I got a few humble samples from What-Cha. I thought about more, but I’m really happy to have gotten some unique blacks I wanted to try. I usually don’t like Ceylons, but this looked different enough as a eco-friendly tea without a teabag. I also like whole vanilla beans, so my basic self would like it.
Making it, it’s like a cigaretto, then it opens after hot water like a witches broom. I need a pick me up while I grade, so I put some in a kyusu and brewed it western for 5 minutes. Smooth vanilla smell, and smooth vanilla taste like a fine chocolate desert. The tea is naturally sweet with a little bit of plum, and a dark molasses-y character. It does approach chocolate territory, but that’s more from the sweeter maltier elements of the black tea combining with the vanilla. Essentially, a really good vanilla black tea….that has actually lasted more rebrews that are essentially grandpa brews of 4, 5, and 6 minutes. The flavor has slightly lightened on the vanilla, but it’s still there. I get more plum, malt, and tea in the later steeps. I’m going to brew some more up, hoping I get more.
I’m regretting not getting the 5 rods instead of the too. I really like this one. I’m impressed it has more dimension than some Ceylons I’ve had, and as per usual, Alistair and his company pick teas that tend to be less astringent and bitter. This one has just the right amount of bitterness. It might be able to take milk, but if you are a tea snob, it’s better straight because you might miss out on the cool plum and molasses notes in my opinion. I’m not ready to give it a numerical score, but 4 stars minmum out of 5 for me.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Molasses, Plum, Silky, Smooth, Sweet, Tannin, Vanilla