This was the second choice for my recent Chi of Tea order. I seem to have an odd relationship with vanilla flavoured teas. I really want to like them. Like, really really want to, but the ones I’ve tried so far in my life have all been good, but rather on the somewhat too sweet side of things. I want something a little more subtle than that, so apparently this means that I’ll be trying out vanilla blacks as I come across them.
The leaves and the tea after steeping smell really nice. Radically different from my vanilla black from Whittards of Chelsea. This is darker, more robust, more powerful. More… everything, really. The Whittards positively pales in comparison. The aroma of this one, though, is strongly vanilla. Sweet and sort of raw in smell. I can actually sort of sense the rubber-y, leather-y texture and smell of a fresh vanilla pod (or as fresh as they can get from a Danish supermarket anyway). There’s a funny darkish sweetly side note as well, that is somewhat sharper than the sweet parts of the vanilla aroma. It actually reminds me of a particular sort of licorice sweeties that you can get here in Denmark, in spite of the fact that said sweeties have, to my knowledge, nothing to do with vanilla at all. But they smell exactly like this!
Yes! This is the sort of vanilla tea I want! I’m not getting a mouthful of something super-sweet and relatively artificial; I’m getting a mouthful of tea that tastes like vanilla. It’s… It’s strongly flavoured, strong enough that I wouldn’t be able to point out the origin of the base if I didn’t know what it was, but it doesn’t overpower the tea. It’s more vanilla pod than vanilla-y, really. I think that’s what appeals to me so much.
The cream aspect is there as well. Each sip feels much thicker than it is, as if there has actually been added some sort of dairy product to the cup. Which is something I do only very rarely indeed. It doesn’t really give a flavour on its own that I can find, but it adds significantly to the bigger picture and the experience of the cup.
This is definitely beating Whittards’ vanilla black spectacularly into the ground. I’m very impressed with this, it’s a definite re-purchase. And so far, it’s also my Perfect Vanilla candidate.