American Tea Room

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Recent Tasting Notes

68

I suppose I didn’t realize just how much lavender was in this blend when I ordered it, but the sample I purchased consisted of about 80% lavender. I do enjoy lavender in my tea, in small doses, but large amounts like this tend to be overpowering. I decided at the last minute to do a short (4 hour) cold-steep in an effort to draw out some of the other flavors—it actually turned out fairly well. The flavor still leaned strongly towards lavender, but I was able to taste the peppermint and lemongrass as well. This was a nice end of the day cup of tea, but not something I’m likely to order again—there is just way too much lavender for my tastes.

Kristal

I have a facial cleanser that is lavender. One time I bought a pure lavender tea thinking it was going to be amazing, but all I could imagine is drinking the cleanser!

Short Sorceress

so funny you should say that, I actually picked out some of the lavender to make a lemon lavender sugar scrub so the leftover tea didn’t go to waste.

Kristal

haha nice!

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88

Thanks to the kenalog shot I got at the end of May I am enjoying faint (sadly, very faint, but a teensy bit discernable) sense of smell. That means I rush all over the place, opening bags of tea and jars of spices just to inhale them. It’s really too warm out for hot tea, but many teas smell best hot. I was digging thru my drawer in search of a Mariage Frere that I am sure I have, but no luck. I went with this one instead. I remember it being quite delightful. Creamy and rich and sweet. However, this cup wasn’t quite any of those things. It may have been because my sense of smell is very weak. The leaf isn’t that old. I got it in November. But it may be aged enough to have lost some of it flavor and scent. I drank the entire cup. Although it wasn’t as good as I remembered, it was still a pleasant cup.

I’ll just keep the air conditioner running at first blast so I can enjoy more tea over the next few days. It’s like Christmas morning, trying to decide what to have next!

Evol Ving Ness

This makes me smile. I am happy for you. :)

Maddy Barone

Thanks. Evol No tea yet today, but I have some honeybush I’m going to brew up tonight.

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88

This afternoon I made cheater blueberry croissants (you know, fresh blueberries liberally sprinkled with sugar and rolled up in Pillsbury crescent dough) and I made this tea to go with it. It was really yummy. This is a nice, mellow sort of tea, no sweetener needed, perfect to go with some pastry or cookies. And since I just received my order of Girls Scout cookies, I don’t believe my sample of this tea will last long.

Fjellrev

I really wish we could get Thin Mints in Canada haha.

Maddy Barone

I have friends in Winnipeg who place large orders with the Fargo and Minot Girl Scouts. The boxes are put carefully away in the freezer and when they come down they gorge themselves on Thin Mints. :) The shortbread ones are my faves.

Fjellrev

Nice! I actually haven’t tried any of them before, only the Canadian sandwich cookies,but I’m always hearing from our southern friends how amazing the Girl Scout cookies are. How much do they sell for, btw? I think I read that ours are $5 per box now.

Maddy Barone

They are $4.00 USD a box. Probably a little less expensive depending on the exchange rate.

gmathis

I didn’t know about cheater croissants, but that sounds tasty, and definitely easy enough for my minimal culinary skills!

OMGsrsly

I love that croissant idea! Too bad there isn’t any gluten free Pilsbury stuff available locally yet. I know they make it! I’ve seen it online. :)

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88

Wow, what an awesome tea experience! I chose to drink this one on my morning break. So nice! Smooth, creamy, almost sweet on its own. When I finally work myself down to my 20 teas, this one will have a spot in the tea drawer. So glad I ordered a sample of this.

The not so nice news today is the passing of Alan Rickman. I was sad when I heard about David Bowie, but the news about Alan Rickman is even more devastating. Since the Potter books came out on Audible I’ve been getting one every few weeks and listening. Whenever the narrator speaks Snape’s dialogue I picture Alan Rickman. Sadness.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Alan Rickman. Oh no. How very very sad.

And this tea, yes. I am beginning to understand what the buzz is all about.

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80

The toasted sesame and warm fruity smell just took my breadth away wen I opened the bag. Flavored teas always tend to have issues with not tasting as good as it smells but this one smells so good that I didn’t have any problem with not tasting much at all! The warm smell of fig blends well with the nutty flavor of this tea. I bet that’s what liquefied nuts taste like….

Flavors: Fig, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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80

I’ve always thought rooibos smells like cough syrup. Not this one apparently. The floral and fruity smell makes it very relaxing. It’s supposed to be good for your health as well :)

Flavors: Floral, Licorice, Rooibos, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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80

I really do like this tea. So mellow and smooth. Today wasn’t a bad day at work really, just long. I tried to punch in at 6:45am but the system for telecommuters was down. It came up around 8:15. While I was waiting for it to come up I brewed a pot of this tea and knitted while sitting at the computer, staring at the blank screen. I worked until 6:30 (overtime sucks until you get the paycheck) and now am thinking of going to bed early. If work 10 hours tomorrow I can have my required 7 hours of overtime in by 1pm on Friday. Then a nice lazy weekend.

