Thanks for reading my first tea review! Let’s get to it!
I recently took a trip to a store called “Christmas Tree Shops” to do some hunting for unique teas. I can picture your eyebrows furrowing intensely in confusion right about now (:-P), but they’re basically one of your standard “discount/closeout” shops that sell all sorts of random crap depending on the season. They’ve just got a goofy name! Anywho, they’re pretty good for finding brands of tea that are harder to find in regular ol’ grocery stores.
The first tea I found there and will thus be reviewing in this post is St. Dalfour’s Organic Vanilla Black Tea. Hooray! My quest for a delicious, hearty vanilla black tea is always ongoing, so I knew I had to try this stuff out. The fact the tea is organic and its flavorings are all natural were just delicious icing on the temptation cake.
Looks good, right? The packaging is quite elegant, though strangely they use the exact same photo of that teacup on the boxes of some of their other flavors as well for some reason. Cheapens the design a little in my opinion! The teabags themselves are not attached to their tags by staples, but rather by some bizarre string voodoo- definitely a huge plus. It always makes me feel a bit odd when I have to steep a tiny piece of metal along with my tea. 😛
Sadly, once it came time to actually brew this tea, it stopped being so adorable. The instructions on the box recommend you let the tea steep for ~1 minute for a “standard” brew, with ~2 minutes for a “strong” view.
Maybe all my taste buds are dead or something, but it took me 3 tries to get this tea to brew into a drinkable beverage, with my best attempt clocking in at ~8 minutes steep time. The first time, after allowing what I thought was a generous 3 minutes to steep, I just basically drank a cup of hot water. This stuff is EXTREMELY weak, and if you brew it in a rush thinking you can make it in a thermos a few minutes before you head off to work in the morning, you will be a sad, sad panda.
After the 8 minute steep, and now that I’ve gotten the tea to actually taste like something.. what does it taste like?
I LOVE vanilla tea. I love “in your face” vanilla, stuff your mouth with sugar cookies vanilla, mysterious body lotion that smells so good you desperately want to defy common sense and eat it, vanilla. I want to be taken on a vanilla-y rollercoaster that never ends when I take a sip of vanilla tea.
This.. was not what I had hoped for. Instead of a rollercoaster, this was kind of like a crappy and mildly dangerous carnival ride that hurts your neck and leaves you with a touch of regret. The vanilla taste is VERY mild, even after such a long steep. Honestly the first few times I had tried the tea I couldn’t detect any vanilla flavoring whatsoever. However, the overall body of the tea is pleasantly full with some nutty, almond-like undertones: you just have to accept that the vanilla is only present to very lightly compliment the black tea base. This tastes more like a cup of straight black tea with a little cream or milk in it to me.
If you’re a vanilla addict like myself, I’d not really recommend this tea to you. However, if you’re primarily interested in supporting organic tea brands and might fancy a black tea with a touch of sweetness in the evenings, this may be right up your street. 🙂 My search for a naturally flavored, SMACK YOU UPSIDE THE HEAD vanilla tea continues!
Overall Rating: C-
Thanks for reading! See you next time!