Review: American Tea Room Provence

American Tea Room, Herbal Tea, Lavender Tea, Lemon Balm Tea, Lemongrass Tea, Mint Tea, Peppermint tea, Verbena Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!" The scent was clean with a slightly lemon after-whiff. As for taste, it won me over."
Geoff’s Teaview: 7.9/10
Other Teaviews: Lynn gave it 9.3/10, Troy gave it 8/10, Laura gave it 8.25/10, Shaiha gave it 7.5/10
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americanprovenceI have a rather rough history with lavender. I've tried three blends with lavender in it. Two chamomile, one white. The effects ran the gamut from bathwatery to gut discomfort. My personal motto had been: "Lavender should be applied topically, not sipped."

A friend of mine over tea - a woman no less - countered me once with, "What do you mean you don't like lavender tea?! I love it! I want to lather my body in it."

I nearly spilled my steep.

The ingredients listed for this herbal medley were lavender, lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemongrass, peppermint, and spearmint. I was elated by all the lemony herbs listed. Why myrtle wasn't included, I can only speculate. Perhaps three was enough. Lemon verbena - while the lighter of the lemon-flavored herbs - I liked the best because of its relaxing properties; smooth like a light nettle with a citrusy spank after. I often blended it with white tea for a soothing drink.

The boldest color of this blend was purple. Purple...unopened...lavender buds. There was a LOT of lavender on display here. The second, but by a far margin, was the verbena. I was hard-pressed to find any lemongrass, balm, or either of the mints. From the American Tea Room site, the brewing instructions weren't that specific; 200F water, five minutes. No measurements. So I went with my best tisane default; 2 tsp. in 16oz. of boiled water for five minutes. Usually a safe bet for botanicals, especially the citral-heavy ones.

This brewed to a murky-ish, pale yellow. Not the prettiest of infusion, almost soapy. The scent was clean with a slightly lemon after-whiff. As for taste, it won me over. Not once did I feel like I was imbibing my used shower contents. Verbena and spearmint dominated the forefront, the lavender provided a pleasant and clean finish. I didn't really detect the peppermint much. Verbena usually has an understated citrus profile, balm is supposed to be bold (but I didn't taste it), lemongrass was nonexistent.

Very decent sleepy cuppa.

Tea Tip: It doesn't last through a second infusion at the same steeping time. Any attempt will be rather bathtubby. If you choose to go ahead anyway, steep for eight-to-ten minutes, and maybe add some myrtle to bring the citrus notes back.

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