Dry: Short black tea leaves. The overwhelming smell from the tin is of too sweet, almost “powdery” (and sadly fake smelling) dessert instead of extract or even a creamy vanilla custard. I was hoping for luscious, complex nommy vanilla, but this is not the case. I really love some H & S teas, but at times it seems like some of the flavored teas are questionable when some of their straight teas are fantastic.
Steeped: Dark brown clear liquor. The fragrance of the brewed tea is less artificial than the dry leaf straight from the tin, but still too sweet for a straight vanilla. It is almost like they were going for vanilla, had trouble, and ended up with a questionable bakery item. The Harney description mentions simple vanilla, but also baking sugar cookies. Not trying to be overly picky here, but sugar cookies don’t usually smell like straight vanilla too much- but they are super sweet like this blend smells.
Taste: Not loving how this turned out. Not vanilla and the base doesn’t lend to a very notable sip so it can’t be saved by being really awesome tea even if the flavoring is meh. This could have been marketed for children’s tea with the overly sweet sugary/bakery thing it has going on. I made it a second time blended with English Breakfast by H&S and it was much more pleasant. Definitely not a repurchase for me though either way.
Flavors: Artificial, Powdered sugar