Queued post, written September 13th 2014
Gosh, I’m having trouble spelling. Nearly put the title of this entry in my queue as ‘vinalla’ and the date as ‘Spetember’. It must be the smell of this tea messing with my faculties. It’s the only flavoured tea I got from my order from Jing Tea, but come on, I couldn’t not get it. I’m glad I did too, considering how universally pleased I’ve been with everything I’ve tried from them so far. I’ve had the Keemun I ordered several times too, I just haven’t been able to write about it. Cup keeps going empty, you see. Anyway, vanilla.
It smells like a bakery. Sweet breads and cakes and frosting. It’s otherworldly good!
The leaves have a strong vanilla aroma to them, thick, creamy and with a smidge of something cocoa-y even. I had to go and take a sniff at my favourite vanilla black from Fru P for comparison, and they are very similar. This one smells stronger, though, and has that whiff of cocoa. I suspect that might have something to do with a difference in the base. I don’t actually know what the base is in either of these but it smells like it’s not the same.
After brewing it still smells strongly vanilla-y. Or rather, it smells like vanilla pods rather than vanilla as such. The smell when you slice open a fresh (or as fresh as they can be in a supermarket) vanilla pod, that’s what I’m getting here. I can actually even imagine said pod quite clearly, how leathery it looks but surprisingly soft and pliable when felt.
The vanilla flavour is almost entirely in the aftertaste and it’s quite strong and mouth-coating there. In the actual sip, I’m getting that cocoa note and a great deal of grain. I’m getting a lot of the base here and the flavouring as more of a side-dish than the main course.
I quite like that. It’s that feeling that I’m drinking tea that I prefer in flavoured teas. I’m not actually getting much of that in my favourite vanilla black from Fru P, which is a little out of the ordinary, but in this one I am. In spite of the fact that this feels more strongly flavoured than the Fru P one. Again, I think it comes down to a difference in the base. This one, I think must be Chinese. I suspect Fru P’s is made on either a Ceylon or a blend.
Fru P’s vanilla black is my favourite vanilla black based partly on it tasting good but also on convenience. It’s so easy for me to get because it’s a local shop. Therefore it’s very very hard to beat, favourite-wise. This one, while very good indeed, can’t take that favourite spot because it’s simply not convenient enough for me to get it. If it was something I could pop in and get a pouch of on my way home from work, then we could talk about it.