A Review of Tea Forte's Orchid Vanilla Black Tea
I began by preparing this tea (in my Tea Forte Cafe Cup), following the
directions given on the Tea Forte website (steep 3-5 minutes using just-boiled
When I opened the cardboard package, containing the pyramid-shaped
tea bag, I was immediately struck by the very sweet vanilla smell. It
was delectable. The website lists that this tea also contains coconut
slivers, and, indeed, traces of coconut were certainly evident in the
After steeping for three minutes, I decided to remove the tea bag and
test the flavor. Upon removing the lid, I noticed the colour was the unremarkable brownish-red of black tea. Then I smelled the tea. The
scent of coconut had all but disappeared, and the aroma of vanilla had
actually deepened and taken on more muted tones.
With the first sip, I was disappointed. The taste of the vanilla was
barely there. I suspected this might have something to do with the
length of steeping time, so I put the tea bag back in for another
minute. (On a side note, something I really appreciate about the tea bag
design is the stiff string, making it easy to move the tea bag around.)
This additional steep complete, I tried the tea again. This time, the
vanilla was much more prominent, almost spicy. The liquid itself
remained wonderfully smooth. The spiciness was actually a delightful
treat, tingling a bit at the back of one's throat as the tea is
Sadly, the coconut that was originally smelled when the tea bag was
first brought out is nowhere to be found. This could just be on account
of the fact that my taste buds are not very familiar with the actual
taste of coconut (which, in all fairness, I have only tasted on rare
occasions). The vanilla, however, completely makes up for this lack of
coconut, in my opinion. It is certainly one of the best vanilla loose
leaf teas I have ever had (out of a total of perhaps three to five, as
my vanilla tea explorations have not ranged very far).
I would not call the flavor itself rich, but it is certainly not
mellow. This seems to be the sort of tea that could be drunk, cup after
cup, all throughout one's day. And, with the caffeine it contains, would
be an excellent stimulant during long work hours.
To test the stamina of the tea, I decided to steep another cup,
increasing the steep time by one minute (to bring it to five minutes
total). The aroma is less intense than before, as was to be expected,
but the vanilla smell is still deliciously pleasing. The taste is still
quite good as well, albeit not as intense as the first cup. The
spiciness is gone, but the smooth vanilla flavor remains.
Over all this was a very good tea. If I were to purchase it in large
quantities, I think I would opt for buying the loose leaf in a canister,
to allow me to vary the amount of tea used per steeping (and also allow
me to more easily steep a large pot of it at once). On my personal
enjoyment scale of 0-100, I rate Tea Forte's Orchid Vanilla black tea a
I just have one final question, that perhaps a fellow drinker, or even Tea Forte could answer... "Why orchid, and where is it?"
Tea Forte's Orchid Vanilla Black Tea can be purchased from their website, here.
Photo credit to Tea Forte.
This post was unsolicited and uncompensated.