Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea, Vanilla Bean, Vanilla Flavour
Cherry, Cocoa, Cream, Creamy, Honey, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
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Loose Leaf
Edit tea info Last updated by Mastress Alita
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 10 oz / 295 ml

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17 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Oh look, a vanilla black! My obsession with vanilla these days is hardly a secret, is it? Actually, it’s one that has been going on for a fairly long time now. I can’t even remember what set it...” Read full tasting note
  • “The length of time between when I got this sample from Auggy and when I actually finished it [today] should be indicative of how spectacularly horrible I am about finishing my samples. It makes it...” Read full tasting note
  • “Mmmmm. This is another tea that Auggy sent me in a nice batch of samples, and it’s so super-yummy that I can’t stop sipping it as we speak. It’ll probably take me forever to write up this log as a...” Read full tasting note
  • “I am home today because the tree doctor had to come, and I am sad to say it is bad news. Maple is very sick and rotted. It’s time for her to go. Between her and Wild Cherry that is growing...” Read full tasting note

From SerendipiTea

Sumptuous, graceful & inviting. A tea that kindles elegant evenings, sweet thoughts & long walks. Beautiful bouquet with a distinct chocolatey taste coupling the vanilla, finished with a full red color, rich palate & distinct memory.

Ingredients: Vanilla Bean (Organic), Vanilla Flavor (Natural), Vietnamese Black

Steeping Instructions:

1. Fill kettle with fresh water, then heat.

2. Warm your teapot with a little hot water, discard, place your tea leaves in teapot, allowing heat of the pot to release bouquet of the tea leaves.

3. Heat water to rolling boil (212°). Steep 1 teaspoon (2.5 g/8 oz. cup) up to 5 minutes.

About SerendipiTea View company

Company description not available.

17 Tasting Notes

1353 tasting notes

Oh look, a vanilla black! My obsession with vanilla these days is hardly a secret, is it? Actually, it’s one that has been going on for a fairly long time now. I can’t even remember what set it off. I suspect it was the awesome vanilla bean Nilgiri that Chi of Tea had and which was sold out when I had decided to buy a large quantity of it. (Does anybody know what’s going on with Chi of Tea these days? There has been radio silence on that front for a long time now.) Anyway, that particular vanilla black seems to have ruined me for all others, and now I can’t find the perfect one.

Auggy has sent me this candidate, and from the aroma of the leaves and the cup after brewing, it’s a serious contender. It’s a little bit coconut-y sweet, and it has that smell that feels tough and leathery. Like the skin of the pod itself rather than just the grains on the inside. The smell that reminds me of a certain sort of sweets that actually has nothing at all to do with vanilla as far as I know. In the cup, it smells all creamy too.

So the aroma is exactly what I’m looking for in the perfect vanilla black.

OMG HOW EXCITING!!! Could it really be the Perfect One?

The first sip was definitely vanilla flavoured, and the vanilla tasted right too. It even tasted milky grey, which is a good sign. But then… that was it. The vanilla flavour is everything that I’m looking for, but the base is really where everything falls like a house of cards. There doesn’t really seem to be much body to it. I can barely taste that it’s a black tea, but I can’t say anything at all about it, because it’s only so faintly there under the vanilla, and the flavouring doesn’t even seem to be that overwhelmingly strong. I should really really like to find this flavouring on a slightly more forceful base. I don’t know which tea this one is made on, but it just doesn’t seem to be asserting itself.

The first time I had it was in the large pot that I share with Husband (I think. I must have forgotten to get his opinion), and then tried again in the medium sized pot for the same result. Yesterday I had it in the smallest pot and it was a little bit better, but not really enough to make that much of a difference.

Still, I’ll rate it pretty high, because the flavouring of it is spot on. It’s just not the perfect base.


Mmm, vanilla. Such a classic, perfect flavour, but so hard to find the perfect vanilla-flavoured tea.


Tell me about it! O.o Every time I come close, it fails Perfectness on availability. If I can’t buy it without having someone else act as middle-man and forward it to me, it’s not It.


Have you tried Vanilla Plantation from Silk Road?
It’s the best vanilla tea I’ve found so far. My stash is a bit old, otherwise I’d send it to you. But, I can get some more if you want to try it out.


Gah, that tea store is in my city and I still haven’t gone yet. Was seriously going to go the last two times I was downtown but ran out of time. When I get my butt over there, I could get some and send some out your way too, Angrboda.

Thanks for reminding me that I need to go there, MissMylin haha.


