Bourbon Vanilla

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea, Vanilla
Cream, Malt, Vanilla
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf, Sachet
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Sivasubramanian
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 oz / 235 ml

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25 Tasting Notes View all

  • “When one woman’s ick is another woman’s nom, it’s awesome that we can share. fleurdelily didn’t care for this one, and although it’s far from my Perfect Vanilla Black, I can guarantee that it will...” Read full tasting note
  • “This wouldn’t be at the top of my vanilla tea list. It’s good and I won’t turn down a cup, but neither is it something I’ll reach for over other vanillas like Harney’s Vanilla Comoro. I don’t cook...” Read full tasting note
  • “Finally, after reading how much everyone seems to love Kusmi, I am getting a chance to try this thanks to Angrboda! I found this is the sample package from our swap! I was super excited to try it!...” Read full tasting note
  • “I think I’m in the minority in really kind of liking the black base that Kusmi uses. It’s more brisk and potent than a lot of others, without becoming offensive or overwhelming. The vanilla adds a...” Read full tasting note

From Kusmi Tea

Those who have a sweet tooth will enjoy this Chinese black tea flavored with Bourbon Vanilla from Madagascar.

We suggest to enjoy this tea during the afternoon.
Main flavor: Bourbon Vanilla

Origin: China
Main Flavor: Bourbon Vanilla
Quantity Needed: 0,1 oz.

Time of Day: Afternoon
Ideal Water Temperature: 85°C – 90°C
Recommended Brewing Time: 3-4 Min

About Kusmi Tea View company

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25 Tasting Notes

1353 tasting notes

When one woman’s ick is another woman’s nom, it’s awesome that we can share. fleurdelily didn’t care for this one, and although it’s far from my Perfect Vanilla Black, I can guarantee that it will get legs to walk on in this house. :)

Return parcel will follow. Eventually. Please be patient with me…


Aww that’s great! I hate to waste things, and I feel so much better when someone else can make good use of it :) I am actually glad you disagree with my opinion of the tea LOL ! much less guilt for me, and happy Noms for you :) YAY!


I have taken to putting things I didn’t care for in a special box so that I can use it to pad swaps. The recipient might like it better than me. :)


A bit out of topic, but regarding vanilla, if you ever have the chance to try (or just smell) a Mariage Freres tea called Black Orchid do so. It´s very very vanilla to me, but not normal vanilla. It might be a hate-love thing, and not sure where you would fall on it, but it´s got to be a competitor for any vanilla tea quest! I did not get it, it was not what I was in the mood for at the time ( and mariage frere´s vanille des iles is a more normalish vanilla, and I think you do NOT want their rooibos rouge bourbon, it´s very light on vanilla and very rooibos-ish. I like it, but it´s one of those things I would not recommend unless to unabashedly rooibos lovers).

TLDR – Black Orchid, it´s a strange vanilla tea, but worth checking IMO.


Vanilla but abnormal vanilla…. scratches head that sounds either abysmal or awesome, and I can’t decide which! I’ve been planning for years to order from MF some day, so I’ll put it on the list and see if I ever get to it. :)


It is a weird vanilla – I am so unsure if you will love or hate it. But it is very interesting vanilla, sultry sort of. And vanilla, real vanilla pods are on themselves complicated smells, very vanilla (duh!) but they are orchids which are spices, floral and spicy and something.

But as I said i did not buy Black Orchid so it´s not really a rec. But if you can check it, do: I was absolutely fascinated by its very complex scent.


Well, I put it on the list, and I put MF on the to-do list so that I can remember the next time I want to order tea. Probably won’t be for a while, though. I’m in frugal mode at the moment.

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790 tasting notes

This wouldn’t be at the top of my vanilla tea list. It’s good and I won’t turn down a cup, but neither is it something I’ll reach for over other vanillas like Harney’s Vanilla Comoro. I don’t cook with Madagascar vanilla (I use Mexican) so perhaps the alcoholic taste that comes with it is part of that flavor profile.

I get why it is bourbon vanilla, though, even though apparently “bourbon” does not refer to any actual liquor but rather to Bourbon Island where the beans were originally grown. Supposedly bourbon vanilla beans have the highest content of vanillin.

It is somewhat creamy and has a thick feel to it. Also a sweetness. I can see where it would be popular but I think it is perhaps too involved for what I want in a vanilla tea, if that makes any sense.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

Bourbon was the name of one the branch of the kings of France and the Island was named like this as an homage.Now this is the Island of La Réunion and is still very famous for its Vanilla as Madagascar or Mauricius…this is the story of French Vanilla and French kings :)


I knew about the Bourbon kings but not about the island being named for them. Very interesting. Thanks, Ysaurella!

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160 tasting notes

Finally, after reading how much everyone seems to love Kusmi, I am getting a chance to try this thanks to Angrboda! I found this is the sample package from our swap! I was super excited to try it! First, I love vanilla, and second, my first Kusmi tea! Yay!

