Much like my beloved Raspberry Hibiscus Green Tea blend, there was also a black tea blend I loved to buy at a little store where we used to live. I figured it can't be hard to get the ratios right to make it myself, saving money in the process.
Vanilla and black tea are a classic pairing in my mind. Too many of the ones I tried contained "natural flavouring" that did NOT agree with my families' stomachs. So many things can be hidden under the "natural" umbrella that I just feel better making it myself.
To me, this tea screams for honey and milk. It's such a treat to enjoy a mug on a cold winter morning after I've finished my chores. It's also perfect for when I want to sneak in some quiet reading time in an afternoon.
Vanilla beans can be pricy to buy in a store but they’re not bad on Amazon (at the time of posting these are just $13 USD for 10!). Much like many crops, it depends on how growing season has been as far as how much you'll have to pay.
My favourite black tea is Assam from omfoods.com and this is what they have to say about it:
Black tea is generally stronger in flavor than the less oxidized teas. Tonganagaon Assam tea steeps a cup some describe as silky smooth with light notes of spice and malt, along with some toasty nuances. Black tea contains caffeine.
At under $5 Canadian for 4 ounces of Assam, it is SO much cheaper for me to make my own vanilla bean black tea than buy it! You really are paying for companies to mix up some ingredients and throw them in a bag for you when you could just have a jar on the shelf ready to go.
This batch makes about a pint jar of dried tea. You can easily double it to keep it on hand for longer. If you've never brewed loose tea before, you'll just want to have a tea ball around (usually stainless steel or mesh) or you can buy single filter packs. We also use a French press as our "teapot" to easily strain the tea after brewing. For brewing a single mug, we love this tea strainer.
Vanilla Bean Loose Leaf Black Tea
- 4 oz loose black tea of choice
- 2 vanilla beans diced up finely
- Combine in a jar and give a good shake. I let it sit for a week before enjoying to let the vanilla infuse the black tea.
To brew in a mug:
- Use a tea basket or a fillable tea bag (we love these to make up tea bags to take camping!) and measure out 1 teaspoon of your tea blend. Fill mug with boiling water and let steep about 5 minutes.
To brew in a pot:
- Ours holds around 1-1.5 quarts of water— either just put the tea blend in loose and when you fill mugs, strain through a tea basket, or use one of the loose leaf tea bags OR we love our insulated stainless French press- we’ve never used it for coffee, its SO convenient for loose leaf tea and keeps tea warm for hours.
- Use 1 tablespoon of loose leaf tea blend, fill your tea pot with boiling water and let steep about five minutes.
- We enjoy it with honey and milk- doctor it up however you like a mug of black tea.
- This batch makes almost a pint jar full.