Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy
Do vanilla beans grow in Italy? We like to think so. Regardless, this black tea is blended with fine English oils made from Italian citrus fruits and sweet extracts, mixed with grade-A Madagascar vanilla beans (plus fine vanilla extract for an extra boost), and the unique savory scent of helichrysum flowers. Sicilian Vanilla is a great blend for the citrus lover, the vanilla lover, or the black tea lover! This blend is part of the Original 20 M&K’s Blends.
Learn more about this tea here.
Hmm … tasty! Not at all what I expected, but then, I think when I saw “Vanilla” in the name of the tea, I immediately think, “OK, this is a vanilla tea.” I didn’t expect the other flavors in this, although had I read the description prior to tasting, I would have!
This tastes more like something rich and dessert-y, like a fancy dessert from a European bakery than it does a straightforward vanilla black tea. And that’s not a bad thing, not at all! It’s a very yummy thing!
The description of this tea on Etsy doesn’t go into detail about what teas are used as the base. It only says a “blend of black teas.” Based on what I’m tasting, I’m going to guess that there is some Assam in this blend. I taste a good bit of malty and I also taste a hint of Assam bitterness. As for other teas, I suspect a Ceylon because I’m getting a Ceylon sort of taste in there too … but I’m less certain of the Ceylon than I am of the Assam.
To flavor this tea, M&K’s used vanilla bean as well as vanilla flavoring, Fiori di Sicilia flavoring and Pannetone flavoring. Fiori di Sicilia is an extract that is used in Italian baking that has a bit of vanilla, orange and floral essence. I can taste each of these flavors. The vanilla is the strongest note of these flavors, with the yummy baked bread taste of the pannetone, and hints of citrus that are especially noticeable at the finish and in the aftertaste.
The floral notes are probably my least favorite aspect of this tea, because it gives the cup an almost ‘artificial’ taste. However, the floral taste from the Fiori di Sicilia is barely noticeable and something that is easy to overlook given the yumminess of the rest of the tea.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with this blend and I’m glad I got to try it.