There are plenty of unusual tea flavours floating around, especially in the seasonal months of the year – I have a chocolate chai coming up for review and only a few weeks ago I reviewed a smoky Lapsang Souchong with red peppercorns. So, when I saw this Adagio tea sampler in my box, I was almost relieved.
Yes, I like a little vanilla sometimes. It’s simple, it’s sweet and completely underrated. Here’s my review of Adagio Rooibos Vanilla Chai, a caffeine-free offering from Adagio Teas.
Rooibos and Vanilla Tea at a Glance
- Blend: Rooibos with vanilla flavouring, spices and orange peel
- Flavour: Sweet vanilla with notes of honey and nuts from the rooibos
A rather light tea with a heady aroma! The lovely flavour of honey and nuts from the rooibos perfectly complements the spices, citrus and sweet vanilla flavour.
Full Review – Adagio Rooibos Vanilla Chai
- Type: Loose leaf
- Tea: Rooibos (red bush)
- Additives: Ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, orange peel, natural vanilla flavouring
- Flavour Notes: Sweet vanilla, honey, nuts, subtle spices, slight woody notes
- Aroma: Vanilla, spices, sweet citrus peel, dominant cardamom
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: Adagio Rooibos Vanilla Chai
Opening the sampler Adagio sent me, I’m hit with some very strong spices. Pungent, is the word I will use. The cardamom is dominant and tingling my nose, but I can detect some of the sweet cinnamon and floral cloves too.
There’s also a hint of citrus which, I’m hoping, will freshen up the flavour a little.
It brews into a cloudy amber yellow colour. Not the most appealing colour but at this point, you’ll be far more distracted by the aroma. Vanilla and spices are dominating everything in the room. You might need to open a window.
I savoured the flavour for a second too long when I sipped it first. The sweetness actually made my tongue feel a little funny (do you know what I mean?) for a while. It’s too good to quit, though. The sweet vanilla is at the forefront, chased around with honey and nutty notes. The spices are subtle and there’s also a slight woody note in the tea too.
A fantastic dessert tea, if you have a sweet tooth you’ll find this tea divine.
How to Brew Adagio Rooibos Tea
I use my Ingenuitea from Adagio Teas, which holds about 2 teacups for me. I only fill it halfway. 2 heaped teaspoons brewed for 7 minutes with freshly boiled water. If you’re using a ceramic brewing receptacle (a mug, teapot, etc.) you’ll want to heat the ceramic up before brewing to try and keep the temperature as high as possible for the whole 7 minutes.
If you really want to go OTT, treat yourself to a few biscuits while you drink this. Shortbread fingers spring to mind as a good fit. Or macadamia nut cookies.
I always make myself so hungry when I write this part of my tea reviews!
Why Adagio Teas?
Adagio Teas had been on my radar for a while, although this Adagio Rooibos Vanilla Chai wasn’t at the top of my list. I’m glad I tried it.
Rooibos teas are a good choice if you like the full-bodied flavour of black teas but don’t want to caffeine kick that comes with it. Rooibos can also improve circulation, which is great for keeping your fingers and toes warm in the winter.
Taking a look at the loose leaf, you can see that the ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and orange peel are all large chips. This has an improved flavour (in my experience) over finely chopped or ground spices, but it does mean you need that long brew time to draw out all the flavour. The vanilla is added flavouring. If you’ve seen the price of vanilla pods in the supermarket you’ll know why using flavouring was important for this tea. Real vanilla pods or seeds would make this tea far too expensive. Adagio made the right choice there.
In terms of tea quality and trusting the tea brand, Adagio is quite high on the list. You can find more info on how they source their tea and ingredients on their website (if you end up on the UK one by following my links, it will offer to send you to the USA version, don’t worry).
And now I come to the part where I bring it all together. After the rather pungent aroma, surprisingly pleasant and super sweet flavour, and the quality of ingredients you have, I summarise that this tea is epic! If it sounds like your cup of tea, go ahead and try it. You can buy a small sampler pack like the one I reviewed or buy ready filled tea bags for convenience.
Looking for more caffeine-free chai you can enjoy during winter? I’d highly recommend checking out my Novus Egyptian Mint Tea review! Sure, it’s not actually a Christmas tea or a chai, but I swear to you, it smells just like the all-time best Christmas chocolates. After 8s.