Oh hi, Zen teas that I purchased back in April but still haven’t touched yet! As I’m sure everyone knows, I’m always on the hunt for a wonderful vanilla black. Zen’s prices are super sweet so I definitely couldn’t pass this one up.
The dry leaf is quite bland. It smells sweet, but like a watered down sugary vanilla. Like adding a drop of vanilla to corn syrup. It doesn’t quite grab your senses. It’s also not an obvious vanilla. If I were to smell this without knowing what it’s supposed to be, I’d just assume it’s a vaguely sugary black tea.
Without any additives, it’s also very bland. The base itself is on the weaker side even though I steeped it for three minutes as per their directions. While it’s nice to not have an extremely robust or astringent base blocking out the vanilla, I still expected more from the base itself.
The flavouring doesn’t even taste like vanilla to me either. Maybe like a light vanilla caramel, but artificial. I added some soy milk and while I prefer to drink it this way, it’s ultimately underwhelming. Maybe I’m going crazy but after a while, so many of these flavoured teas start to taste the same. You know, like a vaguely sugared up black tea.