LOL! I’ve been to Victoria only once, and I found Silk Road purely by accident. I wasn’t even a tea fanatic yet, so what a lost opportunity!


This is my favorite vanilla so far. I keep trying others in comparison but I haven’t found any thing better yet. More questing is in order. ;D


MissMylin and Incendiare, Silk Road is out of my reach, unfortunately. I’d love to try some though. Incendiare, thank you so much for the offer, I would like that. When next you go there, can you let me know as there may be a few other things I’d like to try as well. I can paypal you the cost of purchase and shipping, or I can send you something of your choice instead if you like. (And if you’d prefer to keep it simple and stick to just the vanilla, that’s fine too. It’s your call) There’s no rush, though. In your own time. :)

Missy, I know! I was having high hopes for it because of that, but I think it just wasn’t quite… assertive enough for me somehow. I’ve used up my sample now, but I might have been able to experiment my way out of that problem otherwise. I did think I got a better result the second time than I did the first time.

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260 tasting notes

The length of time between when I got this sample from Auggy and when I actually finished it [today] should be indicative of how spectacularly horrible I am about finishing my samples. It makes it harder to finish them when they’re good, because then I know I’ll need to go through the process of piecing together an order and I can’t really think of anything else from Serendipitea that I really want. Anyone have any suggestions to toss my way?

On the last cup of this, I was stuck with that conundrum so many of us often find ourselves in – I didn’t have enough to make two cups, but I had too much for one. Either I could use some of my smaller mugs and spread it out or dump it all in, shorten the steep time, and hope for the best.

I opted for the latter, since I was feeling impatient. The tea was going to be accompanying me through a programming assignment and I needed a quantity that could last me for a while.

The decision made for the best 3 cups of Colonille I got out of the sample, hands down.

I wish I’d paid closer attention to the actual quantity when I dumped it in there, but I’d say it was maybe…1.75 tsp-ish? I set the timer for 2:30, but got distracted and pulled it out a bit late.

No astringency, to the relief of my palate, just smooth, smooth, smooth, warm, vanilla goodness, darkened by whisps of cacao and blanketing my tongue. This tea doesn’t hammer you with sweetness [though I imagine that it would hold up to additives well – I think that Auggy can confirm validity on that estimation] but the flavor profile evokes it quite nicely, if that makes sense. What you’re left with is a lovely, comforting, rather mature cup of flavor.

This isn’t a refreshing tea for me, it’s a calming tea, and I find it best prepared as the dusk approaches and things are beginning to wind down. Three cups in, the flavor did not diminish much, which might have been due to the large amount of leaf I used, and I would have kept going if I didn’t feel the need to switch to something lower in caffeine. [Though, I suppose most of the damage had already been done by that point, caffeine-wise.] With this last experience, I’m going to have to give it a ratings bump. And start thinking seriously about putting an order together.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec

Their Mango Magnus is pretty good though the mango really shows up best with milk… City Harvest Black is very similar to this one but with the addition of orchid which gives it a creamier, sweeter feel… their Burroughs’ Brew is my favorite coconut tea – like toasted coconut strips… You might like their Forever Spring oolong since Four Seasons reminded me of it but I never found the love in Forever Spring that I did (eventually) in Four Seasons… Oh, and Lili’uokalani is the worst ‘tropical’ tea I’ve ever tastes. It is peach. That is not tropical. And that’s all I can contribute to your potential order.


I just got some stuff from them a little bit ago…I’ve just been remiss about adding tasting notes. I’ve been enjoying their Siam for caffeine-free, though.


Buccaneer is also really good. As is Fiji. And I’ve been craving their Autumnal Darjeeling for some reasn.

Their Milk Oolong is also really good, and tastes sort of like Samovar’s Four Seasons.

Yeah, SerendipiTea is pretty awesome. And their shipping is really good!


Thanks for all the recommendations, ladies! I’ve got an order forming in my head now. Though, can I just say: Oh my god their website has an obnoxious navigation scheme!


Ugh, so much so! Their website is annoying and a half. Blah. But can’t wait to hear what you decide to order!


Don’t need to order the Milk Oolong just yet… I’ll be sending you some of that in the upcoming weeks! Whee! I haven’t tried any of the teas Auggy recommended, but I’m sure they’re good.

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187 tasting notes


This is another tea that Auggy sent me in a nice batch of samples, and it’s so super-yummy that I can’t stop sipping it as we speak. It’ll probably take me forever to write up this log as a result.

