Tin Roof Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

71

(Gongfu 4g/4oz/175; wash, then 30 sec infusion, +10 following)
Dry leaves have very savory green vegetable aroma, not sweet at all. Wet leaves after wash add roasted/smoky scent. 1st infusion (30 sec) is dark gold, almost brown. Taste is of savory broth, almost meaty, with a hint of smoke on the nose. Just a touch bitter, and finishes with a very slight astringency; not unpleasant, though, as it balances the savory notes. Taste of infusions 2-4 remain consistent. Flavor is interesting but not especially complex.

Preparation
4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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90

(4g/4 oz/195/30 sec, 15 sec resteep)
Dry leaves smell sweet from the green tea, but wet smell primarily of toasted corn. Tea smells buttery & toasty. First steep (30 sec) is light gold in color, nice blend of mostly savory & a touch sweet in the caramelized roastiness. Very soothing & pleasant. Scent of lightly buttered popcorn is delicious. Second steep (15 sec) is similar with just a tiny hint of astringency at the end. Third steep (30 sec) still good, maybe just starting to lose a little flavor. Easily did 5 infusions without serious loss of flavor.
I’ll have to remember this one when cold season starts – it would be very comforting.

Preparation
4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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81

(Gongfu, 3.5g/5oz, 175, 10 sec +5 following) Dry leaves smell sweet & lightly vegetal. Wet leaves bring a touch of toasted spinach aroma.

Steeps 1-3: Aroma is of lightly buttered cooked green vegetables. Flavor is delicate, sweet, & vegetal, with a slightly thick & buttery texture. After first infusion, sweetness recedes a little while vegetal flavors grow more prominent. Remains smooth, no bitterness or astringency. After third infusion becoming a little weak.
Steeps 4-6 (30, 60, 120 sec): Not much different but definitely less strength. Longer steeps still smooth & pleasant. After 6, put leaves in ~8 oz to cold brew.

Update 1: not much left in leaves for cold brew, so iced tea was refreshing but fairly washed out.

Update 2: (Western style by pkg directions: 2.5g/8 oz/175/3 min)
Definitely not as interesting as gongfu. Aroma is similar (sweet, vegetal, pleasant), though muted. Flavors overtaken by strong green vegetable aftertaste with fair amount of (not totally unpleasant) bitterness. Prepared this way rates about 65.

Preparation
3 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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87

Shortly after a cup of this delicious blend I was reading an article proclaiming green tea is effective in “…Prevention of all causes of death”. As you might expect, I’m planning to drink a few cups before heading out for my next gang war.

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87

This tea is a hands-down winner in direct comparison to another Moroccan Mint blend. I was anxious to try this and taste the difference with the addition of Egyptian Mint to the blend. The difference is pleasantly significant.

Steeped in a gaiwan, the liquor was a light amber and lightly sweet. The spearmint in a clear and pleasant note, and lingers well beyond the cup.

I really like this, and plan to play around a little with temps and methods to see what all I can get from it. Many thanks to ashmanra for the generous sample. (And the use of a gaiwan to expand my repertoire!)

Flavors: Mint, Spearmint, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I did a head to head comparison of four Moroccan Mint teas once, and nobody, I mean NOBODY, has ever beat this one for me. I can pick up some more for you next time I am in Raleigh, if you like. So glad you enjoyed it!

Comm Guy

We definitely enjoyed it. Let us know next time you expect to be going near TRT. We’ll do the same for you.

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80

Another lovely gift from Grandma. I hope she knows how much I appreciate this, especially since this obsession with tea is far from practical.

Again, I recommend the tea shop and I highly compliment the staff. I also have three more teas I need to write about.

Now, I have had MANY milk oolongs over the past few year, flavored and unflavored. I might have said this before for other teas, but this one is basically the standard of what you should expect. It has the general profile I like about these types of teas: creamy, sweet, floral, buttery, a little coconut-y, and a touch complex. It is undeniably savory and dessert like.

The first steep was the sweetest, and was better Western with slightly less than a teaspoon at 2 1/2 minutes. Short steeps do work for this tea at 15 sec with a little more leaves, but since the flavoring of the tea is stronger than the natural notes of the tea, it can be tricky to find it’s right balance. This is drinkable straight, but a touch of honey or sugar is recommended.

It can rebrew well; however, some sessions were better than others. If you get butterscotch in the smell, than you’ve done it right. The vegetal qualities of the oolong can unfortunately contrast with the flavoring and make the tea seem a little more artificial. The flavoring/tea leaf balance is my main criticism, and this would be easier to sell to tea newbies or those who are not afraid of stronger flavored teas. The more experienced snobs might think it’s slightly too artificial.

