The first waft of Vanilla Nut Creme confused me. It’s pleasant… but I was prepared for vanilla to be the prevailing aroma. Instead, it’s the sarsaparilla, an herb used in soft drinks such as root beer and (what else?) sarsaparilla. The tea itself has a strong, sweet fragrance reminiscent of those beverages. There’s a whiff of hazelnut in there, too – and no vanilla scent to speak of. Hmmmm. I’ll reserve judgment until after the first few sips.
And I’m glad I did. The flavors comprising Vanilla Nut Creme balance out nicely in this dark brown brew. Hazelnut and sarsaparilla overtones make a sweet, earthy cup that’s followed by a warm, lingering, subtly vanilla finish. And when steeped for the shorter end of the recommended time (3 to 4 minutes), I don’t get that sharp taste of tannins that often occurs in black tea.
There are also hints of nostalgia and playfulness in Vanilla Nut Creme. By “playful,” I don’t mean a zing of caffeine. Rather, this tea reminds me of being a kid, lazing by the pool and having an ice cream sundae or a root beer float. (Remember what I said about the sarsaparilla?) This tea really is a lot like drinking root beer, but with a more nutty taste. In fact, I wonder how this tea would taste if chilled and used in a root beer float.
I wouldn’t call Vanilla Nut Creme an “after-dinner treat,” however. Au naturel, the tea is tasty but lacks the indulgent creaminess that pairs so well with nighttime or dessert. Adding sugar and a splash of milk does help with this, though; and the fact that Vanilla Nut Creme is decaffeinated makes it an attractive option for anyone who’s sensitive to a late-day jolt of energy. But with the sarsaparilla’s dominance and the absence of vanilla, the only seasonal evening ambiance this tea fits would be summer.
Read my full review here: http://bibliophilesreverie.com/2014/07/25/tea-time-at-reverie-stash-tea-companys-vanilla-nut-creme-decaf-black-tea/
Flavors: Hazelnut, Nutty, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla, Sweet, Vanilla