Tea: Vanilla Caramel Black Tea (Vanilla Caramel Truffle Tea)

A Flavored Black Tea from Lipton Tea

This tea has been retired/discontinued.

Picture of Vanilla Caramel Black Tea (Vanilla Caramel Truffle Tea)
Brand:Lipton Tea
Style:Flavored Black Tea
# Ratings:3 View All

Review of Vanilla Caramel Black Tea (Vanilla Caramel Truffle Tea)

7 of 103 of 51 of 549 of 100
Very GoodFairNot Worth Paying For

Here's another case of a tea with multiple marketing personalities across target audiences. RateTea states this product is retired/discontinued, and perhaps it is in the U.S. However, it's still available on amazon.com with an "imported" label, as of this writing (for nearly $12 per 20-ct box!). I got the remainder from an acquaintance who had ordered it at an unspecified discount, thinking it would be better, and who decided to chuck it after one cup. I tried not to let that bias my review, but might not have succeeded entirely.

The dry-bag and in-cup aromas are the best things about this tea, with a definitive caramel smell, and what misleadingly also smells like a passable tea. The dry bag contains 2–3-mm-wide tea-leaf bits, brown granules (the caramel flavoring) and white granules (corn starch...why?). Steeping dissolves away the caramel and starch grains, leaving behind a wet bag rather bereft of any aroma—including the tea leaves still therein. That was a forewarning, as it turns out.

The caramel flavor was the best thing about the beverage, which does sweeten well; however, I've had far richer (e.g., Murchie's "Cozy Caramel Rooibos"). With 19 sachets at my disposal, I tried and wanted to make this stuff work out. I failed. In my normal cup, 4–5 minutes of steeping still renders a somewhat weak tea. An increasingly unpleasant, sharp form of bitterness kicks in each 1–2 minutes past that. Trying a small formal teacup (~half my usual cup's size) shortened the entire timeline above by a couple minutes, but still didn't yield the optimal flavor profile. If there's a fine balance or tipping point between weakness and excess bitterness, I didn't find it. It was like going target shooting and decorating only the innermost ring with holes around the whole 360, but landing nothing on the bull's eye. The base tea doesn't seem to have a lot of flavor other than "feeble" or "bitter".

Bottom line (literally): this ain't worth $12! Don't bother.

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