I might not buy it in bulk, but I enjoy a small amount of it. I would not say no if I were offered a single drink of it.

ashmanra

Were you in North Carolina? This is my “local” even though it is an hour away!

Daylon R Thomas

Yeah. My grandma lives in Raleigh and I visited her for the weekend.

Daylon R Thomas

The store is definitely up to date in all of its gadgets and blends. The coconut pouchong has been my personal favorite so far, and their herbals aren’t bad. This milk oolong tea falls right in the middle in terms of quality. Lighter steeps makes it shine, though I personally do not recommend brewing it past steep 4.

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75

This was a gift from my gma while I was in Raleigh. Tin Roof Tea’s had a nicely organized and filled shop with a few new tea gadgets, wears, and a comprehensive collection. The customer service was also top notch.

This tea looked interesting online, and the aroma was great. The tea is naturally sweet and fairly tropical without sweetener, but more balanced with a little bit of honey. I noticed the dragonfruit, kiwi, and rhaspberry fairly easily though the Sencha was a tad bit grassy. Sometimes it tasted natural while other times it was a little bit artificial. I preferred brewing it at 2 minutes. I could rebrew it, but the later steeps had a weird balance. The flavorings fluxed while the fruit remained strong and the tea getting a little bit grassier and slightly drier, never mind I do not think this is a dry tea. The sencha was my only complaint. I’m glad to try it and my fruity liking tea friends enjoy it, but it’s not a must have for my cupboard.

Thank you Grandma!

Kirkoneill1988

Grandmas are the best!

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90

Here I am with the third and last of the Tin Roof Teas that I purchased a little while back. The first two were outstanding. Let’s see if this one maintains that record…

When I unfastened TRF’s signature package, with its unsealed but clamped down opening, the smell that greeted me was very much like the smell of tobacco in a freshly opened pack of cigarettes. Since I have never been a smoker, I wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad sign.

The brewing instructions said to steep this blend for three minutes. That seemed insufficient for the punch I wanted it to pack, so I brewed the medium-length dark brown leaves for four minutes. (Just call me a tea rebel.)

The finished product was a bright amber in color. The unbrewed cigarette tobacco odor was gone and replaced with a slightly sweet malty aroma.

This tea had a really rich flavor from the very first sip until the end of the cup. The taste played no other flavor notes except tea with a hint of malt. It was unmistakably Darjeeling, but amplified, almost like Darjeeling on steroids. In spite of the supercharged flavor, it was remarkably smooth. The aftertaste was no burden on my palate for the few minutes it remained.

I have to admit, I am not a huge Darjeeling fan. The main reason is I find the typical flavor a little blah when compared to other black teas. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Somehow a simple flavor was made complex. The taste was like a symphony of violins. They are all playing the same instrument but the harmony makes the music beautiful.

I’m starting to see a pattern with the Tin Roof Teas that I have tried so far. In my experiences with the three I have sampled, they have all contained simple, yet very powerful, full flavors without astringency. Usually just one very dominant flavor exists, but you are not disappointed and you don’t yearn for more.

This is another winner from TRF. I will definitely look for more selections to take for a spin!

Flavors: Malt, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML
ScottTeaMan

Nice review Stoo. :-)

Stoo

Thanks, ScottTeaMan!

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90
drank Vanilla No. 990 by Tin Roof Teas
216 tasting notes

This is the second of three Tin Roof Teas I bought recently. Since its name is “vanilla,” my sweet tooth started itching when I saw it.

When I opened the silver pouch (which, by the way, is closed and fastened with a gold wire clamp instead of sealed), a very pleasant and fragrant vanilla aroma spilled out. This made me even more excited to get the brewing underway.

I steeped the full dark leaves at 212 degrees for five minutes. The package recommended up to four minutes but I like my black tea as robust as I can get it without bitterness. Five minutes of brewing has never failed me yet.

The brewed aroma of the tea was also very vanilla. It was strong but not fake or obnoxious. The color was golden brown.

The flavor was interesting. The vanilla taste was so striking that there was no room for any other flavor accents. As powerful as the taste was, it somehow wasn’t overwhelming. I found it to be quite enjoyable for the entire duration of my cup. I also was surprised that the booming vanilla flavor produced no astringency. It was actually smooth and the aftertaste never wore out its welcome on my palate.

This is another one of those teas for which I have no criticism. The entire experience was delightful through four cups this morning. I’ve started brewing my own tea at work using my little handy-dandy infuser. This vanilla tea will definitely help launch my work days off to a cheerful start.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML
ScottTeaMan

My problem with most vanilla & the majority of flavored teas is the artificial taste (and some are worse than others). I am glad you noted a more natural vanilla flavor-this sounds like a vanilla tea I might like.

