This is my first Steepster tasting note. I do not typically find that writing is my creative outlet of choice; however, I have been loving reading other people’s reviews on this site and I wanted to try my hand at it. In addition to helping me determine whether or not to purchase a tea again, I hope that by reviewing my teas I will start to take note of and gain an appreciation for specifics of preparation, attributes of the tea leaf, the aroma, and subtleties of flavor that tend to get forgotten when I allow myself to sip without attempting to describe a tea.
I am drinking the Harney and Sons Vanilla Comoro in the full leaf sachets. Preparation is detailed below and included the addition of a single packet of Truvia, my sweetener of choice. I used 1 sachet of tea. Next time I make this, I will steep for four minutes as there were some bitter undertones after a five minute steep.
The dry leaf is very dark in color and quite uniform. The sachet contains pieces ranging anywhere from a finely ground consistency (like coffee) to a 4 mm leaf size. The smell of the dry leaves is quite heavy handed with the vanilla; however, there is an undertone of what I can only suppose is the scent of the Ceylon leaves which I would describe as a bit floral.
The steeped tea is the color of a cherry wood. (I realize comparing tea to the colors of different types of wood may be strange, especially since I can not pretend to be an expert on either subject; however, I can’t help but think that the only other thing I know that has such deep, rich, amber color is cherry wood.)
The aroma of the steeped tea gives off a much milder vanilla scent and the floral scent of the black tea reminds me of my mother making sweet tea when I was young. I especially remember “sun tea” which is a slow brewing method of making sweet tea (or any other tea I suppose) where a pitcher of water is left out in the sun with a couple of tea bags. As the sun warms the water, the tea steeps. I remember watching tea steep on the porch at my grandmother’s house with a cat lazing about next to the pitcher. My grandmother used to make all of her tea this way in Florida. I wonder if she used a Ceylon or if I just need more practice to be able to distinguish between types of black tea.
The tea is very smooth and easy to sip. The flavor profile is fairly straightforward. There is nothing surprising about this tea, but it delivers an exquisite vanilla flavor that is much more subtle than you might expect compared to the scent that hits you upon opening the container. For me, this is a solid choice for a black tea. I like that it is decaf. While I don’t typically purchase decaffeinated teas and tend to stick to naturally caffeine free herbal teas in the evenings, this is a great night time tea that is soothing in the same way as a mug of warm milk and honey before bed.
Flavors: Floral, Vanilla