So, with so many vanilla flavored teas on the market, why would you bother blending your own at home? The answer is simple, taste. Ever tried adding a drop or two of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to your hot latte or iced tea? If you have, you probably already know that tea and vanilla are a match made in heaven. When it comes to flavoring tea with vanilla, we often unknowingly accept a lot of substitutes. Ingredients like vanillin or natural vanilla flavor are added to give you vanilla-like taste while keeping costs affordable.Now just because a tea has one of the above mentioned, it doesn’t mean that you won’t like it–this is a personal preference. What it does mean is that the full, rich experience of true vanilla flavor might not (fully) be there. That’s where making Vanilla Bean Tea comes into play.This is an easy recipe, but a luxurious one. Pure and simple, there are only 3 ingredients in this blend: best-quality black tea (I’m using Valerie Confections’ English Breakfast Blend), cut vanilla beans (the best you can find!) and time (2 weeks to be exact!). The result is a dreamy, orchid-infused steep that’s equally delicious served hot or cold, with or without milk or sugar. And don’t use too fine of a strainer here. You want those teeny tiny vanilla beans floating throughout your steep–the more the better!
Vanilla Bean Black Tea
1 cup black tea, loose-leaf (I used Valerie Confections’ English Breakfast, a mix of Assam and Yunnan)
4 vanilla beans, cut into very small pieces
1. Combine dry tea and vanilla beans together and place in a tin. For most fragrant taste, enjoy steeping the tea 2 weeks later, after the ingredients have had a change to mingle.
2. Steep the tea for 5 minutes. Serve hot or chilled. Both versions pair nicely with sweeteners and milk additions, but I would suggest trying the brew plain first. Enjoy!