Review: Peter Asher Coffee & Tea Black & White Vanilla

Black Tea, Peter Asher Coffee & Tea, Vanilla Tea Add comments
Raven’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Sweet and true, the vanilla readily shines against the mellowness of the black tea to be like white cake. "
Raven’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8/10
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Lemon or lime, morning or night, sweet or savoury, chocolate or vanilla or coffee or tea. All can part company quicker than Moses parted the Red sea or a the highschool gymnasium when the first slow song comes on, as most people have a decided winner. But even if you’re a vanilla fan, ‘tis true it has a bit of a split personality, if right from the bean or a chemist’s dream. Either way, vanilla adds class to much, so spotting Peter Asher Coffee and Tea’s Black and White Vanilla, where they unite both vanilla’s halves with a black tea, it seemed like a red carpet affair.

Without a tux and tails in my wardrobe, the introductions had to come by way of a curtsy and bow while the tea was a bit less animated. Coy, but stoic, the black leaves and stems of the tea have a nicely uniform dark matte pruney black outfit. Perhaps out from the closet, they have a bit of a dusty finish with an inseam down to a quarter of an inch. Although it’s hard to notice amidst the leaves, they have at least a few vanilla bean pieces in their pocket as I was delighted upon finding one piece in my sample. Quite a dashing, if understated, accessory. But the leaves' classical appeal gets more distinguished out of their package from their sweet vanilla bouquet. Thread with a sugary sweetness, the vanilla does seem warmly, white laced and rounder than extract without being sticky sweet or too much. It doesn’t seem as darkly rich as vanilla bean, but it has the trueness of vanilla and refinement, like baked goods. Tucked in the vanilla’s coat, the black tea is not so apparent but teases out with a hay-like woodiness. It’s a sweet and aromatic to start the festivities.

There’s no formal invitation to brew suggested by Peter Asher Tea and Coffee’s so I wrapped two teaspoons of tea with boiling water for three minutes. The brew shines up like cufflinks, to a light to medium bronzey, sandlewood brown cup, outfitted with a wonderful aroma that captures the elegance of vanilla sweetly. As the black tea makes more of an appearance than in the dry leaves, the combination of the vanilla with the black tea notes creates a splendid white cake-like aroma. The scent has vanilla's natural floral glow and it is a bit buttery, that also reminds me of vanilla icing when smelling it out of the container against the black tea. The black tea aroma isn’t as black, more mellow, folding into the vanilla with some good starchiness and mineral earthiness to be more bun-like than toast, which showcases the vanilla nicely. Undressing the cup, the medium body is milder than expected and quite sweet but the vanilla is mighty tasty. Diverging a bit from the bouquet, the vanilla flavour is very much like vanilla bean, with a pancake syrup lining to the vanilla flavour. The vanilla suavely outfits the sip from head to tail, full and smooth whereas the black tea is mellower, adding a toasty, earthiness. As a result, the flavour isn’t quite as rich as the scent suggested, while the flow seems slightly heavy with little dryness for cues. A bit more strength from the black tea would have sewn it up, but the black tea buttons the lovely vanilla flavour well. A light vanilla aftertaste also layers in the through the cup.

Back to the closet for a second steeping and the cup is still dressed to impress with nearly the same hue and a medium bouquet. The aroma maintains a splendidly, warm, sweet vanilla against the mineral notes of the black tea to delight, while the flavour gets a touch earthier. Although still not brisk, infused with the light vanilla flavour, the tea is still in high style, trailing with a light aftertaste that almost seems sweeter. A third five minute infusion fades to a light golden brown with a green thread, yet the scent seems more cake-like, like Twinkies, as the flour-tinged starchiness of the black tea unfolds and the vanilla relaxes. The flavour isn't quite as together as the vanilla lightens further in place of more mineral, bark like flavours. Although the tea is swifter, it becomes a bit drying with less weight to hold onto. Yet, the wisps of vanilla in the scent with the touch of sweetness in the aftertaste are easy to enjoy.

After trying on, Peter Asher Coffee and Tea's Black and White Vanilla is a tasty bit of costumery. The contrast of black and white of the vanilla and black tea isn't as striking as, perhaps, a tux and tails, but the sweet, cakey vanilla is just delicious. With the mellowness of the black tea, the tea seems better suited to slip into in the afternoon than morning or night, Yet, at any tick of the clock, it's bound to dress up one's cup or glass with class.

— To purchase Peter Asher Coffee & Tea Black & White Vanilla, 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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