Some friends of mine said this tea (after steeping) smells like cereal. I was surprised, and later on I tried to figure out why they said that. I realized that this has a very heavy vanilla aroma and I am guessing the sweet smell reminds them of sugary cereal. The vanilla does overwhelm the tea; I would say the black tea is average quality. If you over-steep it, even a little, it will have a bitter (old, stale) tea flavor.