tangier tea. There are some beautiful nuances this tea has to provide that chlorinated tap water tends to bungle.

Additional Notes:

Iced Tea – The Tangier tea makes a perfect chilled drink. What’s especially fantastic is that no sugar is needed. This tea has a natural honey-like sweetness that shines through when it’s iced.

Infusions – I found that I was able to obtain two excellent tasting infusions from this tea.

Other – When I tweeted how much I enjoyed this tea, I was rewarded by receiving a tweet from the American Tea Room. They suggested adding some apricot slices and sparkling water to the tea and then let it sit overnight. I haven’t tried this yet because apricots are not currently available in our area. However, I hope to do so this summer!

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the American Tea Room web page for the Tangier tea. Enjoy!

Tangier

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: American Tea Room Grand Yunnan Imperial

Grand Yunnan Imperial

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Grand Yunnan Imperial

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan, China

The Leaves: The leaves are dark-brown to black in color with a sprinkling of golden tips

Additions: None

Flavor: A robust and slightly malty/biscuity brew with plenty of complexity

Overall: As I sit here writing this loose tea review and drinking the last of my sample, I am wishing I had ordered more of the Grand Yunnan Imperial. I really enjoy a strong and multifaceted black tea and this one certainly packs a powerful punch on both fronts.

Tea Review:

At first, I notice the robust-maltiness of the Grand Yunnan Imperial. As I explore further, the complexity of the brew starts to emerge. That is when I notice the unsweetened dark-chocolate note, which gives this black tea a richness that I really like.

Yet, there is something else there, another taste I can’t quite comprehend. Then it comes to me, a slight smokiness further enriches my cup along with a touch of spiciness.

As I finish off the first infusion, a decadent bitter-sweet dark chocolate flavor leaves my palette begging for more.

The second infusion is quite brilliant as well, especially for a black tea. I found that the smoky-spiciness has dissipated a bit and in its place is a honey-like sweetness. Overall, the second cup is mellower, but sweeter.

This is the kind of tea that you really want to savor in quiet contemplation so as not to miss any underlying flavors.

When I sip this tea, I find myself transported to a mountain top far above the din of the world. On that peak I feel one with nature and my warm brew reminds me that I am indeed alive—fully alive.

Sample Packs from American Tea Room

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of this tea, which came in a black pouch with colorful label. The label included the name of the tea as well as steeping instructions. One little annoyance with these bags, however, is that they don’t re-seal. On the plus side, they do have a thick foil-lining to help keep the tea fresh.

Preparation Tips:

On the loose tea package it recommends using a water temperature of 200F and a brewing time of 4 minutes. I found these instructions to be quite accurate for obtaining the best tasting cup.

Because there were no specific directions about the amount of water or tea to use, I decided on one level teaspoon in my six-ounce glass teapot.

In addition, I used filtered water, which doesn’t make a big difference in taste for the first cup, but does impact the flavor of the second infusion.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – For the second infusion, I allowed the leaves to steep for about 5 to 6 minutes. I was quite pleased, but a little surprised as well, that I was able to get two very good cups of tea from a single teaspoon.

Dessert Tea – I found that I really enjoyed this tea in the morning as my wake-me-up brew, but I also found myself craving this tea after eating a rich tasting dessert. It helped to keep me from going back to the kitchen for more chocolate!

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the American Tea Room web page for the Grand Yunnan Imperial tea. Enjoy!

Grand Yunnan Imperial

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: American Tea Room Brioche

Brioche

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Brioche

Category: Black Tea (Organic Blend)

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves:  Beautiful ebony leaves sprinkled with delicate orange-colored blossoms and large, thin slices of almonds

Additions: Sliced Almonds, Safflower Blossoms, Cinnamon

Flavor: A rich black tea blend that has notes of cinnamon, almonds and sweet pastry

Overall: After my first sip, I fell in love with this tea. It’s that good. Period.

Tea Review:

As the Brioche tea steeps, it fills my kitchen with warm tantalizing notes of cinnamon and sweet almond pastries. I can’t wait to take that first sip.  

But, I am a little uneasy. I fear that the taste will be disappointing, especially after experiencing the delicious aroma of the brew. However, I needn’t have worried.

