Madagascar Vanilla

Tea type
Black Tea
Indian Black Tea, Vanilla Bean
Orange, Vanilla, Orange Zest
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Loose Leaf
Edit tea info Last updated by Teatotaler
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 12 oz / 366 ml

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62 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Had a delicious breakfast of this tea taken plain and a slice of pumpkin pie! HIGHLY recommended pairing :) I am surprised how much I adore this tea sans additions. It’s a good tea flavor and...” Read full tasting note
  • “SO… I know this was a sample sent to me from someone, but for the life of me I cannot remember who. Thanks to the my mystery tea giver! See, after looking at all the ho hum reviews, and my shady...” Read full tasting note
  • “So, I was in Cardullo’s last night, buying another Kusmi sampler (for a friend!), and thinking of maybe getting a little tin of Paris for myself, when I saw that they had a sale shelf. With Golden...” Read full tasting note
  • “Infusin_Susan sent this one to me in our recent swap. These days I tend to be drawn to almost anything flavoured or partially flavoured with vanilla. I blame JacquelineM for this. She was the one...” Read full tasting note

From Golden Moon Tea

There’s vanilla, and then there is vanilla. Sometimes “vanilla” is poured out of a small, dark bottle into your favorite boxed cake mix. That stuff is like that “iPod” you bought in Chinatown. Sure it may work, but it really isn’t the same. Our vanilla is straight from the vanilla bean. Not just any bean, but the world famous bourbon vanilla bean found in Madagascar. We chop up the beans, blend them with a pure, organic Indian tea base and let it age for over a month. Why? Because Madagascar Vanilla ends up having a fully infused, rich flavor with no weird chemical aftertaste. Sure it is a lot of trouble for us to make this tea, but it’s well worth it.

Madagascar Vanilla mixes rich black tea with slices of real vanilla bean to produce a deep flavor that includes notes of dark rum, sweet earth, and tropical flowers. Both smooth and exotic, this tea is great served with a touch of whole milk and buttered toast for a nice morning treat.

About Golden Moon Tea View company

Golden Moon is dedicated to offering outstanding, whole-leaf teas of the greatest quality and finesse. All Golden Moon Teas are hand-plucked and meticulously crafted to enhance leaf character, aroma, color, clarity, body, complexity, and above all, flavor.

62 Tasting Notes

1112 tasting notes

Had a delicious breakfast of this tea taken plain and a slice of pumpkin pie! HIGHLY recommended pairing :) I am surprised how much I adore this tea sans additions. It’s a good tea flavor and excellent vanilla (not too sweet! this goes sweet and creamy with milk and sugar, but plain it’s true and balanced).

We are having a food day at work today to celebrate our Interim Registrar becoming our Registrar! I made French yogurt cake with a Cointreau glaze – I’m thinking boozy = afternoon. ;) I wonder if Earl Grey de la Creme with the cake is too over the top? Nah!! I’ll report back this afternoon :)

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Ever try pumpkin pie with marshmallow creme on top instead of Cool Whip? Ooooooh….


No! That does sound good! I don’t think I’ve had a marshmallow in a decade! Do you make marshmallow creme from marshmallows or do you buy it? (I know – I live under a rock!)


Aw shucks – my cake got gobbled up before I had some. No afternoon report :(


So unfair! Maybe this means you should make another for this weekend. That is what it would mean at my house.


I think I am moving on to molasses cookies today :) We are supposed to go on a hike tomorrow and I think they will pack well for the picnic!


I wonder how this tea compares to Harney and Sons Vanilla Black. Have you had it? I have some, and it doesn’t taste like Vanilla Comoro to me. It seems like this is a little less caramel flavor, but it has been a long time since I have had it. Since I have a whole tin sitting there, I guess I should brew some tomorrow!


I haven’t had Harney’s but I’ll send you some of this so you can do a Scientific Test :) I don’t think this GM one tastes like Comoro – the tea flavor is more pronounced and no caramel flavors. I think Kusmi’s Caramel tea actually tastes more like Comoro but alas, caffeine!


Then Golden Moon is probably very similar to H&S Vanilla Black. I will drink it again later today and give some fresh tasting notes on it since I haven’t had it in a while. I do remember that it was very good iced.

