The first time or two I had this, I thought it was, quite simply, terrible. To the point of almost setting off my gag reflex.
But since I tried it so early on in my tea travels, I couldn’t be sure the problem was with the tea. That and being a glutton for punishment led me to try it again. I’m actually getting to the point now where I’m finding it ho-hum rather than awful.
For one thing, it is vastly improved with shorter steeping time. Three minutes is far better than five. For another, it takes some getting used to. At first, the vanilla tasted somehow detached from the tea, which was dark-tasting verging on bitter. Detached, beany and fake, all at the same time. The last couple of times, however, the vanilla has been more integrated with the tea and sweeter without the fakeness, and the tea less bitter. It does still smell better than it tastes, both in the bag and as brewed. Though I can’t see buying this again, I can see finishing the box.