94

Having just finished cups of Black Orchid by Mariage Freres and Starry Night by the Jade Teapot, I’ve turned to this one as the third in my tale of three vanillas.

The dry leaves look quite a bit like the Black Orchid. The color is similar and you can see vanilla beans in this one, too. I’d venture to say that the leaves of Black Orchid are slightly longer, which is probably owing to a difference in the variety of black tea used.

And that’s where the similarities end. I get the same chocolate note from the dry leaves of the Dian Hong that someone else mentioned instead of the amazing vanilla that came out of the Black Orchid. This, however, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just a different thing. The aroma of the tea also has a chocolatey note — in any case, it is not overwhelmingly vanilla, though I can smell some vanilla in it. Mostly what it has going for it is that aromatic Samovar black smell that is common to all of the black teas of theirs I’ve tried. It’s a brown sugary, malty, smooth, delicious foundation for all the other flavors to frolic on and among.

The two notes here, chocolate and vanilla, are like two for the price of one. If you’re looking for a vanilla flavored tea, you’d probably be more satisfied with the Black Orchid, which is classically vanilla flavored. But if you’re looking for something with vanilla flavor and something more, give this a try.

I’m not sure which I prefer to tell you the truth. Both this and the Mariage Freres Black Orchid are exemplary blends. Black Orchid is a Rembrandt, this is a Jackson Pollack. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. I’m calling it a tie.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
teabird

Loving your comparison tastings!

~lauren.

Very methodical way of conducting a taste test/comparison! Nicely done!

Rabs

Your Tale of Three Vanillas (

__Morgana__

I wish I could have done more! But I figure I can always amend to add more later. ;-) And I got the workout done, which was the impetus behind the whole thing. Lol.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Loved reading your three-way vanilla comparison. Yay @ getting your workout done!

__Morgana__

I think I’m going to have to do a three-way chocolate tasting. I am up to my ears in chocolate flavored things here, but three seems about the right number. I can’t imagine trying to compare five at one go. And I might have to do a caramel as well. And maybe everything with the name cookie in it. Hehehe.

~lauren.

All reviews/posts to look forward to, __ Morgana __ !!

AmazonV

oo i can’t wait for that comparison…COOKIES

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teabird

Loving your comparison tastings!

~lauren.

Very methodical way of conducting a taste test/comparison! Nicely done!

Rabs

Your Tale of Three Vanillas (

__Morgana__

I wish I could have done more! But I figure I can always amend to add more later. ;-) And I got the workout done, which was the impetus behind the whole thing. Lol.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Loved reading your three-way vanilla comparison. Yay @ getting your workout done!

__Morgana__

I think I’m going to have to do a three-way chocolate tasting. I am up to my ears in chocolate flavored things here, but three seems about the right number. I can’t imagine trying to compare five at one go. And I might have to do a caramel as well. And maybe everything with the name cookie in it. Hehehe.

~lauren.

All reviews/posts to look forward to, __ Morgana __ !!

AmazonV

oo i can’t wait for that comparison…COOKIES

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Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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