This tea is pure black, little scraps of tea, with some vanilla mixed in. The tea itself, when dry, smells deliciously of cocoa and vanilla. And when I say cocoa, I mean dark chocolate, unadulterated by milk. Pure, raw chocolate. The vanilla has that wonderful natural smell that I crave! The last vanilla tea I had was a bagged abomination – Bigelow’s French Vanilla, which tastes as fake as it horrifically smelled. So I was a bit apprehensive as I steeped this one. But I trusted Auggy’s judgment to lead me in the right direction.

This tea smells delicious in the cup. It’s a rich red hue, with a lovely vanilla scent that invites you to just stick you face into the cup and breathe. AHHHH. Smooth and rich vanilla.

The taste actually surprised me, because it’s deep and rich! I wasn’t expecting such a strong black flavor! At the forefront of the taste is definitely the rich taste of raw chocolate nubs. And then the vanilla hits, in a sweet, sweet wash of natural-tasting goodness. It’s gentle, but not cloying. It doesn’t talk down to you. Or try to sell you something you don’t want. It just invites you in for a stay, and wraps you in a hug.

I know I’m going to be staying up late, so caffeine is not an issue. However, on a normal day, this flavor would be perfect for night-time. My mom is really allergic to caffeine, but she can muster a sip or two of tea. She loved this one, and also wished that it was available decaf as well.

More yumminess from Auggy! She’s two for two! And this just shows me that yes, flavored tea can actually be really delicious and natural-tasting, instead of fake and disgusting.

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

“It just invites you in for a stay, and wraps you in a hug.”
Aww, yay! This is one of my cuddle teas that I want to snuggle with when the day is not going well. Glad to know that aspect brews up in other teapots, too! :)


Damn that tea sounds good! I knew I added it to my Shopping List for a reason! ;)


Ooo, that sounds delicious. I think I need me some of that.


What I really loved about it is how nice and subtle the vanilla is! It’s not overpowering or cloying. Just yummy and comfortable. The black tea is also interesting-tasting – it’s from Vietnam, and I’m not sure I’ve had tea from that region before.

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1112 tasting notes

I am home today because the tree doctor had to come, and I am sad to say it is bad news. Maple is very sick and rotted. It’s time for her to go. Between her and Wild Cherry that is growing crookedly over the house and could fall and wreak havoc – it’s a terrible, terrible day for old trees and a horrible, horrible day for our bank account (I love trees and there is no way I would ever get one cut down unless it was dire. We had our landscaper alert us to the problem and tell us do it NOW rather then later, and the tree expert echoed his opinion). I don’t think I’l be buying tea for quite awhile after this out of the blue expense!

I needed a surefire pick me up this afternoon, and realized that I have not tried this one yet! Vanilla – my comfort. Ooooooh and this one is gooooooood. So rich and a bit like a liqueur! I used some half and half and sugar and you would think I went and got one of those $10 hot toddy things with whipped cream on it and everything. I feel like I had a very decadent and heavy dessert. I actually feel FULL from this tea!

Thank you, Colonille! You really picked me up this afternoon :)

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

I love this tea! I’m sad about your trees, though. It’s always a bummer when one of the old ones has to go…we had to do that with a few palms at our place when we lived in Florida (you wouldn’t think palm trees could be expensive…but lemme tell you…I feel your pain, sister!).

It’s always nice when a good tea can come to the rescue!


Sympathies! Do you still have a good tree to curl up and read and sip under?


Tea and long baths. I don’t know what I would do without tea and long baths!!!!

The alarming thing is that the tree doctor said that a lot of Maples in the area have been really sick and dying. Ours is not the first he’s seen get rotted in this way and need to come down. I wonder what is going on.


Sorry about your trees. :-( Now you’ve got me wanting a hot toddy!


gmathis – not near the deck, no. We have alot of trees in the back but no others near where we sit. The tree doctor said we can plant something more appropriate and intentional when we are ready and I guess he’s right, but…


I am so sorry to hear about your trees. It’s also a wretched way to spend money. You deserve the best of teas.


This appears to have been a traumatic week for a number of Steepsterites.


My sympathies on all your recent losses. I’m glad your teas are giving you some comfort during this tough week.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Losing a large tree makes me sad too. =(

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371 tasting notes

This is the first sample that JacquelineM sent me that I’ve used up :( It was absolutely wonderful this morning — all vanilla-ey and comforting. This definitely will be purchased in the future. TG

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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911 tasting notes

When I am running late, sometimes things get messed up. This tea, for instance. I’m not sure exactly what I did wrong – too much leaf? no sugar? too much milk? – but something happened that made this tea not as happy today. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It was still good. Reminded me of Golden Moon’s Vanilla Jasmine actually. But normally this tea is better than GM’s Vanilla Jasmine. And when a little milk and sugar is added, it makes me think of chocolate and vanilla, swirled together. But today, it was just a little flat and a little more cream soda vanilla than chocolate vanilla.

