Review of French Vanilla Decaffeinated Black Tea

7 of 103 of 53 of 561 of 100
Very GoodFairReasonable

I don't see a point in proactively obtaining this tea, especially for money. Here's another offering I got at no cost (the best way), thanks to its being available in a tea box at a meeting, at a Holiday Inn Express. I'll rate "value" based on the prices I usually see for Bigelow teas in-store.

The best part of this tea may be the aromas, from dry-bag to in-cup through wet-bag scents. They don't seem artificial to me, despite the presence of some artificial flavorings. However, the taste itself was more obviously off from what I'd expect from vanilla extract or vanilla-bean pieces, as some higher-quality teas use. Perhaps the artificial flavoring is more water-soluble, whereas the natural part (extract's essential oil or natural ester) is more amenable to evaporation onto the air (scent). I'm just speculating based on my increasingly fuzzy recollections of manufacturing vanilla ester in chemistry class. Or I stayed at Holiday Inn Express. :-) I did detect the base-tea flavor under a heavy load of vanilla flavoring, but it was very plain and featureless. The leaves are very finely chopped in-bag too, so the liquid gets very dark and opaque after a short steeping.

This wasn't a bad drink, but neither will it become a member of my purchasing roster. If you strongly want a vanilla-flavored black tea before bedtime, or you're offered this at no extra charge as I was, you certainly could do worse. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother, since a caffeinated version is available* and since part of the flavoring is artificial and soy-lecithin based.

* Not having chugged the caffeine-containing version yet, I can't make a comparison. I now want to try it, though, to see if more the the base tea stands out in the aromas and taste.

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