Review: American Tea Room Tangier

American Tea Room, Apricot Tea, Black Tea, Saffron Flower Tea, Saffron Tea Add comments
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Thumbs up!" A burst of plump dried apricots radiates through each sip while the tea’s perfume immerses your senses in the Tangier delights."
Raven’s Teaview: 8.6/10
Other Teaviews: Lynn gave it 10/10, Vanessa gave it 8.8/10, Scott gave it 9.2/10, Jamie gave it 7.0/10, Shaiha gave it 9.3/10, Dan gave it 9.0/10, Katie gave it 8.2/10, Laura gave it 9/10, Sophie gave it 8.9/10
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americantangierUpon learning of the sordid and scandalous past of Tangier, I was kind of surprised it would inspire the name of a tea. Although, Tangier was once a mecca for the rich and famous, it became later inundated with espionage, beatniks, narcotics and swindlers that leaves it still with an edge for the wise journeyman. Thus, it seemed ironic that the eponymous tea would consist of the most expensive spice. So I was keen to discover whether it was indeed tangy-er in Tangier.

And alas, all of this question seemed answered from the racy contrast of the tea, where jet black leaves were punctuated with bright orange safflower petals and saffron. Although the description of the tea from the American Tea room website (http://americantearoom.com/tangier-tea.html) includes a “decadent blend of abundant saffron and apricot petals and large Sri Lankan tealeaves”, it looked like the tea also contains safflower petals along with saffron rather than apricot or saffron flower petals since there does not appear to be any violet (saffron flower) or white petals (apricot blossoms) in the tea. Safflower is also known as poor man’s saffron since they are a similar red orange shape, with the flowers more closely resembling a reed or elongated caraway seed. Alternatively, the saffron in the tea might consist of both the gustatorily inert styles of the saffron flower along with the delectable stigmas since the orange strands don't seem as dainty as the saffron threads (just stigmas) of the spice alone. Yet regardless, engaged with the stark contrast in the hues of the tea while the heavenly scent of apricot perfumed the air, it seemed a perfect match to Tangier.

In order to complete this journey, I started with 1 heaping teaspoon of tea using a 4 minute steeping with 195 °F water. Although, the American Tea Room offers suggestions for the time and temperature of brewing, it leaves the amount in the buyer’s hands. And what a journey of taste it is. A burst of plump dried apricot radiates through each sip while the tea’s perfume immerses your senses in the Tangier delights. Each sip finishes with a slightly tannic green pepper then spicy edge, as the saffron emerges from the fruitiness almost eloquently. With only a touch of dryness, the tea is light and smooth, leaving a long apricot finish that tingles under the tongue just like actually eating dried apricots can. Intertwined with the spirited apricot flavours, there is some floral vibrancy like pomelo or lemon yet I didn’t find much forward presence of the black tea which I can only conclude either melded ever so well with the apricot and saffron blend or that it didn't add much of its own personality. As a result, I found the overall taste profile slightly muddled between the starting vivid apricot and the ending saffron notes. Perhaps, some stronger hints of honey or toastiness from the black tea may have further fulfilled the fresh, spicy flavours. However, the lush apricot flavour is so enchanting, it's hard to think of anything else. Plus, I do think the saffron's richness accents the apricot's brightness well to bring an interesting twist and sophistication over a purely apricot blend. So without any jetlag of overly bitter notes, the trip to Tangier was both easy, lush and sweet.

Better still, after attempting to rebrew the leaves, it seems the party never ends in Tangier. I was rather surprised to find the apricot lasted three steepings and held up nicely to cooling although the saffron was more fragile. Hopefully, the wonderful saffron will hang in on storage after a package is opened too. Since the apricot is the most predominate flavour, as it faded in later brews, only very subtle melba toast or waxy reed type flavours and a light dryness were perceptible from the black tea. In order to fully appreciate the convivial interplay of flavours in the tea, I found using double the amount or 2 teaspoons made the saffron more apparent with a bit more bite from the tannins. Thus, it would be easy to taper the balance to one's mood since both brews from one teaspoon or two teaspoons of the tea were tasty with a definite apricot tanginess.

So it is indeed tangy-er in Tangier. Plus, with the interesting, vivid glimpse of Tangier, I think this tea could delight any time of day and have one checking fares for a trip overseas.

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Teaviews Member: Raven Raven
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2 Responses to “Review: American Tea Room Tangier”

  1. Dan Says:

    This tea is so obviously universally-loved that it probably deserves the #1 slot on the “Best Teas Overall” list here, yet it doesn’t even rank. I can’t think of any other tea that has been reviewed here so many times (10 reviews!) and so favorably each time. Perhaps it’s time to overhaul the ratings process somehow?

  2. David Says:

    Thanks Dan….and although I am just the tiniest bit biased, I did suggest that to Stephen. I have not seen a tea get 10 reviews before and it only takes one less than 8 score or so to offset even a 10! Thanks for your input.

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