Review: Samovar Vanilla Dian Hong

Black Tea, Vanilla Tea, Yunnan Tea Add comments
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The malty and cocoa notes of the tea base come through as the foremost flavors in the blend. The vanilla is quite mild and at times elusive."
Vanessa’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Dan gave it 7.8/10, Lynn gave it 9/10, Geoff gave it 7/10
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samovarvanillasomethingWhat makes Samovar’s Vanilla Dian Hong Black Tea stand out most from other flavored black teas is that it this offering consists of a high quality base and uses high quality flavorings. Too often is the case that a flavored tea uses a low-grade tea as the base and/or questionable artificial flavorings. Further upping the ante is the use of an organic and fair trade Dian Hong (Yunnan) tea and organic vanilla beans. By appearance, the tea leaves appear on the smaller side and are thin and curly. The tea definitely carries an aroma of vanilla, but it is a subtle vanilla, not an in-your-face type vanilla scent. The brewed tea is certainly different from any other vanilla flavored tea I have had before, meaning that the focus of this tea’s flavor isn’t actually on the vanilla but on the tea base itself. The malty and cocoa notes of the tea base come through as the foremost flavors in the blend and Yunnan lovers will delight that the tea base shines through. The tea base is hearty, robust, and not easily masked by the vanilla flavoring. The vanilla is quite mild and at times elusive, perhaps being most noticeable in the aftertaste. The vanilla is so subtle that it could almost be perceived as an innate quality of the black tea (comparable to how black teas are often described as offering honey, caramel, or cocoa notes), rather than an added flavor. This tea is self-drinking, but the addition of milk and/or sugar enhances the otherwise subtle vanilla flavor.
This tea presents itself as a challenge in the rating process. On one hand, it uses high quality ingredients and offers a pleasant drinking experience for the refined palate. On the other hand, the vanilla really may be too subtle for anyone looking for the more traditional vanilla black tea. I decided to rank it fairly high, but will again stress that this tea strays from the conventional vanilla-flavored black tea offerings.

— To purchase Samovar Vanilla Dian Hong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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