Vanilla Black

Tea type
Black Tea
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Bitter, Vanilla
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Edit tea info Last updated by steepster
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205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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19 Tasting Notes View all

From Rishi Tea

Vanilla is the bean-shaped seedpod or “fruit” of a specific type of orchid vine that is indigenous to the surrounding areas of Veracruz, Mexico. Vanilla has an ancient history as an Aztec medicine and aphrodisiac. Spanish conquistadors discovered vanilla during the early 16th century and introduced it to Europe, where it became a prized food ingredient and precious commodity. Its cultivation spread throughout the tropics, and today vanilla endures as an important part of worldwide food culture.

Flavor Profile: Decadent and creamy with the sweet enchanting flavor of real vanilla

About Rishi Tea View company

Rishi Tea specializes in sourcing the most rarefied teas and botanical ingredients from exotic origins around the globe. This forms a palette from which we craft original blends inspired by equal parts ancient herbal wisdom and modern culinary innovation. Discover new tastes and join us on our journey to leave ‘No Leaf Unturned’.

19 Tasting Notes

2816 tasting notes

This is a fairly nice, but standard vanilla tea. I hardly ever add sugar to anything but I found that a pinch of turbinado sugar helped to bring out the flavor in this. Also a longer (5 minute) steep seemed to be good today. See previous tasting notes…

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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390 tasting notes

ONCE upon a time i had a very bad experience with a rishi chocolate chai. some of you may remember…. i was distinctly cross. quick recap: no chocolate, impossible methodology for a disabled person to follow through with, wound up all over my kitchen, my wife wound up cleaning it up and i was ticked!

i took a day. was still cross. took another…. still cross because i resented my stress relieving practice getting in my face about having this illness. by hook or by crook i decided i’d waited long enough and called rishi HQ.

ME: may i speak with a manager please.
Service rep: may i ask what this is regarding?
me: i have a serious gripe about one of your products and as a rule i prefer to dish out temper on management who are paid to take it.

silence. tick. tick. tock.

service rep: i think i know the person who can best assist you, sir, one moment please.

i broke it down for the manager fairly, i think. the good and the bad. she was truly appalled at how much trouble had come from the recommended method, and further distressed that there was genuinely no chocolate to be seen or tasted in my tea (once she determined i wasn’t looking for refined chocolate and was accustomed to cacao nibs). this woman really listened, genuinely. and while i saved her name somewhere in microsoft word, it’s eluding at this exact moment, she is worth her weight in gold to rishi.

the manager sent me two huge bags of tea in apology; their original chai (which we problem solved a method that would work for me… see? gold=weight) and she picked up on one of my favourite aspects of their failed chocolate chai: huge chunks of vanilla bean and millions of vanilla seeds. the manager inquired as to whether i might like to try their vanilla black.

this tea is as purist as butiki’s lychee oolong. very simple and exactly what it says. fat chunks of vanilla bean and black tea. simple. very purist, absolutely lovely.

smooth black base, warm, strong, genuine vanilla presence. the vanilla lends an air of sweetness so not much is needed in terms of sweetener. a dot of cream turns it into the undoing of starbucks everywhere! lol.

very nice. quite lovely. i plan to experiment with a hot steep and then a cold overnight. i have no doubt it will be brilliant.

rishi… you are forgiven. don’t ever let that customer service manager go— she represents your interests well.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

That’s awesome. :) this sounds delicious too haha


That is really great!!


Good for you for following up as you did, and good for them for responding so amazingly well! adding this to my to-try list.


i’m always impressed if a company can pull it out of the fire… i was so mad! and by the end of the conversation i just wasn’t. that takes a particular skill set, because i was ready to walk away and never look back.


Makes me wanna buy from them now! customer service = awesome marketing :D


agreed. and the mammoth bags of tea they sent me! wow! alot of companies don’t get that their customers are an equal if not greater investment to their product. rishi appears to get that.

