Cardinal Tea Room

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drank Hojicha by Cardinal Tea Room
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One of two teas ordered during a tea for tea service shared between my Dad and I at The Cardinal Tea Room in Montreal; this one being my pick! Check out this tasting note for more context:

I quite liked this tea, more so than the Rooibos de Provence we also tried. I don’t think it was a high end Hojicha, but for one that was prepared Western style I thought it delivered a solid, roasted profile with barley, brown rice, and cocoa notes. Not super nuanced but tasty. Paired great with the food, as well!

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This was the one place my Dad and I made it to on his first day here; it’s a tea room in downtown Montreal that does a tea for two service. I’d never actually been before, and I’d heard some mixed things about the quality of the food/tea but it’s sort of tradition that whenever I’m with my parents on any type of vacation that, if someone offers a tea for two service, we have to go – and so we did!

They give you the option of one large pot of tea or two small pots, so we went with the two small pots so that we could try more of their offerings and also each pick a tea of our own. This was actually my Dad’s choice (I went with Houjicha) – but frustratingly when our server came and brought us our tea he set this one up in front of me and the Houjicha in front of my Dad, without asking who had order what, and made a comment like “and the floral tea for the lady”…

That kind of thing just ticks me off; obviously there was no malicious intent and I definitely do enjoy a nice floral tea – but why you gotta assume!? I just hate that the assumption was that the roasted, straight traditional tea was for “the man” and the flavoured, floral tea was for me. Ugghh!

I did try a half teacup of it though just to get a feel of the tea, but after that we switched back to what we’d actually each ordered. This was definitely a nice tea; sweet and smooth with a honeyed berry and lavender vibe overall, with just a hint of rose. It’s delicious and I could see it working really well with something like scones or a sweeter, fruity dessert – but I certainly wouldn’t want a pot of it for a full service of tea because I don’t see it complimenting some of the more savory elements – of which we were served a handful.

As for the food!? It was ok; my favourite thing was the goat cheese and jalapenos muffins; creamy with just a hint of warmth, and definitely on the savory side. Scones were solid quality; and the cucumber sandwiches were tasty but nothing fancy. I personally wasn’t into the Deviled Egg (but, I don’t like deviled eggs much in general) but that was my Dad’s favourite thing. As for the sweeter element, the lemon bar and brownie bar, I felt like they weren’t top notch quality – nothing fancy. It’s hard to top the amazing, unique desserts were were served at the Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas, though…

Here are some pictures:

Martin Bednář

Looks great and tea was okay apparently. But you spent time with your father and it counts.


Traditions are always good to have.


Looks good though I would be annoyed with the waiter assuming also. I’ve had waiters act very condescending about tea to me and my sister and when that happens my sister likes to drop the fact that I write for a tea blog in front of them and watch their demeanor change.

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