Infusin_Susan sent this one to me in our recent swap. These days I tend to be drawn to almost anything flavoured or partially flavoured with vanilla. I blame JacquelineM for this. She was the one who started singing the praises of the Vanilla Comoro from Harney & Sons and others quickly followed. I had tried one or two vanilla blacks before that and hadn’t been super impressed by it, so what, I wondered, was I missing?

This led me to explore the flavour. There was a relatively good one from Whittard of Chelsea, which took a little time for me to really get into and an awesome one from Chi of Tea, sadly now having been out of stock for rather a long time. The Chi of Tea one was the last straw for me. It pushed me completely over the edge because it was flavoured just right!

Since then, I’ve been drawn to all things vanilla black. If I see one while I’m making a purchase I’m likely to try it out at least once. The AC Perch’s was acceptable. The vanilla assam from 52 teas that I discovered in the Christmas box? I’ve bought two pouches and I’m hoarding them. The add-a-vanilla-pod-in-pieces-to-a-random-tin-and-leave-for-three-weeks method that JacquelineM uses? Yeah, I’m giving that a go with my otherwise fairly boring Kenya at the moment. (The pod was pretty old, though, so it might not work too well)

So when Infusin_Susan put this one up as one she would like to trade for something else, I acted. Obviously.

When one wants to find one’s perfect whatever it is, one generally has to put some thought into exactly what it is one seeks in that particular tea, and with vanilla, I keep thinking I have this worked out, but in truth I’m jumping back and forth like a frog on a warm rock. If I’m having something disappointing which has a subtle flavour, I will say that I want the flavour to be stronger. If I’m having something disappointing with a strong flavour, the opposite will apply. If I’m having something great but not quite there which has a subtle flavour, I’ll say I prefer the flavour to be subtle. And of course vice versa. I keep thinking I know what I want, but in reality I appear to be lying through my teeth. I think, though, that I’m mostly in favour of relatively strongly flavoured, but primarily showing up on the swallow and in the aftertaste. I want to still be able to tell that it’s tea and I don’t want something super-sweet.

As this is not supposed to be a post about vanilla tea in general, does this particular one live up to this wish?


The aroma is strong, yet controlled, just like I want it to be, but the flavour is rather lacking. It shows up in all the right places, but there just isn’t enough of it. It doesn’t give me that rich and creamy flavour at all, it doesn’t make the whole inside of my mouth taste like vanilla and the only aftertaste that really lingers is that of the base tea.

What is the base tea of this stuff? Ceylon, it would seem. Well, that explains the aftertaste. Ceylons have, for me, generally a very long aftertaste and as I really wanted that to be primarily the added flavour here, it just doesn’t work out for me as a vanilla base. Something with a shorter flavour, primarily on the first part of the sip so that the vanilla can run the show from the middle-ish and onwards. Ceylon just doesn’t swing that way for me.

As it is with caramel, it’s difficult to find the perfectly flavoured vanilla black, but even the really boring, disappointing ones are likely to be finished off fairly quickly in this house. With caramel, luckily, I’ve found it, but with vanilla I’m still searching. I’ve come close, but limited supply keeps getting in my way. However, I am enjoying the search.

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Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
Contact Ang on IM on Google chat

Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
Goodreads: Angrboda
Livejournal: See website.
Dreamwidth: Ask her

Bio last updated February 2014





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