OMGsrsly

If the system is down do you still get paid from when you tried to start working? Or do your hours just get pushed back?

Maddy Barone

We get paid for the time the system is up. If we were in the office we would still get paid because there would be other things we could do like filing or going through manuals to mark sections that need updating. When we work from home we can’t do anything without the computer so we don’t get paid. Part of me is grumpy about that, but I suppose it’s fair, since I sat and knitted.

Nicole

Totally empathize with the OT sentiment. Working on what will be a 55 hour week myself. Hate the doing it but the check will be nice.

Maddy Barone

Holy moly, Nicole, and here I am whining about a mere 47 hours! Hugs. The paycheck should be nice.

OMGsrsly

Ugh that is so frustrating. :/ I can also kinda see their point, but it’s not like it’s your fault that their system isn’t working when it’s supposed to be.

Nicole, I wish you the best! That’s super tough.

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80

Woo-hoo! Tried this one on my late morning break. And we have a winner! I bet this one smells awesome. I can almost taste different flavors. There is some spice to it, but something almost creamy too. Definitely my fave so far of my samples that I ordered before Christmas.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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94
drank Black Jack by American Tea Room
1464 tasting notes

The short version: best root beer tea ever.

The longer version: The dry leaf is generously speckled with spices and smells strongly of root beer. It doesn’t smell like your typical mass produced root beer either (Mug, Barq’s, etc) but rather like root beer from a microbrewery à la Phillips.

It’s simply fantastic both hot and cold brewed. The base doesn’t get in the way at all. It’s smooth. The cinnamon comes out a little more hot. It reminds you how complex and interesting the flavour profile of root beer is. It’s not only sarsaparilla, but creamy vanilla and spices, too.

It goes without saying that I will be upgrading from a sample to 50g, maybe even 100g next time I order.

Sil

interesting!

__Morgana__

I’ve seen rootbeer flavored rooibos but not sure I’ve seen rootbeer flavored black tea. Interesting.

OMGsrsly

The one from DavidsTea was really good. And the honeybush from Butiki was also really good. Both are discontinued, though. :/

Fjellrev

Both of the above are good but I prefer this one. The root beer flavour in Butiki was awesome and all but ultimately, I prefer this one because of the base. DAVIDs is good but I’d say this one is more complex.

Fjellrev

And S&V smelled better/stronger than it tasted, in my opinion, especially since I don’t care for their base as much.

OMGsrsly

This is totally on my wishlist. Was shipping terribly expensive?

Fjellrev

According to my order, it was only $6! FWIW, I also waited for the BF order to counteract the crappy dollar exchange.

Sil

we must share if we get some omgsrsly!

OMGsrsly

Well, yes, of course sharing. Sharing is caring… :D Thanks for looking, Fjellrev!

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60

I’ve had only one other coconut tea and I didn’t really care for that one, but I want to like coconut tea. I know a lot of people don’t like coconut at all. I love coconut. My mom used to make a coconut macaroon cookie that I would inhale every Christmas season. Oh, man, my mouth waters thinking about those cookies! I was thinking about those cookies while I was making an order at The American Tea Room, I added a sample to my order.

Maybe it’s not fair to compare this tea to those cookies. This one just didn’t really work for me. The leaf is interesting. Quite a lot of small pieces of coconut in the dark tea leaves. It brews into a warm dark amber color in the cup. I can’t smell it, or taste it, but at the end of the sip is an odd after taste, I don’t know what it is, but I don’t enjoy it. So, glad to try this one, but I’m glad I didn’t buy more.

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39
drank Kaanapali by American Tea Room
3 tasting notes

This tea wasnt’ for me. The ginger was too strong for me. Personal preference.

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drank Nirvana by American Tea Room
636 tasting notes

Sipdown 7 of 2015. Sample from Beorhthraefn Thank you!

Received 10/2015 – Finished 12/2015

This is a slightly fruity green tea. This is really nice. I did not make this bitter yay! A little creamy, a little vegital. A pretty good afternoon cup.

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74
drank Martinique by American Tea Room
1464 tasting notes

Peach, I should have known you were going to be running the show. It seems like as soon as you throw peach into a blend, that’s all there is. Good luck trying to get noticed, mango and papaya.

Green rooibos, you’re doing a bang up job offering your usual, fresh perspective, unlike your annoying little red rooibos cousin who gets invited to all the parties even though not too many people like him/her. What’s with that?

