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My humans continue their brief time out from the Chilled Tea Extravaganza to review another tea from The Boston Tea Company. Don’t worry. This little teapot will be back on track next time with a review of 3 chilled Oolongs that don’t have flavorings added. Meanwhile, check out this one.
The Subject: Vanilla Almond Oolong Tea from The Boston Tea Company.
Tea type: Oolong
Scents, flavorings, etc.: Vanilla, almond
Aroma, dry: Vanilla, almond
Aroma in the cup, plain: Vanilla, almond
Taste, plain: Very mild, not bitter, vanilla, almond
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: N/A
Taste, enhanced: N/A
2nd Infusion: About as good as the first (3rd infusion was probably possible)
Chilled: Didn’t do
Unlike Bentley’s Oriental Treasure White Tea, this is a beautiful full-leaf (mostly) tea with real almond slivers, natural vanilla and almond flavors, and Calendula flower petals. You can see them in my close-up shots. Wow!
First, do yourself a favor and take a deep whiff of the dry tea in the pouch. Aaahhh!! The vanilla hits your nose first, with a chaser of the almond and the petals, plus the earthy fragrance of oolong that tickles your nostrils.
Okay, now heat some water (but don’t boil it) and put some of this dry tea loose into your teapot or cup. The guidelines that came with the tea (very nice!) say that Oolongs can be steeped for 1 to 8 minutes. We tried the tea at 2 minutes and found it too weak, so we went for 3 minutes. Just right! You will need to try the steeping for different lengths of time to see what works best for you.
The liquid was a pale orange color, clear and beautiful in the light. As for the flavor, one word says it best: BALANCE. This tea is an expertly balanced blend of flavors. In the cup, the strong vanilla that hit your nose in the dry tea is mellowed and plays nice with the almond and petals, as well as the Oolong. There is absolutely no bitterness. Hubby detected a hint of smoky/earthy flavor, no doubt the Oolong coming through. We detected a slight chalkiness that might be a result of some of the tea leaves getting crushed in shipping. This in no way detracted from the taste.
The 2nd infusion was about the same as the first. Unlike other vanilla teas, this one is capable of multiple infusions without losing the vanilla.
The only issue we have with this tea is minor. I usually like milk in my vanilla-flavored teas. Something about the milk really enhances the vanilla and makes the taste dessert-like. This tea brews up so lightly that milk would have overwhelmed it, at least for us. Yeah, I know, we’re picky. Like I said, it’s a minor issue. Of course, maybe if I let it steep longer…
NOTE: This pouch is what the Boston Tea Company uses for samples. Their normal pouches are opaque, not clear, and block out light, very important for preserving your fine teas. Pouches are, overall, my favorite packaging, since, as the tea is used, excess air can be squeezed out before resealing, unlike tea tins and boxes. One drawback is that the wonderful full tea leaves get a bit crushed in the whole packing and shipping process. We were still very pleased with this tea.
Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.