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Friday, October 22, 2010

Review:’s French Vanilla Black Tea

© 2010 A.C. Cargill photos and text – All rights reserved.
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The Subject: French Vanilla Black Tea from (More info on the company.)


Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 3-5 minutes per package label

Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings added: Vanilla beans
Aroma, dry tea leaves: Vanilla, robust tea smell
Aroma in the cup, plain: Vanilla, roasty tea, combine to an almost maple syrup taste
Taste in the cup, plain: Vanilla, roasty tea, no aftertaste or bitterness
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: N/A
Taste in the cup, enhanced: N/A

Additional Infusion(s): Did one, not recommended

Once again, the little tea company that could presents a tea that contradicts all our preconceptions, this time about vanilla-flavored black teas, which in the past have been poor quality tea doused with vanilla flavoring. Internet Marketing professional Nav Nouhi, company owner, has another tea to rejoice over. Other tea vendors (such as Shui Tea) whose teas we have tried have presented this consistent quality, too. We hope, as avid tea drinkers, that this is a sign of things to come, that is, smaller tea companies focused on exceptional teas.

This is a Ceylon black tea with sweet vanilla beans. It steeps up to a reddish brown liquid (sorry my photo doesn’t show this color better). This time we were smart and ignored the vendor’s description of the taste. That way we wouldn’t be disappointed if our experience differed. It turned out that the tea was so good that this wouldn’t have mattered anyway. The flavor is so apart from other vanilla teas we have tried, mainly because it is not overly vanilla nor overly sweet. Yet, there is no bitterness. Both hubby and I liked it so well plain that we didn’t even bother trying it with milk and sweetener. Also, the tea is a bit light (we may not have used enough tea leaves) and as such would have been overwhelmed by the milk.

Typical of black tea, this one is broken leaf. Since it is a flavored tea, the second infusion did not retain the vanilla flavor. We thought we’d give it a try anyway. We saw no reason to downgrade the tea because of this. Just bear in mind that we were comparing this flavored tea to other flavored teas, not to teas whose flavors occur naturally.

The tea vendor’s preparation instructions on their website were in agreement this time with the package label We followed the package label, except that, since there was a time spread here, we steeped the tea for 4 minutes.

This is a great Fall tea. The roasty vanilla flavor lingers and goes great with Walker’s shortbread. I suggested it, so hubby got some out and we tried it – yum!

Their packaging of these sample sizes were rather interesting.

Hubby and I don’t fall for the organic mumbo-jumbo nor assume that something labeled “organic” is going to be better quality (often, it’s just more expensive).

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

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