Hot, the peach doesn’t really fit because it’s a little peach juice crystal-like, and not like a true juicy, fresh one. This fares better as a cold brew, but it’s like watching a Big Bang Theory rerun for the fifth time. This kind of peach flavour just gets boring after a while. So many other blends out there taste like this.

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92

Thank you, Fjellrev, for reminding me about this when I was bemoaning the no-moreness of the ATR Apricot Black. Fortunately, I had this in the little file-like storage box where I keep my samples, as yet unopened.

There’s a lot of apricot in the scent right out of the sample packet, though it’s a little different than the Apricot. A bit less focused, for lack of a better term? Like there is more to it than apricot, maybe. It has to be the saffron.

I steeped a little shorter than recommended but at the temp recommended on the packet and got a cherry-wood colored liquor (not surprising since the base is Ceylon) that is clear and quite attractive. I smell a higher pitched version of the leaves in the steeped tea.

The flavor is really nice. Certainly better than the Adagio apricot, but not as apricot-ty to my taste buds as the Apricot Black. Still, there’s a fruity rather than jammy apricot flavor that is noticeable particularly in the finish and lingers in the aftertaste. I’m trying to figure out what the saffron is doing flavor-wise, if anything. I think of it as a savory flavor though with some sweetness. I don’t really taste something I can identify as saffron, but the effect is to mellow the apricot and tea flavors and knit them together.

I will miss my Apricot Black, but this is delicious.

It’s raining here for another day in a fairly long string of rainy mornings. I’m trying to be a sport about it because we need the rain, but it helped the day get away from me. The kids are off school for the winter break and no. 1 had a friend sleep over last night. I awoke before seven to the sound of shouting and crying. The boys apparently decided wrestling would be a good idea, and as usually happens, no. 1 got hurt and took it out on no. 2. You’d think after the 800,000th time, someone would learn something? But no. (At what age does this stop? I’m almost afraid to ask). After that settled down, the sound of remote control cars whirring loudly and crashing into (I am guessing) table legs or each other. Until the BF got up to go to his doctors’ appointment and took all of them away to breakfast and the youth center and I went back to bed. I am trying to kick start my exercise program and I worked out yesterday and the day before. Today I woke up feeling like a truck had run over me, and since it’s raining I used the soreness as an excuse not to go out for day three, at least not just yet. Anyway, at some point I rolled over and fell asleep and when I woke up it was noon.

Geez.

Flavors: Apricot

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Fjellrev

I haven’t gotten out of bed until noon, or even past noon, a few times this past week so don’t beat yourself up!

And now I wish they carried Apricot Black still too just so I could try it.

__Morgana__

I will go easy on myself. :-)

I just got tickets for the entire family to go see The Force Awakens in reserved reclining seats. We have to go at 9 a.m., but it’s not like we have lots of plans this week. ;-)

Fjellrev

Epic! I still need to see it. Your family’s way of doing it is simply the best.

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75

I received a lovely little sample of this tea with my order from ATR. I gather it’s their Choco Latte tea with peppermint added, for a Holiday Edition. I’m not a big fan of rooibos, but this is quite nice. It brews up a beautiful clear amber color. Without a sense of smell the peppermint is very subtle, but it’s there. I don’t get the “woody” taste with this as I often do with other rooibos, and that’s a huge plus for me. I won’t rush out to buy more of this, but it’s nice and I’d be glad to drink it again.

Flavors: Peppermint

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89

This was my first time with Brioche. I had about 2 cups. I have to say, it really deserves the esteem it has. I found it so tasty and spot on almond brioche flavoured. I think I may have to seek this out to keep in my cupboard as soon as I sip down some of my older teas. Really enjoyable. Wow.

Flavors: Almond, Cream, Pastries

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75

Thank you for the sample, ATR! I enjoy this more than I thought I would. I could barely taste the spices in there, perhaps because the sample size didn’t contain as much. Maybe a touch of cinnamon but it’s not like your typical fruity spicy tisanes you see floating around, you know, with hibiscus. This doesn’t contain any hibiscus, which also sets it apart from them. I would have liked to have tasted more of the pomegranate, as I get mostly apple and cranberries. I wouldn’t buy any but it was nice to try this out.

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87
drank Lychee Black by American Tea Room
1464 tasting notes

The last time I ordered, I tried their Lychee Rose and quite liked it, but thought to try this one next before committing to any full sizes.

Both are great, but I like this one slightly more just because I can taste the lychee more so. Although, I must add, this has a floral, rose-like feel as well, like a drop of rosewater was added to my cup.

That said, this is a lot like Lychee Rose except with a better balance between the fruit and floral notes. Such a beautiful fresh aroma and taste here. Now that I’ve tried both, I can safely say that I will be ordering at least 50g of this one next time I order.

