Vanilla Black

Tea type
Black Tea
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Artificial, Powdered sugar, Vanilla
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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68 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Next to Lapsang Souchongs, this is my youngest daughter's favorite tea. I wanted to make a pot of tea that everyone in the house would like today. I had just made a batch of sugar cookies based on...” Read full tasting note
    ashmanra 1848 tasting notes
  • “I am not proud to admit this, but I grunted when I tasted this tea. Not a mmmmm or an ahhhh but an absolute grunt like a pig. It touched the primal vanilla loving animal in me (who I have just...” Read full tasting note
    JacquelineM 1112 tasting notes
  • “Six hours of sleep last night. Lets just say that it was agony to haul my carcass out of bed this morning. Rewarding myself with this lovely vanilla blend. Day two of waking up totally...” Read full tasting note
    Rosehips 956 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...” Read full tasting note
    keychange 451 tasting notes

From Harney & Sons

The natural sweetness and rich flavor makes this an irresistible delight. The aroma will take you back to winter afternoons in the kitchen baking sugar cookies with your grandmother.

About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

68 Tasting Notes

141 tasting notes

The vanilla flavor in this tea was not as good as Numi Vanilla Decaf; it was less intense, less vanilla-y. It tasted more artificial, like a second-rate vanilla ice cream, rather than like a premium ice cream. I’m sure that Harney and Sons uses real vanilla, so I wonder if they used less vanilla, or the tea base didn’t blend well with the vanilla. Or perhaps decaf tea works better with vanilla than regular tea, since others seem to like Harney’s decaf Vanilla Comoro.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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31 tasting notes

After really liking the vanilla notes in Harney’s Wedding Tea, I decided to go all the way and get the Vanilla black. The vanilla aroma is intoxicating but it doesn’t overpower the tea. It’s still black tea and can have a bit of an ugly aftertaste if you brew too strong or too long. That being said, I am ordering more. It’s great.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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166 tasting notes

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

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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41 tasting notes

The vanilla was subtle in this one. A little sugar did sweeten it. I’d like to try it again with milk added too.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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203 tasting notes

Last of the sample. I can’t say this is everything I want out of a vanilla tea, but it’s in the right direction. It’s creamy, it DOES have some vanilla flavor (which seems like a given, but really, so many of them don’t), I just want it to be stronger. I don’t know, is vanilla a difficult flavor to infuse in tea? I’ve tried a few different blenders now and they all seem to find it challenging.

The search for the ultimate vanilla tea continues.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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613 tasting notes

Rained all day and cold—frost advisory tonight despite the 80F sunglasses n’ crawfish weekend—had this as a remedy when R got home for afternoon tea with Orange Chocolate Chippers (here: the fresh crumb is what makes them; it’s a little like a drop biscuit or scone at first, pale and piled somewhat high in jumbles, not like a flat chip cookie, plus the orange oil works well with a nice not-too-sweet chocolate without being tart or fruit juice kid-like…the only thing I’d change in the future is maybe cutting back on the number of chocolate chips—seems extravagant to me though husband thinks not, ha). Not a heady vanilla tea at all, just mellow, lets your baked goods shine as it stands back gracefully in the wings. Not exciting and I doubt I’d want it solo very often, but good when you kind of want something black, mild, sweet, and blandly comforting to go with early dessert. Doesn’t have that alcohol burn some vanilla teas do, which is a bonus.


Those cookies look like they’d be perfect with that tea! (and your mention of ‘no alcohol burn’ is great, since I really hate that in vanilla teas…). Lovely.


We’ve got a frost advisory too…so glad I didn’t plant my seedlings! hides them in the house


DF, vanilla burn is THE WORST! yuck. in anything…

phew, Stephanie! sadly my neighbors spent Saturday and Sunday doing the whole front of the house. ahh.


This looks so yummy. Thanks for the recipe. I’m off to baking;)


i hope you like them, boychik! they are not very sweet, as a heads up. and they make a zillion, at least i thought so (though with a full family maybe that’s not a problem for you :)—next time since it’s just the two of us i’m going to split the recipe. it made 2 and a half trays, 50 small cookies for me.


OMG! You made me look at the forecast and here too…cold with snow possibly, WTF?!??


We are Cookie Monsters! I have to hide sweets fr hubby and kids;)
We made them. Soo delicious. Everybody liked them. I put some away for tomorrow ;)
Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe;)


TheTeaFairy, i am so sorry to be the bearer of bad news. :/

boychik, i love to hear you guys liked them! yay cookie party!

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30 tasting notes

Simply an inoffensive vanilla tea. Goes down smooth, pairs well great with anything for any impromptu mixing with other teas you might wanna do. I would repurchase it again. Although, it definitely isn’t topping any ‘must have’ lists.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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52 tasting notes

I like this one. It’s kind of rich, goes really well with honey, cream and sugar, or just plain. My husband says it tastes like caramel and does not like it.

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10 tasting notes

I wanted to love this one, but I don’t. Drinking it plain, I do get a bit of a vanilla after taste – but it’s not quite enough for me. Currently drinking it with two teaspoons of sugar and a dash of milk, and I actually do think it’s pretty good that way. That being said, I won’t buy tea if I know I don’t enjoy it plain…

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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