75
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1270 tasting notes

I got this in the great big box that Dax Pamela Dean sent to me a while back and since so very many of you, including JacquelineM who is well known to a bit of an expert on vanilla teas, count it among your favourites. So I’ve been looking forward to trying it, even though I have to say I’m a bit wary of this whole decaf business. I’ve had a couple of decaf teas in my life before but never (that I can recall) in any sort of succesful way.

It’s standing next to me, wafting vanilla aroma all over the place. It’s a sugary sweet sort of vanilla aroma to me, not the rubbery leathery roughness of the pod. The aroma, on closer inspection (nose to cup), strikes me as strangely alien. I can tell it’s vanilla, yes, but I’m not sure I’d say I could tell it was tea. I would of course be able to identify it as tea through a qualified guess, but it’s not something that really says, “I’m tea, I smell like this!” It’s like something is missing, and I’m suspecting it’s something to do with the decaffeination process.

Flavour-wise, I have to say I’m surprised that it’s so popular. It’s definitely not my ideal vanilla tea, but that said, it’s not unpleasant either. Let’s start at the bottom with what I can make out of the base. It would help a lot of if I could figure out what the base actually is, because all I’m really getting out of it is a fairly wooden flavour. I can’t for the life of me spot this ‘rich malty character’ business that H&S mentions in the description. Just… wood.

The vanilla flavouring is good though. It’s strong, yet subtle all at the same time. Probably because the vanilla itself has a funny dark flavour (identifies as black or very dark brown in my synesthesia), which sort of expands and fills the mouth.

I’m lacking the pod flavour though. That syrup-like, leathery feeling to it is completely missing, and the absence of it makes the flavouring feel a little synthetic. The presence of detectable vanilla pod gives a vanilla tea an impression of authenticity and without it, we may as well be looking at synthetic aroma.

So in a way I’m both relieved and disappointed. I do like the tea, but I’m disappointed that I can’t find it in myself to love it as much as most of the rest of you. For the same reason I’m also relieved, since it’s not a tea that is available to me unless I get someone to buy it for me and forward it, which would be a very impractical way to shop.

So if I can’t have the Vanilla Nilgiri from Chi of Tea anymore, which I had otherwise named my Perfect Vanilla Tea, then I’ll just have to keep on looking.

JacquelineM

I truly like the tea, but what I love most about it is that I can have it at 9pm and sleeeeeeep. I was not fond of any of the other decafs I’ve tried (except for Harney’s Decaffeinated, but I plowed through that sample awhile ago and haven’t had a chance to replace).

teawing

I hope I didn’t misrepresent this to you. It is good decaf, but still…decaf.
I found it a lot better than many regular teas I have tried. The advantage of drinking it late with a good book is well worth it to me. I am waiting for some H&S Vanilla Black to compare. Happy Father’s Day to me… :)

Kashyap

you can save yourself a lot of money buying decafs, by just steeping a regular tea 60-90 sec, pouring off this extraction and resteep..this reduces the tea’s caffiene content to about the same level as SWP decaf coffee…low enough that it wont affect most….and this works for all teas…why pay the price for a chemically treated/co2 gassed decaf? its nearly double and they never have the teas you want….

Angrboda

JacquelineM, sleeplessness as a result of having had tea in the evening has never been an issue for me, though. Well, maybe once or twice, but not on any sort of regular basis that required me to actually consider changing my behaviour.

Teawing, gosh, no. LOTS of people have had high praise to say about this for almost as long as I can remember having used Steepster. But H&S is not a shop that’s available to me, so I have never before had the chance to try it, or I probably would have earlier.

Kashyap, actually that’s an old myth. Pouring off the first steep doesn’t remove any significant amount of caffeine. http://www.wonderoftea.com/tea-caffeine.html
Also, I’m very unlikely to buy decaf teas under any circumstances unless I really want something which I can’t have in a regular variety. I only have this one because it was sent to me as part of a gift. :)

Kashyap

thanks for the web link..I’ve seen differing data, but I appreciate the intel and will look into this some more…I’m also quite immune to caffeine and have a long standing ability to sleep whenever I feel inclined….so tea rarely does much other than stimulate digestion (from a caffeine stand point)….but good info all the same

Kashyap

oh…and I never said it eliminated the caffeine…just reduced it to a similiar level of SWP decaf coffee….

