This tea is probably one of the best examples of a Vanilla tea that we’ve encountered. It is a standard black tea, very much in line with the generic term, “China Black”. That said, it is a good quality tea base with a full black tea flavor.
The tea is advertised as a full-leaf tea, however, when wet, it reveals itself as a machine processed tea. The leaves are broken, cut and relatively small. This is in line with the tea being a standard China Black. Even though it does not appear to be a proper full-leaf tea, the base is still substantial enough to support the vanilla flavor.
This tea uses actual pieces of vanilla bean along with some artificial flavoring. The beans are exactly as they appear in the image, chopped pieces. In a sealed container, no doubt the oils from the bean pieces infuse with the tea. The flavoring is added for extra punch and works wonderfully.
Some drinkers may flinch at the use of artificial flavorings, however, Upton makes clear that the products they use are labeled according to FDA regulations which are fairly specific. However, Upton’s marketing material states, “…the so-called nature-identical flavorings which are used on most of our flavored teas, must be listed as artificial.” In other words, nothing to worry about here. Drink your tea.
The vanilla aroma is strongly present in the dry tea, and the liquor is properly infused with it as well. The subtle sweetness that vanilla offers is found throughout the sip and even lingers in the back of the mouth. The bean pieces really solidify what the added flavoring may not add, thus this tea has a creaminess to it.
We would go so far to say that this is one of the best Vanilla Teas available.
Note: Upton Tea is an importer, they repackage and sell teas from around the world. They are not blenders. This tea is a product of Germany and is blended there. Some members of the Leafbox staff are familiar with numerous German tea blenders and merchants. Vanilla tea is a standard tea in Germany available from numerous sources, this one ranks among the best of that segment as well.
Our tasters found this tea to be complimented well with a bar of good chocolate nearby.