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1759 tasting notes

SO… I know this was a sample sent to me from someone, but for the life of me I cannot remember who. Thanks to the my mystery tea giver! See, after looking at all the ho hum reviews, and my shady history with the ‘nilla, I kept putting it off.
Funny thing is, I quite like it! now I regret not indulging sooner. I must be the only one here that would actually go for a return cuppa.
It reminds me of vanilla cake. Maybe even the birthday cake from DT, but less sweet and obviously, with a different base.
Very smooth, creamy, and light (two and a half min infusion). Great with or without milk!
One thing I don’t like though, is the excessive astringency. Normally I don’t mind, but in this case it interferes with the vanilla. And since this is the only time I’ve EVER found myself liking vanilla tea, well I’d like to draw it out as long as possible :P
Rating: 86


It was I who sent you that sample. :) Glad that you liked it more than other vanilla teas you’ve had in the past!


hehe thx Queen of Tarts! you rock for sending me awesome tea :P

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412 tasting notes

So, I was in Cardullo’s last night, buying another Kusmi sampler (for a friend!), and thinking of maybe getting a little tin of Paris for myself, when I saw that they had a sale shelf. With Golden Moon on it O_O. With, specifically, several of my favorite GM teas at ~40% off.

I ended up getting this one, White Persion Melon, and Coconut Pouchong. I made myself a batch of the Melon to drink iced today…. then left it in the fridge this morning :( But, at least remembered to bring this tin in.

I like this as a vanilla tea – it’s not a big, strong vanilla flavor, but it’s not weak either. Just light, and smooth, and fruity – best drunk plain, I think, or maybe with a dot of honey. I’ll try it with some milk later to be sure, but it’s so smooth and sweet on its own, I don’t think it would hold up well. There’s just this lovely sweet, aromatic aftertaste that I don’t want to mess with!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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1353 tasting notes

Infusin_Susan sent this one to me in our recent swap. These days I tend to be drawn to almost anything flavoured or partially flavoured with vanilla. I blame JacquelineM for this. She was the one who started singing the praises of the Vanilla Comoro from Harney & Sons and others quickly followed. I had tried one or two vanilla blacks before that and hadn’t been super impressed by it, so what, I wondered, was I missing?

This led me to explore the flavour. There was a relatively good one from Whittard of Chelsea, which took a little time for me to really get into and an awesome one from Chi of Tea, sadly now having been out of stock for rather a long time. The Chi of Tea one was the last straw for me. It pushed me completely over the edge because it was flavoured just right!

Since then, I’ve been drawn to all things vanilla black. If I see one while I’m making a purchase I’m likely to try it out at least once. The AC Perch’s was acceptable. The vanilla assam from 52 teas that I discovered in the Christmas box? I’ve bought two pouches and I’m hoarding them. The add-a-vanilla-pod-in-pieces-to-a-random-tin-and-leave-for-three-weeks method that JacquelineM uses? Yeah, I’m giving that a go with my otherwise fairly boring Kenya at the moment. (The pod was pretty old, though, so it might not work too well)

So when Infusin_Susan put this one up as one she would like to trade for something else, I acted. Obviously.

When one wants to find one’s perfect whatever it is, one generally has to put some thought into exactly what it is one seeks in that particular tea, and with vanilla, I keep thinking I have this worked out, but in truth I’m jumping back and forth like a frog on a warm rock. If I’m having something disappointing which has a subtle flavour, I will say that I want the flavour to be stronger. If I’m having something disappointing with a strong flavour, the opposite will apply. If I’m having something great but not quite there which has a subtle flavour, I’ll say I prefer the flavour to be subtle. And of course vice versa. I keep thinking I know what I want, but in reality I appear to be lying through my teeth. I think, though, that I’m mostly in favour of relatively strongly flavoured, but primarily showing up on the swallow and in the aftertaste. I want to still be able to tell that it’s tea and I don’t want something super-sweet.

As this is not supposed to be a post about vanilla tea in general, does this particular one live up to this wish?


The aroma is strong, yet controlled, just like I want it to be, but the flavour is rather lacking. It shows up in all the right places, but there just isn’t enough of it. It doesn’t give me that rich and creamy flavour at all, it doesn’t make the whole inside of my mouth taste like vanilla and the only aftertaste that really lingers is that of the base tea.

What is the base tea of this stuff? Ceylon, it would seem. Well, that explains the aftertaste. Ceylons have, for me, generally a very long aftertaste and as I really wanted that to be primarily the added flavour here, it just doesn’t work out for me as a vanilla base. Something with a shorter flavour, primarily on the first part of the sip so that the vanilla can run the show from the middle-ish and onwards. Ceylon just doesn’t swing that way for me.

