Not So Vanilla Flavored Black Tea from Tippy’s Tea

NotSoVanillaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tippy’s Tea

Tea Description:

Decadent dark chocolate and vanilla. Extremely smooth, malty and chocolatey. Hand chopped Madagascar vanilla beans add a sweet and creamy vanilla flavour.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Mmmmmmm!  This is really good.  REALLY really good.

I’ve tried more than one or two different vanilla flavored black teas, and I’ve enjoyed most that I’ve enjoyed.  I can’t think of any vanilla flavored tea that I didn’t at least like.  Maybe not love, but I think that I liked most of them.

This one – though – this is one of those that stands out as an EXCELLENT vanilla flavored black tea.  What makes this one so different?

Well, I think it has a lot to do with the tea base.  It’s a Golden Monkey.  The combination of the natural chocolate-y notes of the Golden Monkey along with the sweet, creamy notes of the Madagascar vanilla bean works very well together.

The Golden Monkey is rich and slightly creamy tasting.  The aforementioned chocolate notes are bittersweet and this is a really pleasing contrast to the vanilla notes from the vanilla bean.

Another thing that makes this one different is that this doesn’t appear to be a flavored tea.  That is to say, it’s not been flavored with flavoring oils.  It’s been infused with the flavors naturally using vanilla beans rather than oils.  And this gives it a light, natural vanilla flavor rather than a synthetic one.  It’s kind of like the difference between a vanilla bean ice cream and a vanilla ice cream.  They taste similar, but there is a distinct difference that can be tasted.

That said, because this hasn’t been flavored with oils, the vanilla here is somewhat more subdued than you’d find in a vanilla tea that’s been flavored with oils.  If you’re looking for a really STRONG vanilla flavor, then you might want to try a different tea.  If you’re looking for a really GOOD vanilla flavor – you’ve found your tea!

Café Latte Tea from Serene Teaz

cafelatteTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Serene Teaz

Tea Description:

A tea for the coffee lover in you. Chocolate chips and roasted coffee beans give this tea and enticing coffee aroma.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

If you’ve read many of my reviews, you probably already guessed that this Café Latte Tea from Serene Teaz gave me reason for hesitation because of the coffee beans.  I’ve told the story numerous times:  I used to drink coffee every morning until I realized that my eleven o’clock sick to my stomach feeling was caused by that morning cup of joe.

So I switched to tea and haven’t had any problems.  So, when someone sent me a sampling of this tea, I was hesitant to try it … but, also curious.  Wondering if it would affect me adversely because the tea DOES have polyphenols in it, which act as the buffers to the effects of caffeine (which is why we get a slow, steady stream of alertness from tea rather than that coffee jolt.)  Maybe … this won’t affect me badly.  Here’s hoping.

I like the flavor.  It is rich and well-rounded.  I definitely taste the coffee in addition to the flavorful black tea.  It tastes warm and roasty and a little bit bitter … coffee bitter.  Which reminds me of another thing that I like better about tea versus coffee:  for the most part, tea isn’t bitter unless it’s been steeped incorrectly.  With a cup of coffee, I always need a teaspoon of sugar … which is not the case with tea.  On occasion, I’ll add a pinch of sugar to a cup of tea to accentuate the flavors, or if it’s a spiced tea because the sugar enhances the spices nicely.  But my sugar consumption has definitely decreased as a result to switching to tea from coffee.

I also taste the chocolate-y notes, which gives the tea sort of a mocha-y taste and makes me think that this would be really splendid with a splash of half & half … so why don’t I go get some?  I poured a little bit of half & half in the cup (about a teaspoon) and the flavor is enhanced significantly.  This tea definitely should be milked and sugared for best taste!  (of course, everyone’s tastes vary!)

Not bad.  I like the chocolate-y notes.  I even enjoy the coffee flavor together with the black tea notes.  It’s an unusual and tasty blend.  I hope that it doesn’t make me sick in a couple of hours, but if it does, I’ll be sure to update the review!

A few hours have passed since I wrote the above review, and I didn’t experience any ill feelings from the coffee beans.  A tasty blend for those of us who can’t drink coffee anymore but occasionally miss the flavor of it.  Don’t get me wrong … I LOVE tea and I’d choose a cup of tea over a cup of coffee any day, even if coffee didn’t make me sick, but, every once in a while, I do miss it.  Just a little bit.  And this is the tea to drink on those occasions!