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

141 tasting notes

The vanilla flavor in this tea was not as good as Numi Vanilla Decaf; it was less intense, less vanilla-y. It tasted more artificial, like a second-rate vanilla ice cream, rather than like a premium ice cream. I’m sure that Harney and Sons uses real vanilla, so I wonder if they used less vanilla, or the tea base didn’t blend well with the vanilla. Or perhaps decaf tea works better with vanilla than regular tea, since others seem to like Harney’s decaf Vanilla Comoro.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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31 tasting notes

After really liking the vanilla notes in Harney’s Wedding Tea, I decided to go all the way and get the Vanilla black. The vanilla aroma is intoxicating but it doesn’t overpower the tea. It’s still black tea and can have a bit of an ugly aftertaste if you brew too strong or too long. That being said, I am ordering more. It’s great.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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15 tasting notes

Hmm. Well, I like that I can actually taste some tea in here…..the dry leaves smell like the alcohol whiff you get from your general grocery store vanilla extract. Made a nice strong dark brew in the pot, and smelled more like vanilla when I poured it. I didn’t get strong bakery or cookie notes, just a mild suggestion of vanilla. A bit boring, but it doesn’t advertise any bells and whistles so I wasn’t expecting more that a basic vanilla tea. Okay, but will keep exploring vanillas and I’m sure there are better than this but it fills the bill for a quick cup.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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15 tasting notes

My wife surprised me with a massive package of Harney & Sons tea samplers today: I had never tasted this brand, but always wanted to! So, my first job was to add all of those teas to Steepster and read the reviews. It had me at “cookie”.

So, the aroma upon opening this package was indeed that of vanilla sugar cookies: it reminded me of brown sugar biscotti. After it was brewed, I could smell more of that black tea. I am a little put off by how small the tea leaves looked? Maybe my package got knocked around in shipping, but it seemed like the tea leaves were incomplete (verging on the size of fannings?).

The flavor was heavenly. I’m a sucker for dessert teas with cream and sugar, and boy did I find it. My first cup was overly sweet, I was not anticipating the vanilla punch that this tea packed! My second cup had more milk but less sugar – perfect. I tried a little bit of double strength concentration in a tea latte – also heavenly. Overall, a very nice cup! Very smooth, not mild…but smooth.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cookie, Toasty, Vanilla

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234 tasting notes

Thanks to SuperStarling! for this tea sample. You are the best (tea) friend ever.

I am brewing this up after a quick morning trip to a local farmers market. We needed to stock up on some essential groceries (bread, milk, fruit, ect). And I did that. But then, on my way out, I saw these huge potted mums of all colors. Big triumphant bastards. Like, they come up to my waste (I"m 5’9" so that is semi impressive. For the flowers, not me) and are wide enough to hide a small child or two toddlers. I bought 4 of them. I like them. My wife loves them. She’ll squeal with delight. Win win.

Back to this tea. This smells nice kind of like a vanilla cupcake. The package says to brew it for 4-5 minutes. Whoa there black tea. I’ve been burned enough times to know that when you creep into the 4 minute territory, you’re gonna have a bad time. Bitterness comes out to play and that isn’t fun for anyone. So I let it go for about 3:30 as a compromise.

Well, I probably could have let it go 4 minutes. As is, it is a nice vanilla black tea with no hint of astringency or bitterness. The vanilla plays in nicely. The mouthfeel is a little thin but it doesn’t really take away from the tea. And it could also have been my fault for not listening to directions. Either way, this is a really nicely done vanilla black tea. It is something one could sip on and not have to think about it too much.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cake, Vanilla

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Super Starling!

I’m a Black Tea Spaz. I totally throw it in my gravity steeper and forget all about it until 5-10 minutes later. Usually this doesn’t seem to bite me in the ass. I’m not sure why not. Perhaps I’m #blessed.


I get really sad when my teas go bitter. I’ve had it happen far too often with blacks and greens so now I’m super on top of steep times.

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200 tasting notes

Quite tasty, but unmemorable. This tea doesn’t have oodles of personality.

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3 tasting notes

This tea is very light. It kind of taste like vanilla? To me it taste a lot like fig newtons. Not terrible, however I do not see myself repurchasing.

Flavors: Fig, Vanilla

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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4 tasting notes

I actually like this tea without any honey or sugar added. When I added honey it was almost too sweet, but on the second steep without any sugar, it was perfect. Love it. I bought a sample but I think I’ll be buying more of this in the future.

Flavors: Vanilla

5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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108 tasting notes

It’s tough to find a decent vanilla tea, at least for me. Most of them have a flat sweetness to them, no complexity or richness, kind of like a marshmallow (blech). What I usually do with these teas is blend them with other flavored teas. I find that they round out the other flavors and this way I can still get use out of them.

I wouldn’t do that with this one, though. It’s actually pretty good! The vanilla is a little too subtle, but there’s this hint of smokiness to it which is interesting. Kind of sophisticated. It doesn’t beat my favorite vanilla (Mariage Freres Vanile des Isles), but so far it’s a solid second. Had it with milk, as I tend to do. Can’t wait to try Vanilla Comoro.

Flavors: Smoke, Vanilla

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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26 tasting notes

Really disappointed with this one, read the reviews before ordering and what I got wasn’t like any of the reviews.

The tea I got had very little aroma and almost no flavor with no aftertaste. Not much more to say about it.

Would probably get a better vanilla tea experience drinking some hot water with some cheap vanilla extract put into it.

Have to think they have some quality control issues, otherwise my experience really doesn’t make sense given the positive reviews here and on the H&S site.

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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