Angrboda

Yes, tea doesn’t bother me. Coffee shortly before bedtime, that’s another matter though. You wouldn’t believe the sort of really vivid dreams I get under such circumstances. O.o
I’m not much of a matcha drinker, but when I’ve had it I haven’t seemed to get the same sort of caffeine buzz from it that others have described, so it seems to be safe for me as well.

Angrboda

and I haven’t the foggiest what swp coffee is.

Kashyap

oh…Swiss water process….its a non-chemical decaffeinated way of treating coffee that is accieved through water bath extraction…http://www.swisswater.com/consumer/swiss-water-process

cteresa

I am just trying it and not feeling the love either, for much the reasons you explain. It does not taste like real vanilla to me, not quite, but nevermind that, I got to try it again for a real taste note.

Barb

Found it and tried it over the weekend. Had a similar reaction — this is OK, better than Taylors of Harrowgate even though TofH has caffeine. But still — not spectacular. I’ll finish the tin eventually but probably not buy more.

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Comments

JacquelineM

I truly like the tea, but what I love most about it is that I can have it at 9pm and sleeeeeeep. I was not fond of any of the other decafs I’ve tried (except for Harney’s Decaffeinated, but I plowed through that sample awhile ago and haven’t had a chance to replace).

teawing

I hope I didn’t misrepresent this to you. It is good decaf, but still…decaf.
I found it a lot better than many regular teas I have tried. The advantage of drinking it late with a good book is well worth it to me. I am waiting for some H&S Vanilla Black to compare. Happy Father’s Day to me… :)

Kashyap

you can save yourself a lot of money buying decafs, by just steeping a regular tea 60-90 sec, pouring off this extraction and resteep..this reduces the tea’s caffiene content to about the same level as SWP decaf coffee…low enough that it wont affect most….and this works for all teas…why pay the price for a chemically treated/co2 gassed decaf? its nearly double and they never have the teas you want….

Angrboda

JacquelineM, sleeplessness as a result of having had tea in the evening has never been an issue for me, though. Well, maybe once or twice, but not on any sort of regular basis that required me to actually consider changing my behaviour.

Teawing, gosh, no. LOTS of people have had high praise to say about this for almost as long as I can remember having used Steepster. But H&S is not a shop that’s available to me, so I have never before had the chance to try it, or I probably would have earlier.

Kashyap, actually that’s an old myth. Pouring off the first steep doesn’t remove any significant amount of caffeine. http://www.wonderoftea.com/tea-caffeine.html
Also, I’m very unlikely to buy decaf teas under any circumstances unless I really want something which I can’t have in a regular variety. I only have this one because it was sent to me as part of a gift. :)

Kashyap

thanks for the web link..I’ve seen differing data, but I appreciate the intel and will look into this some more…I’m also quite immune to caffeine and have a long standing ability to sleep whenever I feel inclined….so tea rarely does much other than stimulate digestion (from a caffeine stand point)….but good info all the same

Kashyap

oh…and I never said it eliminated the caffeine…just reduced it to a similiar level of SWP decaf coffee….

Angrboda

Yes, tea doesn’t bother me. Coffee shortly before bedtime, that’s another matter though. You wouldn’t believe the sort of really vivid dreams I get under such circumstances. O.o
I’m not much of a matcha drinker, but when I’ve had it I haven’t seemed to get the same sort of caffeine buzz from it that others have described, so it seems to be safe for me as well.

Angrboda

and I haven’t the foggiest what swp coffee is.

Kashyap

oh…Swiss water process….its a non-chemical decaffeinated way of treating coffee that is accieved through water bath extraction…http://www.swisswater.com/consumer/swiss-water-process

cteresa

I am just trying it and not feeling the love either, for much the reasons you explain. It does not taste like real vanilla to me, not quite, but nevermind that, I got to try it again for a real taste note.

Barb

Found it and tried it over the weekend. Had a similar reaction — this is OK, better than Taylors of Harrowgate even though TofH has caffeine. But still — not spectacular. I’ll finish the tin eventually but probably not buy more.

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Bio

Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
Contact Ang on IM on Google chat

Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
Goodreads: Angrboda
Livejournal: See website.
Dreamwidth: Ask her

Bio last updated February 2014

Location

Denmark

Website

http://angrboda.livejournal.com

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