As it is with caramel, it’s difficult to find the perfectly flavoured vanilla black, but even the really boring, disappointing ones are likely to be finished off fairly quickly in this house. With caramel, luckily, I’ve found it, but with vanilla I’m still searching. I’ve come close, but limited supply keeps getting in my way. However, I am enjoying the search.

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260 tasting notes

GM Sampler | Tea 2 of 31

Madagascar Vanilla |
All of Them GM Pictures |


That’s going to be the gist of this review, so if you want to skip it there you have it: eh.

It smelled like vanilla extract in that it had that kind of alcoholic tinge to it, with a darker notes that made me think of chocolate. It was promising, and I was excited, and then I sipped.

I’ll give it that it actually did taste of vanilla, but it was thin. It didn’t have enough oomph and it lacked that richness I’ve come to enjoy in some of the better vanilla teas I’ve had. I was hunkering down to expand upon this, but now I realize that there’s really not much else to say. It was one-note and a bit weaker than I’d like. Maybe some milk would help thicken it up, but I don’t have anymore and I don’t see myself buying this one.

All that being said, it was decent. Just…


205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Yeah. I felt that way about a lot of them, and didn’t log them for that reason. However, I will say that GM would be well-served to contract you to take pictures of their tea.


Hey takgoti!!!! LOVE the series of reviews from your shipment!!!! :) Sorry this one wasn’t awesome…maybe your next one will be…


LOVE the pics BTW!


@sophistre Wow, thank you. That is a blush-worthy compliment indeed!

@TeaEqualsBliss Thanks so much! Luckily there’s good news on the way, but unfortunately the tea I had right after this was not…happy.


EH is a good description of this one. It’s a serviceable vanilla, and I think I would have loved it had I not had better vanillas before it.


@teaplz Eeeexactly.

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187 tasting notes

Auggy ruined this tea for me, and I mean that in the nicest way possible!

I have a feeling I would have loved this tea, had I never tasted the sample Auggy sent me of SerendipiTEA’s Colonille.

But let’s talk about this tea alone. Anyway, when opened, the little packet exuded a scent of warm vanilla. Not very overpowering at all, but pretty natural-smelling. Very, very happy-making indeed. No sad panda over here! The leaves are fairly standard sized, and you can clearly pick out the vanilla bean. So far, off to a good start!

The wet leaves and the infusion itself smell surprisingly similar to Colonille! So I was pretty excited. Could it be? Another Colonille? Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Make no mistake, this one tastes really good at first. But the vanilla is pretty mild, and the black tea base here is nothing special. I actually think it’s the Vietnamese black in Colonille that elevates it to awesome heights. So rich and with a lot of depth, and even cocoa hints. Here, the black tea doesn’t really serve any purpose except as a backdrop for the vanilla.

As this cooled, I liked this a bit less. A too-sweet aftertaste comes with every sip, almost syrupy. This flavor began to completely overtake the entire taste of the tea, until all I was tasting was vanilla syrup and no tea. It’s not the most pleasant flavor, either. It feels too heavy for the type of light tea that this is. It’s a weird type of flavor that I can’t wrap my head around, but it’s lingering for a bit too long to be welcome.

I definitely would not have been so nit-picky about this one had I not tried something better, but the truth of the matter is that better vanilla tea does exist. Colonille is all I could even want in a vanilla tea. This one is definitely better hotter than cool.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

Ohhh, I have to try this one tomorrow. Forgot I had another vanilla I could have done a comparison with!


I am super excited to try this one!


Colonille is good. Mmm…gonna need to revisit that soon.


Glad I could do my part to ruin a tea for you! Yay! Hehe. I had pretty much the same experience with this one and I blame Colonille as well!


Colonille is just far too good of a vanilla tea. It’s going to win every time! It’s also the taste of the Vietnamese black there, that gives that subtle cocoa taste… that mixes with the vanilla… drat it, now I’m craving a cup.


Mmm. That and City Harvest Black (which has a bit of orchid in it) always make me think of buttercream and Cadbury Creme Eggs. Mmmm.

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612 tasting notes

This is smooth, indeed rum-y, and relatively subtle, which I kind of liked for its novelty. It tastes real, not so much steeped as perfumed, so not like extract. It got a little lost in a froth of milk (I am addicted to that thing! And it’s helping me make up for some horrendous milk-drinking deficiency the last year or so, egads) but I still enjoyed it that way too.