Ah well. Maybe I need to get up earlier so I have more time to properly make my tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Boo for messed up tea. I’m going to have to start finishing off the samples of tea I’ve gotten through swaps that I enjoy so that I’m forced to order more. This is one of them.


That’s been my plan for weeks – I just have so many samples (hmm, I wonder why). I’m really trying to be good and not get more tea until I have fewer teas overall but sometimes, I can’t resist…



And yeah, my lack of restraint is probably demonstrated by the two recent orders I pushed through for Art of Tea and Andrews and Dunham. O WELLS.


Attempts to restrain + awesome promotional codes = restrain FAIL.

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2036 tasting notes

Tea party @ Rabs’ house! (Virtually speaking…)

It’s really pretty late for me to be having caffeine but tomorrow being a holiday and all I’m throwing caution to the wind. I had a cup of this earlier, but then I went for a run, ate dinner, put kids to bed, etc. before writing a note and I thought I’d better refresh my recollection. :-)

I’ve had a couple of really outstanding vanilla flavored black teas, some that were fine, and some that were pretty awful. This one is definitely at the high end of the spectrum, though I don’t think it passes Mariage Freres Black Orchid or Samovar Vanilla Dian Hong.

I bought a little tin of it from SerendipiTea, and it’s adorable. It’s the shape and just about the size of a chewing tobacco tin (not that I have one handy to compare it to, it just reminds me of that), but probably has a smaller circumference. The dry leaves have a vanilla smell along ice cream lines. Creamy rather than beany. There’s a dusky tea smell underneath.

The tea smells creamy rather than beany, too. Very pleasing aroma. Surprisingly, the taste isn’t as ice creamy as I would have thought. It’s smooth, but it has a sort of sneaky intensity to the vanilla flavor. You don’t realize it’s as vanilla-y as it is until you sit with it for a bit. The vanilla flavor really comes out in the aftertaste if you breathe in through your mouth after sipping.

On the problem of cocoa: yeah, I get some, more in the taste than in the aroma. I find that there’s a very fine line between chocolate and vanilla flavoring sometimes, particularly if they are leaning toward less sweet. I generally think of them as opposites, having been trained that way from an early age (do you want chocolate ice cream? or vanilla? black? or white?) but when you think about it, they’re both from seeds. More specifically from beany, poddy, plant things. So why shouldn’t there be some similarity? In any case, the more intense the vanilla, the more it seems to me to have chocolate overtones. With chocolate, it’s a little more difficult to make a generalization, but I have found vanilla notes in chocolate on a number of occasions.

I like this one. Really. So what to do here?

I’m going to solve the rating question by bumping up Samovar and Mariage Freres slightly, to give what I think is an appropriate space between them and this on the rating scale, which will enable me to give this a slightly higher rating than I would have otherwise.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I have to try the Mariage Freres Black Orchid! I love Samovar’s – I think it tastes like a boozy treat!! I have a handful of different vanilla teas in my cupboard and they are all so different – I don’t understand why vanilla is equated with plain and boring!?!? :)


Fantastic note! I think that I was having mini-writers’ block and just couldn’t break down this tea. I also think that I’m really starting to fall in love with vanilla teas — who knew?


Agreed to both of you! Vanilla has way more permutations than people give it credit for and when it’s done well it is amazing.

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A nice strong black. Smooth and rich. The vanilla is not overdone but lasts and lasts on your tongue. I have to thank Missy for another wonderful sample!! It’s good!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Yay! glad you liked it. This is one of my favorites.

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69 tasting notes

This is a great vanilla black tea option. The vanilla flavor profile is kind of medium and doesn’t get in your face. It balances nicely with the black tea used here which is rich, malty and gives off chocolate notes. This is naturally sweet and I enjoyed this best unadulerated.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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212 tasting notes

I thoroughly enjoy this tea. I find it rich and inviting. The lovely, vanilla aroma is very relaxing. I pick up a bit of the chocolate but the vanilla is the dominant flavor. The tea shines through in the end. It has an interesting feel on my tongue, a smooth almost velvety texture. That seems silly because it’s just water flavored by the tea leaves. I think this one shall be a staple tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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