Review: Friday Afternoon Vanilla Ceylon Black

Black Tea, Ceylon Tea, Friday Afternoon, Vanilla Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It was like licking a French vanilla cream-laden carnation."
Geoff’s Teaview: 7.9/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 8.5/10
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I ran into a teensy-weensy bit of trouble with this one. Looking up information on this Vanilla Ceylon on the Friday Afternoon site turned up nothing. The tea did not exist. Then I wondered if my sample had been labeled wrong. I messaged Friday Afternoon as to the whereabouts of said tea. They replied rather promptly that they were out of stock. Two possible conclusions could be made from this: (1) It was a best seller. Or (2) it was the exact opposite. Given the aromatic presentation, I'm more likely to believe the former.

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.

— To purchase Friday Afternoon Vanilla Ceylon Black, 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.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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