Monday, December 29, 2014

The Persimmon Tree, French Vanilla Bean

The Persimmon Tree Description:
Whether you fancy hot or cold with a spoonful of honey or rock sugar, this French Vanilla Bean creamy tea is great either way. This tea offers an impeccably smooth blend of organic black loose-leaf tea and sweet vanilla bean flavor.

Organic Black Loose-Leaf Tea, Vanilla Bean, Coconut, Almonds

Sample provided by The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

My Review:
In the past I have tended to avoid vanilla teas. Like my aversion to assam, it is based on years of sipping below par teas. The Persimmon Tree has helped to change my mind on other flavored teas, as they always seem to use quality ingredients, balance, and a lighter touch. Let's see if they can change my mind here as well.

I love the tins in which the teas are packaged. They are attractive and keep the teas fresh for a long time.

When  I popped the top of this tin, I had to check the label. Yep, French Vanilla Bean. You see, when I looked in the tin, the very first thing that caught my attention was a sliver of almond. Of course the second thing I focus on is the chopped tea leaf. It ranges from cinnamon to very dark brown - almost black.

Also in the mix are small whitish looking pieces and several twig segments that are too light in color to be from the leaf.

Yes, this has a vanilla scent but it is mixed with coconut. Looking at the ingredient list, this all begins to make sense. This is not a simple vanilla tea. It does contain almonds, and coconut as well.

The dry scent is very nice. I could probably sniff it the rest of the day... or I could steep some tea. In my little green teapot it goes.

The water was heated to the recommended 195 F. I love that The Persimmon Tree doesn't use full on boil with their black teas. 195 F is my go to temperature when no directions are provided, and I think it generally works really well.

The steep was 3 1/2 minutes. With companies I don't trust (yet) I'll stop at 2 1/2. Here, 3 1/2 seems perfect to me.

The brewed aroma is so fragrant. The liquor is orange/red. I poured through a kitchen strainer. The result is I have some tiny floating stuff in the cup but that won't slow me down. I do need a much finer mesh strainer. The leaf has plumped up nicely and appears a mix of cinnamon and green tones.

The taste begins as a very nice balanced blend of vanilla and coconut. It feels almost creamy. The almond appears as hints as you sip, or maybe it is imagined as I can see it in the leaf. No, I'm pretty certain I am tasting it. I will admit, if I didn't know it was there, I would not be able to identify it.

When you eat something you enjoy, can you identify every ingredient? Probably not, but the addition of each ingredient joins in with the symphony of flavors adding their part at the right moment. So it is here with the almond.

The black tea base is very smooth. As prepared, I detect no bitterness, or astringency. The vanilla and coconut are not overwhelming. In fact, for my tastes, they are at just the right intensity. They are, however, stronger than the black tea base. Though I can taste it, I can't identify it.

I drank this without additives and then with Splenda. If I have to give one the edge over the other, the nod goes to with Splenda. Lately I haven't been saying that much, but this is more of a dessert type tea and sweet just fits my dessert style.

Once again, The Persimmon Tree has made me like a type tea I have never been partial to sipping before today. I'll enjoy sipping this again and again. At $7.99 for two ounces, including the tin, this qualifies as a solid everyday tea.

You can find French Vanilla Bean here.  

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