That first sip is absolutely perfect. I actually do a little happy dance inside my head because I am so delighted by the pleasing taste in my cup. It’s love at first sip.

As dive deeper into the flavor and take time to enjoy all the nuances, I find that this tea reminds me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. The taste is sweet with a touch of cinnamon-spice that is complemented by a bakery-like quality.

But then, I a little bitterness comes into play.  This touch of tartness balances the sweetness nicely and gives my cup some robustness and depth.

The aftertaste is bitter-sweet, like any love story ending.

American Tea Room Sample Packs

Packaging:

Unfortunately, the sample-sized pouches are not re-sealable. However, they are constructed of thick material with a foil-lining to help the tea stay fresh longer. Plus, there are handy brewing instructions on the decorative label.

Preparation Tips:

On the tea sample package, it recommended using a water temperature of 200F and an infusion time of four minutes. I found these instructions to be quite accurate for obtaining the best tasting brew.

As with most of my tea reviews, I used my six-ounce glass teapot to sample the Brioche tea. Since there were no specific directions about the amount of water or tea to use, I decided to use one level teaspoon.

I tried both filtered and non-filtered (plain tap water) to brew my tea and didn’t find a significant difference in taste.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – This is such a wonderful dessert tea, especially if wanting to watch calories because it doesn’t need milk or sugar. This decadent and entrancing tea can stand on its own.

Infusions – The Brioche can be infused twice with good results. I found the first infusion to be robust with an enticing sweet note and touch of bitterness.

The second infusion retained the intoxicating sugar and cinnamon fragrance and flavor, but the brew was definitely weaker. Interestingly, there was no bitterness to be found in the second cup, even after an 8-minute steep.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the American Tea Room web page for the Brioche tea. Enjoy!

Brioche

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: American Tea Room Kensington

Kensington

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Kensington (English Breakfast Blend)

Category: Black Tea Blend

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Assam, India and Yunnan, China

The Leaves: Dark brown to midnight black leaves with a splash of golden tips. The dried leaves have an inviting sweet-earthy scent.

Additions: None

Flavor: A full-bodied and malty tasting brew with a touch of sweetness and just enough oomph! to get you going in the morning

Overall: Yunnan and Assam are two of my favorite black teas, but I had never thought to combine them. Good thing that the American Tea Room did it for me! This tea blend combines the best of two worlds and makes a rich and luxurious cup of tea.

Tea Review:

Since this English breakfast tea brings together two black teas that I adore, I was kind of expecting fireworks overhead when taking my initial sip. Even though the sky didn’t light-up with splashes of color, I was still dazzled by the combination of flavors.

At first, when the tea was still rather hot, I detected a note of sweetness. Just behind the scenes is a subtle, yet tantalizing flavor of bittersweet chocolate.

As the tea cooled, the maltiness seemed to really kick in, which made my cup even more interesting and enchanting.

The Kensington blend has a nice refreshing finish, just enough astringency to eloquently round out a robust and sumptuous brew. Plus, I love that little tingle on my tongue after each sip!

The overall experience left me feeling rather revitalized and empowered, ready to tackle whatever the day may bring.

American Tea Room Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of the Kensington loose tea, which came in a black bag with colorful label that included steeping directions.

However, one little annoyance with these bags is that they don’t re-seal, but on the plus side they do have a thick foil-lining to keep the tea tasting fresh longer.

Preparation Tips:

On the tea package, it recommended using a water temperature of 200F and an infusion time of four minutes.

I tried to follow these instructions fairly closely; occasionally I did let the leaves steep a minute longer out of habit, but I didn’t find that it made a significant difference in the taste.

As with most of my recent reviews, I used my six-ounce glass teapot. Since there were no specific directions about the amount of water or loose tea to use, I decided to go with the general guideline of one level teaspoon.

I do recommend using filtered-water, if possible, to allow all the wonderful nuances of this tea to really shine.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – I was able to get two infusions from the Kensington tea. The first was definitely much more robust and the second retained the maltiness of the first infusion, but was mellower tasting.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the American Tea Room web page for the Kensington tea. Enjoy!

Kensington

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.