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3234 tasting notes

I am trying this one again. I used one tablespoon per eight ounces as they recommend and this is just too bitter for me. I want to drink my vanilla tea plain but this would only be palatable with milk and perhaps sugar, too. There is definitely some Indian tea in this. I think if I reduced the amount of leaf to what i would usually use and reduce the steep time, I would enjoy this more. I really think this will be going to a new home…


Second cup -just added milk and a wee bit of sugar. I can drink this instead of pouring it out now.


I can never believe directions that call for one tbsp per eight ounces for a black tea… there is no way that isn’t going to be way too strong for me.


Perhaps I should try it by the usual standards. It does resteep well with their recommended amount, but no wonder!


I think Rishi has a habit of calling for too much leaf. I have their Chai and if you follow the tin directions, they have you using 2 TB chai plus 2 TB black tea for 2 cups of tea. That is way too much for me – especially if you stovetop it.

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17 tasting notes

I just Love this tea. Pure, simple and smoothe. It really tastes like all the ingredients are really high quality.


I’ve gotta try this one…

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39 tasting notes

This tea is swell. It’s not nearly as strong or bold as an earl grey which is nice for me. What I enjoy most about this tea is taking in a good waft of vanilla just before drinking and then waiting for the aftertaste. I enjoy this tea more-so once it has cooled way down; it takes on a bit more of a sweet taste throughout.

I probably wouldn’t buy it again, but I will enjoy this Rishi sampler until the last loose leaf.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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14 tasting notes

This morning I drank what was left of the Vanilla Black tea that Rishi previously sent me for review in early 2012.
I thought it was utterly delicious, but then I really like the taste of vanilla.
I could definitely taste a smooth black tea beneath the vanilla. I could not, however, tell which black tea it was. I do not know if I am allowed to leave links. I apologize if not. Here is the full review I gave a few months back.

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11 tasting notes

I really wanted to like this tea. unfortunately I did not. The best I can say is that the tea is decent. Its not a bad tea. Smooth enough and quite drinkable but lacking any depth or complexity to make me want more.
In the can the vanilla overwhelms most of the tea scent and carries a bourbon overtone that is likeable but not particularly evocative of fine vanilla. In the cup the vanilla settles down behind the tea without getting lost. This feature might be the tea’s finest attribute.
Unfortunately the tea it’s self is a rather ordinary and single note black that did not distinguish it’s self from other ordinary teas.

I might be a bit unkind to this tea. As noted the tea is smooth, consistent and easy to drink. The vanilla flavor is present without being overwhelming and overall pleasant. These might be the reasons to give the tea a try and just the thing one might look for.

For my personal taste these reasons are not enough to recommend the tea. To me, tea is all about the amazing complexity of flavors that drive me to keep tasting it over and over again until I reach the bottom of the cup. Though this tea is a pleasant easy drinker, this is not enough to hold my interest for more than a few mouthfuls.


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91 tasting notes

I had this tea at a local cafe and the first thing I noticed with the powerful vanilla aroma of the tea. I first tasted the liquor plain fresh from the pot and found the vanilla flavor a bit overwhelming. I finished it with a very small portion of raw sugar and some non-fat milk to fill out the cup.

As for the tea itself, it was quite tasty in general. It is a nicely flavored tea, which is a bit of a compliment from myself (who is not disposed to care for flavored teas). The vanilla did quite overpower the flavor of the tea itself, so I cannot speak for the quality of the leaves. I should, however, have this tea again when in the mood for a sweet, full tea on a chill morning.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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36 tasting notes

I loved the vanilla scent and taste from this tea, but – and this surprised me – I think next time I want to try it with a bit of sugar in it to sweeten things up a tad.

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12 tasting notes

Vanilla Bean Black—sounds absolutely delicious in theory. In actuality, it tastes like I’m drinking straight vanilla. Maybe this would be good with cream, but I take my tea black, so for me, it was completely undrinkable. I took two sips and poured the cup down the drain. Now I have a bag of tea I can’t even give away (I tried).

Flavors: Bitter, Vanilla

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