Time for a London tea! The Tea Palace shop in Covent Garden offered a bunch of tasting samples, and this was one of them! I thought the sample was absolutely delicious, so I decided to bring some home. This is one of the only tea shops I went to that actually offered sample sizes of their teas; they had cute small tins that held about 30g of tea. They also were having a promotion in honor of their anniversary that if you spent £20, you would get a free sample tin. Which obviously meant that the number of samples I meant to get increased until I hit £20 to get a free one (since I was pretty close already).
The dry leaf on this one is full of yellow marigold petals, and big chunks of whole vanilla beans chopped into the mixture. It smells like vanilla, yes, but there’s also a deeper, caramelly-toffee aroma. Brewed the black tea aroma comes to the forefront, and the vanilla drops to the back a bit.
The taste initially is of a black tea with some vanilla on the side, and I was a bit disappointed thinking I’d need to tweak my steeping parameters because I remembered it being more flavored. But as it cools the vanilla really comes out; this is the tea I remember! It’s very vanilla-y, with a bit of creaminess but not a lot, and that caramelized note is also present in the taste. The vanilla seems thick and rich without being cloying, and the tea has a wonderfully smooth mouthfeel. The black tea is present but playing a supporting role; it has a twinge of bitterness, so I might drop the steeping temp on this one next time. Definitely a fantastic version of a vanilla black tea!