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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 (<—LOVE that) was inspirational for me – tomorrow my first GM sample must be a vanilla one! :D

__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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Comments

teabird

Loving your comparison tastings!

~lauren.

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

Rabs

Your Tale of Three Vanillas (<—LOVE that) was inspirational for me – tomorrow my first GM sample must be a vanilla one! :D

__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’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and 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’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to 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. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

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

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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