Review: Lahloo Vanilla Mist

Black Tea, Cinnamon Tea, Lahloo, Oolong Tea, Vanilla Tea Add comments
Dan’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It's been a while since I've encountered such a bold, courageous tea, leaps and bounds outside-of-the-box, creating a wonderfully-successful recipe. Extra points for sheer audacity and uniqueness alone (not to mention it is absolutely delicious!). Bravo, Lahloo. Truly. Bravo."
Dan’s Teaview: 9.4/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 6/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »
lahlooTypically, I will read up on a tea's properties prior to tasting it. However, I went into this one totally blind, figuring "ah, a nice vanilla-infused black tea, what could be different about that? Comforting, delicious, dependable..." Then I opened it up, took the obligatory sniff... and did a double-take. I checked the label -- yep, it says Vanilla Mist alright... but why in the world does it smell so smoky??! I brewed up a cup, took a sip, and my piqued interest continued tenfold...

Lahloo Tea is a company out of Bristol, UK, founded by a woman named Kate with a desire to bring fine tea to the masses, tired of all the boring and terrible tea that peppers the market. Yes, yes, the same old song and dance. But then I learned that Kate's great-great-grandfather sailed a tea clipper (called, what else, Lahloo!)! How cool is that? Ah, ancestry. I wonder who my great great grandfather was... part of me hopes he was some awesome tea maven. Another part of me hopes he was Samuel Adams. And another part of me hopes he was some amazing musician. Wouldn't that be something if he was all three?

On with the tea. As previously mentioned, one whiff of the dried leaf, and all preconceptions go out the window. There is an inherent smokiness that takes center stage here. But the sweetness of the vanilla creeps in after that initial shocker. A few more deep inhalations, and a whole cornucopia of mystery and intrigue permeates the nose. Visually, the leaves are medium-sized, semi-broken and richly colored, with a few glaringly-white buds tossed in for shock value. Lahloo states the tea is a blend of "rich Ceylon, smoky Zheng Xia Lapsang and golden White Tip oolong tea". Ahhh, it's starting to make sense. Sprinkled throughout the mix are vanilla bean pods - some of them absolutely enormous! - and some Ceylon cinnamon quills.

A 3-minute brew with sub-boiling water does the job here. A crisp amber-red cup smells subtly of that smoky aroma. On the palette, everything blends in such a perfect way that it's like a puzzle in your mouth. One sip. Yep, there's that definitively savory Lapsang flavor. Another sip. Ah yes, the Madagascar vanilla is most certainly strong enough to bear its name on the package. Another sip. Smack the lips and tongue, and... yes.... there it is... the cinnamon is there... another sip and the oolong is detectable too (if only in my mind?? no... surely...). The overall effect is a gorgeous blend of subtlety. Nothing overpowers anything else here.

Another sign of this tea's pure magic is its power to grow. I've had about 8 to ten cups prior to even thinking about how to review this tea. Each time it is different, and yet its qualities are revealed with every sip. After the first half-dozen cups, you really start to fully appreciate the magnificence it has to offer. It's been a while since I've encountered such a bold, courageous tea, leaps and bounds outside-of-the-box, creating a wonderfully-successful recipe. Extra points for sheer audacity and uniqueness alone (not to mention it is absolutely delicious!). Bravo, Lahloo. Truly. Bravo.

— To purchase Lahloo Vanilla Mist, 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: Dan Dan
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