Stoo

It is definitely one of the best ones I’ve tried!

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100
drank Oak City Chai by Tin Roof Teas
14 tasting notes

This is one of the more interesting chais I’ve had, in a very good way! The anise is what sets it apart for me, though it could be the combination that highlights the anise note I’m getting. Oak City Chai will become a continued part of my tea cabinet, even better that it’s a house blend from a local tea shop!

Flavors: Anise, Spicy

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78

My better half and I accidentally stumbled upon an almost hidden spice and tea store yesterday while we were eating lunch at a vegan restaurant in Charlotte. Since we now eat only plant-based foods, as of four months ago, I guess we are vegan too. (My wife says we no longer consume anything with a mother or a face. That is very dire news for a BBQ rib-o-holic like myself. In my mind, ribs are the mother of all meat.) But I digress…Getting back to the tea…

I purchased this Death By Chocolate selection based on its incredible chocolate aroma alone. (Plus, since I can no longer eat dairy or sugar products, I thought it was a clever-or desperate-way to sneak some chocolate back into my life.)

The rich dark chocolate aroma was seeping from the silver bag and hitting my nostrils from about 10 feet away. When I opened it, I wished that the bag was the size of my bathtub so I could dive into it. The whole leaves were dark brown, almost black. Generously spread throughout the leaves were thin cocoa nibs.

I was almost drooling as I steeped the leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees. The brewed aroma was rich and all chocolate. The color was a cloudy yellowish amber, like you might encounter with an herbal tea.

The flavor was completely, unequivocally, and most definitely chocolate. It was a fine tasting chocolate too and had no artificial attributes. I was disappointed, though, to experience some bitterness that remained on the ol’ palate. In fairness, the unwanted characteristic faded after several sips.

As great as the chocolate flavor was, I found myself wishing for at least a smidgen of tea flavor. The overall sensation was more like chocolate water than chocolate tea.

Another important element in a great black tea for me is a registered amount of caffeine kick. I am sorry to say that this blend had no caffeine awareness whatsoever, not even after four cups.

Getting back to the positives, I will say that the tea re-steeped very well. There was virtually no difference in taste or color from the first to second steeping.

My plan for this tea in the future is to use it as an added ingredient in my ho-hum, blah, and unexciting black teas. The chocolate in this product is strong enough to perk them up as a second-string additive.

So, to sum it all up, if you like chocolate-flavored beverages, you will find a rich chocolate taste here that shouts from the (tin) rooftops. However, if you are looking for a robust black tea with just chocolate complements, this one might seem as lacking as it is overwhelming.

Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Arby

Props for going vegan! The environment and all the animals you will save thank you. I’m vegetarian/mostly vegan and I can’t believe how easy it is. Between tempeh, legumes, tofu, and seitan, I’m not having any issues making delicious (and interesting) meals. I feel so much less guilty now too.

I’ll be adding this to my wishlist. It sounds fantastic!

Stoo

Hi Arby! Thanks for your comment! Enjoy the tea!

ScottTeaMan

Although it has been a number of years—many in fact—Stash Tea used to have a chocolate hazelnut tea that was very good, & a cherry almond (which they no longer carry) that was delicious as well. :) I see they still carry their chocolate hazelnut. I also tried their almond creme that was very good.

https://www.stashtea.com/collections/tea/flavor:dessert-&-chocolate

It has been a long time tasting such teas because I have gotten away from flavored teas, but on occasion I will indulge. While they have so many other delicious flavors (as you see), the cherry almond is no more-I tried both the loose and teabags. Most of their flavored teas are in teabag form, and I usually prefer loose tea. Just another reason I don’t buy nearly any of Stash’s flavored teas for me, myself, & I.

ScottTeaMan

Stash’s Coconut Mango Oolong tea is delicious.

https://www.stashtea.com/products/coconut-mango-oolong-tea

Stoo

I’m just seeing comments on some of my tea reviews now. It would be nice if steepster.com would post notifications on the web site regarding comments. Thanks for your comments, ScottTeaMan! I will DEFINITELY have to try the coconut mango oolong tea!

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I bought this because A Southern Season seems to have discontinued Ceylon Extra Fancy, our favorite Ceylon to date.

We are in the midst of Tropical Storm Hermine today and while the storm isn’t so bad for us, I have repeatedly been soaked to the skin and the cloud cover made me crave comfort food and comfort tea. Ceylon was one of our first loves, particularly low grown.