Vanilla’s tricky. Too strong or carelessly done and it’s harsh, with an unpleasant burn that doesn’t meld well with other elements including the tea. Subtle like this, I think to myself, “this is nice, subtly sexy really, but I’m not sure how often I’d reach for this particular experience”. Heavy creamy and it just becomes one of a million rich dessert bombs. I begin to think nothing explicitly labeled vanilla and vanilla only will ever really suit me as cupboard staple, no matter how well done. It’s neat rolling my taste experiences over in the palm of my hand, still smoothing and sorting it all out, learning what works and what doesn’t for me and why. Often it’s through no fault of a tea on its own really.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I’ve never found THE vanilla tea either yet. Best of luck on your quest!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

You might want to give my Golden Orchid a looksie :)


I imagine the above suggestion is better, but I actually really like Mighty Leaf’s vanilla. It’s been a long time since I had it, and I can veer into having a taste for sweet teas, but I remember it being subtle and comforting. It’s the ML tea I’m most likely to buy a cup of if I’m at a coffee shop that carries it, if that’s any sort of endorsement.

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911 tasting notes

I feel like I’ve already tried a ton of Golden Moon teas so far, but my little sample basket from them is still overflowing with goodies! I decided on this one today, mostly because I had just gotten up and this is the first one I saw that was to be made with boiling water. The Zojirushi being on 208, I went ahead and grabbed it. When I am more awake I can worry about what I want to drink. Right now I just need something.

My cup of tea smells lovely. The vanilla is creamy and sweet and almost candy-like. In fact, the smell reminds me of SerendipiTEA’s Colonille and City Harvest Black. Upon dipping though, it fails to fill those (admittedly very large) shoes. The vanilla isn’t overwhelming but is soft, a little sweet and creamy and really delicious. But there is a disconnect between the vanilla flavor and the tea. The two don’t fully merge. There’s vanilla, then there’s tea, then there is a little vanilla aftertaste. I don’t taste vanilla tea so much as vanilla and tea. And I want those tastes squished together.

If I were rating this tea on scent alone, this would get a very high score. It smells awesome. But the taste is a little disappointing when hit with that lovely smell. As it cools, the two tastes seem to blend a bit, but the delightful smell goes away so I prefer it hot. However, now I seem to be getting a bit of a dry, powdery aftertaste feeling in my mouth. Sort of like when a potato hasn’t been fully reheated and you’re left with a little mealy taste that goes back to creamy once you pop it in the microwave another minute.

For me, this tea just doesn’t hit all the right notes. I gave the husband a sip of it hot and his face lit up when he smelled it but he got a bit of a confused look on his face post-sip and stated, “That’s interesting.” So yeah. Great smell but the flavors just don’t match up to the smell. And once the tea and vanilla flavors starts to combine, the tea temp is close to starting to get cold enough that the aftertaste feels heavy and uncomfortable.

I think if I had finished the tea before it got to that funky aftertaste/feel point, I might have given the tea a little higher rating simply because the smell was awesome. But right now when it is time to move that little slider, I just have an odd taste in my mouth that leaves me kind of grumpy so it’s hard to remember the happy smell and odd (but not as bad as the aftertaste) taste of the hot tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Blerg. I don’t like it when smell to taste ratios are significantly off. Bummer on this one. Good thing you have two super good vanilla teas to fall back on!


WEIRD. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m not expecting much, since vanilla is so, so hard to get correct. Colonille pretty much nails it for me. We’ll see what happens!


It smells just like Colonille though, so I was excited. But then I sipped… :(


Well I hope the last few days have been kind! I’m excited to try this when it arrives at my doorstep.

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6768 tasting notes

This one smells nice both before, during, and after infusion. It ‘brews’ dark brown and is quite mellow in taste. I’m drinking this as my first cup this morning and eventho it’s good – I’m looking for something more strong this morning.

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431 tasting notes

I don’t know what I am tasting. That is all I can say. I sorta taste vanilla at the backend but it isn’t for sure vanilla. It is disappointing since it smelled wonderful dry. So I end with…Weird!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Tell me about it. A real bummer :-(


Wow, even less appealing to you than it was for me. Sorry! Onward and upward…


I agree! This tea needs more oomph!

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