|"It was like licking a French vanilla cream-laden carnation."|
I did finally locate it on the site a couple of weeks later, but under the general moniker of "Vanilla Black Tea". Reasons for this are unknown, but it is my guess that a "Vanilla Ceylon" already existed elsewhere in the teaverse. Oh well, at least I had profile to go from.
The batch clearly looked like any low-borne Dimbulla-grown Ceylon, but with one characteristic difference - the pungent smell of vanilla bean. The scent permeated the blend. I didn't find any vanilla beans amidst the dark strands of leaf, so I guessed there was one helluva flavoring agent at work here. I hoped it lasted through the steep; some flavorings didn't.
Brewing instructions weren't on the site. My usual approach for Ceylons (or black teas in general) was 1tsp in 8oz of 205F water, steeped for three minutes. I did that here as well in the hopes that the vanilla flavoring wouldn't be muted upon infusion.
The liquor brewed up bronze-to-amber, light like most Ceylon's do. (I take back my low-altitude prediction.) The scent of vanilla was creamy and strong from the steam, viable proof that the flavoring agent held up in the steep. The flavor was a cross between the aforementioned creaminess and some of the natural floral characteristics of the Ceylon base. General analogous impression? It was like licking a French vanilla cream-laden carnation. And, of course, astringency was thankfully understated with only a faint bitterness on finish. Overall, a very decent cup. Not too complex or complicated.
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