I made chicken soup and cheese toast and a pot of Ceylon. It smelled great, but honestly it fell short of the one from Southern Season. The leaves were absolutely HUGE on that one. But it wasn’t bad, just didn’t give me quite the cozy ooo-aaah feeling I was looking for. I was looking for a taste and a feeling of a time past and this didn’t conjure it.

I will probably buy a tin of Harney and Sons Ceylon and India, as it is a little stronger than this one.

Teatotaler

Do you like Harney’s Kenilworth OP? A wonderful Ceylon! It’s one of my favorite rescue teas.

ashmanra

Yes, I do! I am not a fan of Lover’s Leap or Uva Highlands from any source I have tried, but I do like Kenilworth. I just assume I don’t care for the higher elevation Ceylons, and while I like Kenilworth, this one was just a bit lackluster. I don’t think it is terribly old, either.

MrQuackers

This made me sigh “idc for high elevation ceylons”

Mike

I love Ceylon and India! Also, I made it to Tin Roof Teas about 6 weeks ago! They have a great selection! I bought a couple Keemuns, an awesome gyokuro, and a really good rooibos. Thanks for the recommendation! Have a good one! :)

ashmanra

Welcome back, Mike! Haven’t seen you on here for a while. Glad you found some good tea! I think I burned through 100 grams of Dong Ding in two weeks once, and their Fig Formosa is magnifique!

Mike

Thanks so much! Yes, I have to get back on Steepster more regularly again! I’ll be back in the Raleigh area in a week and a half, so I’ll definitely be visiting Tin Roof again! :) Have a good one!

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The owner of Tin Roof Teas was kind enough to share several sample cups of this tea with me as I browsed the shop today. It is a new tea in his shop and will be part of a raw puerh tasting event coming up on January 28, 2016. If you live in North Carolina and can go, I recommend it. I went to a puerh tasting last year and it was great! They do a tea flight about once a month and often do pairings with the gourmet chocolates they sell or samples from their honey bar. They have a honey room and stations for refilling your honey containers, as well as bee pollen, herbs, candles, teaware, and tea candies and such. Follow their Facebook page and send them a message if you want to reserve a spot in the tasting.

This is not a puerh, but an aged black tea. It reminds me very much of a mature sheng. The dry leaves had a unique aroma, first of turnip greens then immediately followed by a deep oak-y scent. These were loose leaves, not a cake.

The steeped tea is pale for a black tea and much the color you would expect of a mature sheng. This tea came from a puerh master and is probably not called puerh simply because of where the leaves were grown. (You may remember that Harney and Sons sold a green tea cake a few years ago that could not be called puerh because of where it was grown but it was in every respect an excellent puerh-type tea.)

The flavor was mild and not as green tasting as the aroma of the dry leaf led me to think it would be. It also really did not taste like a black tea, but some customers who were primarily black tea drinkers in the shop took it without question, drank it, enjoyed it, and I think they may have even purchased some. Our first steep was about 8 seconds, and the second was about 12, I believe. The instructions say that it gives about eight good steeps.

The tea was smooth and mild. It needed no additions. I would have purchased some but I am trying to reduce my cupboard, especially since I just found that exquisite 2013 TGY that I adore and have neglected because I have TOO MUCH TEA. I plan to drink and drink and drink what I have so I can feel good about ordering more when the new harvest gets underway. And yes, I share, swap, give away, invite people for tea, but I still have too much!

One nice thing about the shop is that they normally sell 100 gram bags and 250 grams and up, but you can request a sampler pack of fifty grams each if you buy at least four different teas, and you choose your teas. They also have premade samplers of various kinds like flavored black blends, or all greens, etc. They have quite a variety, too, some blends being TeaGeschwendner and some in-house.

They will also try to make special request blends when they have time.

S.G. Sanders

There’s nothing like a good pu-erh!

kristinalee

Wow, I didn’t realize how many Steepster people were in North Carolina when I was actually there. I’m from Raleigh, but have recently moved to Connecticut.

kristinalee

Also, this place looks like it has a nice selection. I wish I’d stopped in while I was still there.

hawkband1

That store sounds like a lot of fun!

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drank French Quarter by Tin Roof Teas
2268 tasting notes

Information on this tea may need to be updated soon as I didn’t write down the ingredients in the store when I tried it. This is Tin Roof Tea’s in-house effort to create a blend similar to Paris by Harney and Sons. In addition, they intend to tweak the blend as customers taste it and express their preferences.

First, the aroma of the dry leaf was heavy on caramel but the berry flavors certainly put on a show. The bergamot was evident in the scent but not overpowering.

