I like flavored black teas when they are done right. Unfortunately, I’ve tasted many inferior flavored teas that have an artificial twang to them, or which have so much flavoring the taste of the black tea is obscured.

I’m happy to report that Vanilla Bean Cream is an example of a flavored black done right. I brewed this for four minutes, and the flavors all came out beautifully. I can taste the tea and the vanilla — the cream note seems to add another layer of richness to the tea drinking experience. This is a rich, flavorful vanilla black. It would make for a delicious ice cream. It’s not overly sweet, though. It’s bold and strong without being harsh or bitter.

I’ll be interested to see how well the flavors hold up through a second steeping, but for now, I am impressed.

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I like strong, robust flavors. My current favorites include strong black teas (Keemuns, Yunnan teas and Assams, for example), flavored blacks such as Harney’s Paris, oolongs of any kind, and gyokuros. I like Rooibos and honeybush teas as well, and other herbal blends to help me relax in the evening.

I am willing to try just about anything, but I am not particularly fond of jasmine tea, very fruity or heavily flavored blends, anything with pineapple; and I know this is practically heresy, but I don’t like Darjeelings.


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