Sampler Sunday! So, I decided I would use one of the teapots I got from my grandmother today, as they are larger “British style” teapots (normally I use a little 2 cup sized Japanese doubin). The instructions on this sampler packet from T2 had a very odd tea to water ratio listed compared to how I usually make my blacks, and I didn’t trust it at all, and I wanted to make it with the ratio I usually use, but I also wanted to use up the whole packet at once, and therefore needed the larger pot to hold enough water. Basically I wanted to do the 5g packet in 700ml.
Then I went to steep, and as soon as the 205F water hit the teapot, I heard a “cracking” sound and noticed an eggshell appearance on the glaze of the teapot. WELL THEN. That couldn’t be good! So I was scrambling like a mad woman just to GET THE WATER OUT, poured everything I could into my gravity well infuser with the teabag and had to dump the overflow. That infuser only holds two cups, or about 500ml. So, I guess grandma’s teapots were “decorative only”? How was I supposed to know?! They looked like completely proper teapots to me! Either that, or they are just so old they can’t handle the shock of actually being used as teapots and taking hot water anymore… in any event, the porcelain is now warped, but not completely shattered, so into storage it goes… sad. I really wanted to use them. It was sort of a sentimental thing. And the tea went back into the doubin. I have no idea what the sudden “ditching” did to the steep, either. But it suddenly went from the original 700ml down to 500ml, with the same amount of leaf and a change of vessel in between. Let’s see how this turned out…
It smells nice, at least. The last vanilla black I tried from T2 tasted like Circus Peanuts to me, and was one of the worst teas I’d tried, so I’m hoping this isn’t the same vanilla flavoring. Anything that triggers “banana” in my head is just a no-go for me. Also getting a nice malty aroma. The malty black base is coming forward fairly strongly, with a sweet bready toast flavor, making the vanilla more subtle, so I like this more than that other vanilla tea (Blue Mountain, I think it was?) already. There is a very light astringency following the sip, and the very slightest citrus note lingering beneath the malt and vanilla. However, I still think this vanilla flavoring tastes a bit odd. A little too sweet/artificial… it isn’t striking that place that makes me think of banana (maybe because it is lighter here, or the black tea taste is more prominent) but there is still something very candy-like and I’ve certainly had other vanilla black teas I’ve liked a lot more than this, that tasted more natural and blended nicer with the base. It’s a nice enough breakfast tea, but not a favorite. I’m just not jiving with their choice of vanilla flavoring, especially compared to others I’ve had.
Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Candy, Citrus, Malt, Sweet, Toast, Vanilla