The scent of the dark brown leaves was more of a creamy scent than vanilla. I was smooth and thick smelling. It reminded me of a vanilla milk shake scent with the vanilla played down a bit.

While steeping I felt that the vanilla scent became more prominent. I also began to get smokey notes that scared me a little (I’m not a huge fan of smokey teas…). There was an over all pleasant maltiness to the brew. I approved. The liquor was a burgundy brown color that was a little redder than I am generally used to my black tea being. Very pretty in my glass Bodum Mug!

My first sip (unsweetened) was very smooth and malty. There was sweet creaminess peaking through but over all not what I would imagine as straight forward vanilla. There was also a slight smokiness to the aftertaste that surprisingly didn’t really bother me. Once sweetened the vanilla showed up a bit more. It was a decent vanilla flavor, but I found it to be more creamy than sweet. My perfect vanilla tea must have the right amount of sweet flavor to it. Once it cooled down a bit, the vanilla got stronger and I liked it better. yumm….

Over all a delightful tea to end my day with. Sadly it is very hard to get my hands on and not my favorite vanilla so far. If I ever am able to purchase it without a hassle, I might go for it. If I don’t get that opportunity, my tea cupboard will not suffer without it. : )

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Yes, the perfect vanilla black is an elusive beast. This one wasn’t mine either. Currently I would say mine was probably the french vanilla assam from 52teas, but that one also loses perfection points on the availability or lack thereof. Besides, I’ve given up shopping there. Out of the last four times I’ve done so, I’ve had to pay extra tax and customs fee on arrival on three of the orders. It sort of stopped being funny.


Completely agreed… I think my favorite so far is Adagios…

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615 tasting notes

I think I’m in the minority in really kind of liking the black base that Kusmi uses. It’s more brisk and potent than a lot of others, without becoming offensive or overwhelming.

The vanilla adds a subtlety creamy mouthfeel and isn’t too terribly strong. It sort of slips in towards the end of the sip and then lingers a little white before slipping off again.

It’s not becoming my favorite vanilla tea any time soon, but I’m enjoying the cup well enough and wouldn’t turn down another if I were offered.

Thank you Nicole!

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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358 tasting notes

First cup of the morning. Another sample from Nicole, thank you!! I think that after having Harney’s Vanilla Comoro, no other vanilla tea will ever compare. The dry leaves smell like sweet and creamy vanilla. The flavor is malty with a light vanilla finish. The vanilla aftertaste is soft and sweet and slightly creamy. It’s a very simple cup of tea, and the vanilla taste is more like vanilla extract rather than vanilla icing like in the Comoro, or the rich vanilla bean flavor that you sometimes taste in teas. I’m enjoying this cup, but I doubt that I will ever purchase a tin of this.

It’s another beautiful day outside! And I will probably be stuck inside all day doing homework, booo! I did spend a few minutes outside in the flower beds this morning, weeding, so I soaked up some sunshine then.

-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves and twigs.
-Dry leaves smell of sweet and creamy vanilla. Tea liquor aroma is malty with a heavy sweet vanilla scent.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium orange brown color.
-Malty flavor with a light vanilla finish. Soft sweet vanilla aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Good tea. Very light vanilla extract flavor. Slightly creamy.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

I agree. Comoro beats this for me as well. This has something lurking in the background that throws it off for me. I think it is that extract taste – like, well… bourbon infused with vanilla beans. :)

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6768 tasting notes

Angrboda is awesome…just need to point that out…thanks for this one as well, Dear!!!

It doesn’t smell overly vanilla but it’s ‘there’.
It’s not overly vanilla in the flavor – especially at first – but I agree with Morgana saying it’s sneaky! It sneaks in right at the end and smooths out the after taste nicely! As it cools a bit at room temp the beginning of the sip extends a woodsy or bark-like hint right and the beginning of the sip but then moves on to other notes on the tongue as you continue to sip.

This is nice. Nothing wrong with it at all but I do favor a few of their other offering over this one. Sure glad I got to try it tho and I would certainly drink it again and again :)

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1431 tasting notes

Thanks Nicole for sending some of this my way :)

I’m waiting on this to cool and it smells almost reminiscent of root beer, faintly, but it’s definitely there. Now if only it would cool faster so I could actually taste it.

I actually enjoy the black base Kusmi uses. I do have to be in the right mood for it, because it is quite strong, but it’s not offensive like some I’ve tried. I can taste the vanilla here, though it isn’t very apparent, and perhaps that’s because of the strong base. I will certainly enjoy the rest of this cup while I study.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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618 tasting notes

This tea is interesting. There is something in the background that reminds me of licorice. As I keep sipping, I taste more of the black tea base which actually resembles cardboard…? I can remember trying the Caramel blend from Kusmi and not being too crazy about the base. The vanilla is there, but seems like it’s more of an accent of the cardboard. The spicy licorice note is still very present, so I can’t really enjoy the cup. I’m happy to have tried this tea, though. Thank you so much, Nicole, for sharing!