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75

A.T.R. sent me this sample in my recent order. It smells amazing, like cranberry orange muffins straight out of the oven. The flavor is comparatively weak though. I used a heaping teaspoon, but may have needed more, as this is a really chunky tea, and steeped up it doesn’t look like all that much, nor is it anywhere near as pink as it appears in the online picture.

There wasn’t all that much in the sample pouch though, so next time I guess I’ll just dump in all I have left.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

They sent me this one too! Thanks for the warning about parameters. Maybe I’ll just dump it all into a 1.5-cup mug.

Tamarindel

Yep, I think that would be best. Aside from cranberries, there’s not much in there.

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50
drank Macaroon by American Tea Room
1464 tasting notes

Tried finishing the rest of the sample just now (keyword: tried) but ended up having to dump the majority of the cup down the drain. Even though I knew milk/cream would have helped cover up the soapy coconut, I don’t want any dairy right now so I was cornered into pouring it out. Ugh. I liked the cacao twang in the background, at least.

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50
drank Macaroon by American Tea Room
1464 tasting notes

I almost didn’t order this because of the reviews but thought a sample couldn’t hurt in the end. Yeeeeeah. Tearing the bag open, soap flakes were screaming at me. The last time I bought a coconut, it was ridiculously soapy in flavour, and as a result, I haven’t bought another one since. Now I’m revisiting that experience.

The rooibos base is a little stronger but this is where the sweet licorice root plays a great part in aiding to cover that, along with the soapiness, up a bit. I don’t taste any vanilla, but the cacao husks are at least slightly noticeable too.

This would have been a lot better if a) this contained better coconut and b) there were more cacao husks. I’d mix the rest of my sample with Tisano cacao however that’s all packed up in a box and 100 km away so no can do.

Tamarindel

Fjellrev, how many servings would you say come in an A.T.R. sample? I’m thinking of ordering some, but at $4 each, I’m hoping they make more than 1 or 2 cups.

Sil

this one turned rancid really quick for me from what i remember.

Fjellrev

The samples all weigh approximately 15g so you can get at least 4 regular-sized cups, so it’s pretty decent.

It seems like everyone’s arrives rancid. You’d think they’d try to fix this problem.

__Morgana__

Bummer. Now I have to go see if I have any of this. LOL.

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72

Today at work was almost but not quite as bad as I expected. I worked three of the four Research Assists, including the one where the pharmacy was insisting the patient was not in the hospital. I finally obtained proof of the patient’s admission and sent a copy to the Contact Center for them to tell the pharmacy to shut it. That sounds rude, and I guess it is, but really, I can’t wave a magic wand and issue payment when it isn’t allowed. The pharmacy will need to submit the claim to the correct carrier to receive payment.

Anyway, I have a sample of this tea. It sounded so good. I brewed it exactly per the instructions, but it was bitter. Maybe I over leafed, or 5 minutes was too long. Generally I steep black teas for 3 minutes or so. I rarely add anything to my tea, but I added a couple of the rock sugar from Teavana to it and it was better that way. When I re-steeped I let it go only 3 minutes and it was much less bitter.

I really love it when a tea company allows online orders of samples. Some don’t, and if they are a new-to-me company I probably won’t order from them. But when I can order four or five samples I am far more likely to find a tea I love and of which I will order 50 or 100 grams. This tea won’t be a re-order, but I’m really glad I got to try it. I’ll finish the sample with a little sugar additive, and less steeping time. I may update my rating then.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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91

Only 10 more notes until I hit 1000. Wow.

I’m a little surprised that there wasn’t an entry for this already. I have several samples of ATR Yunnans, and since I’ve been enjoying Yunnans recently I decided to try one of them.

My sample is just called Golden Yunnan. It doesn’t have the word organic in it, but I’m pretty sure this is the same as what’s currently on the ATR site.

The leaves in my packet looked pretty much exactly like the picture on the site, mostly medium-dark green with some golden tips punctuating the green. The dry tea has a surprisingly complex aroma. A little earth, a little tobacco, a little pepper.

Steeped, its a clear, dark reddish brown and has a really mouthwatering sweet aroma that makes me think of molasses or a really dark honey, but also of baking bread.

The flavor is amazingly smooth and soothing, and it immediately calmed my tummy which had reacted to too much black tea this morning before this one. It has a natural sweetness, but isn’t overly sweet. There’s a bit of a fresh bakery bread taste, and if I look for the tobacco note I can find it. There’s that malty quality I find in Yunnans as well, and the characteristic dash of pepper in the finish.

Just a really pleasant tea all around. I’m looking forward to trying my other Yunnan samples from ATR.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Malt, Molasses, Pepper, Tobacco

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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