Steeped – the tea is smooth enough to drink sans additions. It is not very similar to Paris to me, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad blend. It is much more caramel flavored than Paris and when steeped the bergamot almost disappeared for me. The berry also backed off and were lighter. They considered increasing the bergamot but I recommended bringing up the berry flavors more instead since there are so many people who do not like bergamot. We shall see what other customers think and what they ask for.

It was a fun day hanging around the tea shop, looking at all the goodies and talking tea talk.

gmathis

Ooh! More cowbell, less bergamot sounds like my kind of “just right!”

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90
drank Rip Van Winkle by Tin Roof Teas
45 tasting notes

Soothing herbal blend with strong spearmint flavor. Lightly sweet. Directions say to steep for 5-10 minutes, and I steeped for 7. Would steep longer next time for stronger flavor.

Flavors: Flowers, Herbs, Spearmint, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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86
drank Turkish Delight by Tin Roof Teas
117 tasting notes

Delicious. Spiced heaven. Beautiful leaf. Lovely aroma. Sip, sip, gone.
This will be missed.

Flavors: Almond, Spices

Preparation
2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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90

Lightly sweet minty flavor. Next time I would add more tea or steep longer for a richer flavor. Supposed to promote cognitive function. Here’s hoping!

Flavors: Herbs, Peppermint

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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drank Turkish Delight by Tin Roof Teas
1113 tasting notes

I’m impressed, this is actually very tasty! Thank you for the sample Marzipan!

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drank Turkish Delight by Tin Roof Teas
424 tasting notes

Tin Roof’s Turkish Delight tea looks beautiful. Long twisty black leaves, whole pistachios, sliced almonds, cardamom pods, pink peppercorns. The dry leaf smells lightly spiced and exotic.
Full review and photos: https://tealover.net/2015/06/tin-roof-teas-turkish-delight/

Nichole/CuppaGeek

Oh awesome. I’ve been curious about Tin Roof Teas. Nice!

Marzipan

I put the last couple of teaspoons of this in your box.

Stephanie

That sounds good!

Fjellrev

Love that you picked up some actual Turkish Delight to try alongside the tea! I love that stuff, especially coconut and pistachio.

Marzipan

I actually bought lichee on the same trip, for the same reason. I have never had it!

TeaBrat

I might have to order some of this :)

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85

A flavorful morning blend that is rich and hearty. Not as strong as some Scottish blends I have tried, but a nice pleasing brew with a bit of malty overtones. I have been drinking this blend often this past week, and enjoy the caffeine kick and full rich flavors. Plus a visit to Tin Roof Teas, or a visit to their website is always fun and I come home with new teas to try…

Flavors: Brown Toast, Malt, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

I stopped TNT a while back looking to pick up a new gaiwan, and on a whim decided to pick up a good amount of this tea. This TGY is a traditional so naturally it’s a bit more roastier/darker than say a Imperial grade. It’s decent, I have no real complaints. It holds itself well in gongfu, and my gaiwan seems to like it. The leaves are nicely rolled, and open up nicely. The body of the tea is a bit bolder than I generally prefer my TGY, but it’s not bad. There are good notes of chocolate, and banana which is nice little surprise. It’s a bit different from a standard TGY, because it is darker, it’s almost a bit reminiscent of a Wiyu oonlong in a way, and I can pick up some similarity with a Shui Xian or a Dong Ho Pao. Overall, this is nice, fresh, crisp, and sweet, with hints of fruits, cocoa, and darker oolong notes. It’s nothing that will blow you away, and it’s not really the type of TGY I would probably ever use for Gongfu when friends come over, but I do enjoy sipping on this grandpa style at work, so that’s nice.

Flavors: Bamboo, banana, Chocolate, Hay, Vegetal, Walnut, Whiskey

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Vanilla No. 990 by Tin Roof Teas
2268 tasting notes

I went in Tin Roof Teas and told Ryan I needed a birthday gift for my best friend, and loves double vanilla tea. He told me that this is his proprietary blend and he nearly named it Double Vanilla but thought that might sound corny, so here we have the result!

Naturally, I bought a bag for myself as well to make sure the quality as up to snuff for my friend. I knew she preferred Mariage Freres to Harney Vanilla, so I thought this Chinese base would be better for her than Harney’s Ceylon base.

I think it hits the spot and achieves double vanilla status. My friend thought it tasted a lot like the more expensive White Lion Vanilla. Youngest thought it might be a tad drying but said it was not astringent to her, and I like it very well. It isn’t going to last long. At least they are close enough for me to pick up more when I need it!

Teatotaler

Most recently, I have been on a quest for a good China black vanilla tea. Crazy for vanilla teas! So glad that I saw your review – Sounds perfect!

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