Review: Canton Tea Co. Vanilla Black

Black Tea, Canton Tea Co., Vanilla Tea, Yunnan Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This is a vanilla blend for black tea lovers, as the leaves' contribution is of outstanding quality and can be clearly tasted. Delicious!"
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.3/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8.5/10, Samantha gave it 8.8/10
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cantonvanillablackI couldn't resist trying this blend, combining two of my favourite Chinese black teas, Yunnan (Dian Hong) and Bai Lin Gong Fu, with diced organic Indian vanilla bean pods. The leaves display varying shapes and sizes. Most are ebony-coloured, covered in orange down. I can't spot any vanilla bean but I can certainly smell it!

I followed the brewing instructions provided on my sample's package, steeping 3 grams of leaf in 250ml of water heated to 95 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes. The cup quickly darkens to a rusty mahogany hue. The aroma is predictably vanilla-infused. Taking a sip, the tea base provides a savoury kick that makes a lovely contrast with the sweetness of the vanilla. It also lends the sip a decadently smooth, creamy body. The vanilla bean's taste is most present in the finish. It's noticeable without hitting you over the head – a good thing in my books.

I steeped the leaves again for 3 minutes with good results. The cup feels a little thinner and has lost some of its lovely briny quality. Otherwise the leaves still provide a pleasantly stout base for the vanilla. As second steeps go, this one is certainly worthwhile.

My third brew is passable, with a hint of vanilla lingering at the close of each sip. No unpleasant element develops over time, the feel of the cup remaining smooth and creamy. Otherwise this steep is not particularly memorable, so I decide to call it a day.

While I drink 99% of my black teas – well black, I found this blend just begged for the addition of milk and sugar (or maple syrup, always my sweetener of choice). While not necessary to enjoy the cup, these seemed to kick the vanilla flavour up a notch and transform the taste from good to grand. As such it makes for a terrific desert drink. Overall I would say this is a vanilla blend for black tea lovers, as the leaves' contribution is of outstanding quality and can be clearly tasted.

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Vanilla 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.

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