drank Vanilla Black by Harney & Sons
450 tasting notes

Oh yeah baby, getting down with my h and s samples before busting open the tins. I still don’t have a system of attack regarding how I’m going to open them-I don’t want to savagely tear into everything simultaneously (despite the temptation) because freshness problems, but then how do you decide what to do and all that stuff? man, problems!!

I’m always on the hunt for a vanilla tea, and vanilla Comoro was a pretty significant let-down for me, because I could barely taste anything. I read reviews for this tea while I was at work today, and got kind of excited when I read a few people say it was like a smoky vanilla, because that sounds like a perfect combination (someone needs to do a vanilla keemun one of these days). Anyway, when I opened the package, my nose was immediately assaulted with the sweet scent of baking vanilla, but also a hearty dose of something chemical and distinctly alcoholic. It was like unscrewing the lid to and inhaling the fumes from a bottle of vanilla vodka (which don’t get me wrong is wonderful, definitely soothes the soul and all that sort of thing, but I don’t want that shiz in my tea). But whatever, I set to work and steeped it-a teaspoon for eight ounces of water, four minutes.

When I lifted the basket out of the mug, I instantly thought “I’ve smelled this before! where have I smelled this?” and then I realized that it smelled similar to many of Frank’s banana blends (butterscotch banana, and banana pudding). definitely not a bad association, but definitely a bit of an unusual one. A few seconds later, however, the intensity of the scent dissipated and I could smell gentle vanilla paired with a fairly noticeable but nondescript black base.

My thoughts as I finished the cup:
1. Hmmm. Not what I was expecting. Too much base, and somehow it doesn’t work well with the chosen vanilla, but I can’t quite say why. No smoke, though.
2. I should put this in my swap pile. I wonder who’ll want it. I’m sure there’s someone.
3. Mmm this is pretty good, actually. I’m going to have another cup tomorrow, perhaps.
4. This would be terrific with a bit less sugar in it, you know.
5. Ugh. There’s something cloying about this one. The vanilla is too…something. Cloying. I should give this away.
6. Great cup! last sips were excellent!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had an experience like this while drinking the same cup of tea. Oh, the internal dialogue. It’s probably not a bad thing though, ultimately. I think it speaks to the fact that we’re determined to give the tea a fair shake, are appropriately self-deprecating when there aren’t fireworks at first steep, and generally want to like a new tea we’re trying because liking things is a good feeling.

So yes, definitely glad I didn’t purchase a tin of this, and as to whether or not I’ll finish the sample pack, it just depends on my mood in a given second. ha.

Also, I received like nine million swap packages in the mail today. Thank you to all of you who sent something. I don’t have access to functional eyes at the moment, but as soon as I do, I’ll set to work labelling samples and thanking those of you who sent them along! but unlike me, you know who you are, so thank you!

__Morgana__

Have you tried Black Orchid (Mariage Freres)? It’s one of my favorite vanilla-flavored black teas.

keychange

I haven’t, actually. I’m going to read reviews and then hunt it down! :)

Kat_Maria

Haha, awesome note :D

keychange

Haha I’m glad you liked it!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Comments

__Morgana__

Have you tried Black Orchid (Mariage Freres)? It’s one of my favorite vanilla-flavored black teas.

keychange

I haven’t, actually. I’m going to read reviews and then hunt it down! :)

Kat_Maria

Haha, awesome note :D

keychange

Haha I’m glad you liked it!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Well, it’s been slightly over six months since I’ve joined steepster, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about this community. Like many of you, I began my foray into the world of loose-leaf tea by discovering David’s Tea, and although I’ve ventured out and have discovered many other companies that I’m extremely fond of, there are still many of David’s teas that I hold close to my heart and I will always appreciate it as a starting point for my journey.

As for my preferences, I tend to prefer bold black tea, flavoured and unflavoured alike, and I almost always take my blacks with cream and sugar. This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy a good, flavoured white though, and I’m slowly making my way through the incredibly confusing world of oolongs and greens. I am also not a fan of rooibos, although I am starting to suspect green rooibos may be ok, but you know how it is: when you’ve decided you detest a certain ingredient, you’ll notice it everywhere—perhaps even where it doesn’t exist!

Things other than tea: I’m engaged to be married to my best friend, and feel like the richest woman on the planet because of it. I am also a veracious reader, and I also happen to have an obsession with fragrances, and have amassed quite a collection, although it pales in comparison to some collections out there! As a result of this obsession, I also follow several fragrance blogs, and am always up for a chat about scent. I’m also almost completely blind, and this does indeed mean that I come complete with a guide dog, who unlike me, hales from the sunny California campus of Guide dogs for the Blind. I think I’ve rambled on long enough, but if there’s anything you’d like to know or if you just feel like chatting to someone, please don’t hesitate to send me a message.

Location

Ontario, Canada

Following These People