Vanilla Black

Tea type
Black Tea
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Brown Sugar, Cookie, Toasty, Vanilla, Baked Bread, Cake, Fig, Smoke, Artificial, Powdered sugar, Sweet, Sugar
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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79 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Next to Lapsang Souchongs, this is my youngest daughter’s favorite tea. I wanted to make a pot of tea that everyone in the house would like today. I had just made a batch of sugar cookies based on...” Read full tasting note
  • “I am not proud to admit this, but I grunted when I tasted this tea. Not a mmmmm or an ahhhh but an absolute grunt like a pig. It touched the primal vanilla loving animal in me (who I have just...” Read full tasting note
  • “Six hours of sleep last night. Lets just say that it was agony to haul my carcass out of bed this morning. Rewarding myself with this lovely vanilla blend. Day two of waking up totally exsausted....” Read full tasting note
  • “Oh yeah baby, getting down with my h and s samples before busting open the tins. I still don’t have a system of attack regarding how I’m going to open them-I don’t want to savagely tear into...” Read full tasting note

From Harney & Sons

The natural sweetness and rich flavor makes this an irresistible delight. The aroma will take you back to winter afternoons in the kitchen baking sugar cookies with your grandmother.

About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

79 Tasting Notes

358 tasting notes

I often write off vanilla flavored things as too plain, but I forget how much I love the flavor of real vanilla, as in vanilla bean. I ordered a little sample of this with my recent Harneys order to see how it is. The dry leaves smell a little musty and smokey with a wonderful strong aroma of vanilla bean. It kind of reminds me of vanilla icing. The tea itself has a rich vanilla aroma. The flavor is pretty simple, just a sweet malty vanilla flavor and finish. There is a delicate vanilla bean aftertaste that is very nice. Besides the obvious vanilla, I am tasting a little smokiness in the cup, which I am assuming comes from the black tea base. I feel like I’ve tasted the same smokiness in some of Harney’s other black tea blends, namely Black Currant. There is no bitterness at all, but it’s not quite as smooth as I expected. I am enjoying this cup, and would probably order a tin of it. I do wish it were more pure vanilla flavored with a little less smokiness, but it does give a nice complexity to the cup!

-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves and twigs.
-Dry leaves smell slightly musty and smokey with a strong aroma of vanilla bean. Tea liquor aroma is of rich vanilla.
-Tea liquor is a clear orange brown color.
-Sweet malty vanilla flavor and finish. Delicate authentic vanilla bean aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. A simple cup with a smokey maltiness and the flavor of rich vanilla bean. No bitterness.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

I always underestimate how good vanilla is.

Josie Jade

Me too, Cavocorax! I always reach for vanilla if it’s a cupcake or icecream or something. But with tea, I always reach for chocolate over vanilla!

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217 tasting notes

This was one of the few Mondays that I looked forward to! Thank you ashmanra, for sending me this Harney & Sons sample to taste!

When I opened the sample packet, a light vanilla aroma was noticeable. I steeped the very black short leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees. The brewed color was a dark amber.

The flavor of the first sip was smooth and breakfast-tea-like with mild vanilla undertones. As I drank more and more of this selection, the vanilla taste became more obvious.

I did detect a slight twinge of something additional with the vanilla flavor. I am not quite sure what it was. It wasn’t bitter and it wasn’t astringent but it did seem to be pointing in that direction. I noticed a similar attribute in another vanilla tea I tried a while back. Maybe it is just the chemical reaction of the vanilla bean when boiled in tea.

In any event, this was a pleasant enough tea with sufficient vanilla flavor to keep me from craving more. It became even more satisfying with a couple of English tea biscuits!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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773 tasting notes

this tea seems pretty well liked by steepsterites, and i’m always glad when someone finds a tea to love xox … but … and you knew there was a but … it did not impress me. i’m gonna have to give it a few more rounds of course, once is never enough, but i’ve met other vanillas i liked more.

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882 tasting notes

Finished off my sample of this! Of course I had it with my missed shortbread cookies :] What a delicious snack.
When I first opened the bag it smelled like vanilla bean cup cakes. The flavor is very light but blends well with the malty black tea base. Very simple. Not a whole lot to say.

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2815 tasting notes

hmmm. I am taste testing this a few days after drinking the Vanilla Black from Rishi.

The Rishi tea definitely wins in terms of aroma + organic and fair trade.

However I am scoring this tea slightly higher because it has a smoother mouth-feel and taste. The vanilla is subtle and nice. I needed some soymilk to really bring it out and now I’m pretty happy.

Not sure I would buy this again because I am not MAD for vanilla, but if you are looking for a good vanilla tea you might try this one.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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259 tasting notes

Brewed a little hotter than normal, resulting in an ever-so-slightly smoky finish, but no bitterness. This is a pretty simple afternoon/dessert tea, quite satisfying.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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55 tasting notes

Delicious vanilla aroma and flavor, nicely balanced with black tea. Although I usually take my tea without anything in it, I do prefer a splash of half & half to enhance the already slightly creamy brew. Hold the sugar, though, I am not a fan of over-sweetened drinks and this one is naturally just a bit sweet on its own.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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19 tasting notes

Recently I’ve been trying local honey in my tea as a way to battle seasonal allergies. I thought vanilla and honey sounded lovely and it has been. I have sweetened this with sugar as well and enjoyed it. I usually make tea lattes with it and really enjoy the vanilla flavour. It’s not overpowering (could vanilla ever be?) but it’s strong enough that when I got down to the end of the tin I was able to blend one teaspoon straight black tea (Allegro) and one teaspoon of this and still taste some vanilla. (My desire to stretch it out for so long says a lot – not the least of the message is that I need to find someplace closer that stocks this tea.)

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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409 tasting notes

This is a good vanilla black tea. I find the flavor a good balance between authenticity (Adagio’s in particular always tastes fake, more like frosting, to me) and strength of flavor (vanilla teas flavored just with vanilla bean tend to be overpowered by the black tea). This will likely be included in my next order to Harney.

I’m backlogging from a weekend w/o internet, so I can’t remember anything more nuanced about the flavor. It was very satisfying though.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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126 tasting notes

Sweet and vanilla in flavor. Not too strong or overpowering. Pretty good dessert or afternoon tea if you feel like vanilla flavor. Does not taste artificial at all.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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