I hate when black tea bases resemble cardboard :( So much nicer when they contribute tasty flavours to the tea.


Agreed! I’ve really only experienced two different teas that have had an explicit cardboard taste. Really wanted to like this one!

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2036 tasting notes

This is actually my fourth tea of the day, it’s just that the other three have been the subject of several notes already and I don’t have exciting new discoveries about them to record. I thought I’d give this one another try. It’s one of the lower rated Kusmi’s I’ve already tasted and I’m lowering the temp and increasing the time to see if that makes a difference (195, 4 minutes).

Kusmi makes an outstanding caramel and some really terrific fruity combinations, but I don’t care for what they do with chocolate. My recollection is I had a similar reaction to their treatment of vanilla though not quite to the same extreme. It’s been a while though, so we’ll see.

I’m pretty much in agreement with my first tasting note of way back when on this one. The lower temp and longer time may make some difference, but it’s not extreme. The vanilla is definitely present, but in a subtle way, and it’s definitely more present in the aftersip than during the sip.

On the other hand, it’s not the bakey fakey vanilla that really gets my goat and that I tasted in the Numi and the Adagio oolong. It’s not a bad flavoring agent, I’d just prefer there was a bit more of it as it seems to me to get lost in the tea base.

I’m considering taking this one to work when I need to bring in some more tea, which will be soon. Since it’s not a favorite, I’m not concerned about getting the temperature just right, and I have a lot of it, which seems important in a work tea. Otherwise I have to remember to schlepp in new stuff constantly.

I’m drinking more black tea than I would ordinarily today in the hopes it will keep me awake enough to do some writing. I just realized I have a couple of weeks before a deadline I’d like to make and I have a story that’s is in the awkward tween stage after the beginning and before the middle that I can probably finish and polish in time if I get on the stick. Then again, I won’t be able to get any quiet time until the kids are in bed and a lot can happen between now and then to affect my awakeness level. ;-)

Flavors: Vanilla


Have a food time writing :-)


It’s still a big “if” given how tired I feel right now. LOL


Haha! Just noticed my typo “food” instead of “good”… Well “good food” might keep you awake then???


It would certainly be a boost to the blood sugar. ;-)


Lol, just read your Almond Biscotti review, not that you weren’t tempted! You’re such a good girl ;-)


I try, I try!

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921 tasting notes

Well everyone I have good news and bad news, the bad news is my stomach ulcer is just awful so not only do I need a bland diet (yay) I also need to take tea out of my diet for at least a week. I am pretty sure I can survive without tea for a week but it will not be fun. The good news is that I have tons of teas in my notebook still so I can blog daily during my trials and tribulations.

Today’s tea is Bourbon Vanilla by Kusmi Tea, a Chinese Black Tea flavored with Bourbon Vanilla from Madagascar. Fun fact, the name Bourbon Vanilla comes from Reunion a French controlled island that was previously called Ile Bourbon after the House of Bourbon. The aroma of this tea is fairly mild for a vanilla tea, it is sweet and creamy similar to vanilla bean ice cream. There are also notes of almonds, oak wood, and a very faint hint of strawberry that I honestly am not sure where it comes from. The aroma is pleasant and dessert like.

Once brewed the vanilla aroma practically disappears from the wet leaves but the base tea’s aroma is very bright and a touch malty. I also notice a fruity tone that has changed from strawberries to cherries in the wet leaves, it blends well with the malty and bright aroma. The liquid has captured the aroma of the vanilla from the leaves and is sweet and creamy.

The taste is subtly sweet and brisk. The vanilla is creamy along with notes of nuttiness and a midtaste of oak wood. I added a touch of cream and it really accented the already creamy undertones of the tea. There was no need for sugar since it is already sweet. I feel this tea is good for waking up or for dessert, but I doubt I will seek out more. It is a pleasant tea but not really outstanding.

For blog and photos:


Get better soon!

Josie Jade

This is random, but my dog has a really bad ulcer. I was giving her ranitidine (Zantac) before every meal and she still didn’t want to eat. Our local vitamin shop suggested aloe vera, and after clearing it with the vet we switched her to that. No more Zantac and I am amazed at the results. I think her ulcer is almost gone at this point and her appetite has returned. Not sure if you’re into natural remedies, but the aloe vera is supposed to work great for ulcers (in humans and dogs, ha!)


I did not know you could give Zantac to a dog! I can’t use traditional Western medicine, call it bad luck or my body just being stubborn but Holistic and Traditional Chinese is the only thing I can use. Aloe certainly helps but I find my biggest ulcer remedy is DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) tablets. They have calmed down my ulcer whenever it flares up. :)


Oh and thank you for the well wishes!!

Josie Jade

I’ll have to look up DGL. Surprisingly, most people medicines can be given to pets – Benadryl, pepto, etc.

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