drank Vanilla Chai by Twinings
1813 tasting notes

Since I’m now into my last few days off work, I decided it was time to try one of the wintery teas I’ve had in my stash for a while, but not yet got around to trying. I love Chai in the winter, preferably as a latte. It’s a bit complex to make at work, though, so I usually reserve this pleasure for home.

Over the last few months, as I’ve developed my taste for and appreciation of different teas, I’ve moved away from plain bombay-style chais, and onto flavoured ones. I picked this one up from Twinings back in November, I think. I’m not always a great fan of Twinings, because sometimes I feel the quality just isn’t there, but this is a niiiice chai.

It has an assam base, and the dry leaves smell faintly spicy, with a strong creamy vanilla overtone. Brewed, the scent is very similar. As I was hoping, the vanilla predominates, the spices complement, and the black tea base provides a sturdy, fulfilling foundation. I made this as a latte, so it’s pretty pale-looking once I’ve added the milk, but this absolutely hasn’t destroyed the flavour. If anything, the creaminess of the milk helps to highlight the vanilla, making this one of the most pleasing teas I’ve tried in a while. This is almost perfectly balanced, for my taste. And I’ve no doubt it’ll go down perfectly with the slice of Christmas cake I’ve got my eye on. Chalk another one up for Chai. This is divine.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, 29, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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