Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The lemurs love vanilla

My mother came from a French Canadian catholic family, which means my family has a slightly different Christmas tradition than others. When the clock strikes 12, instead of seeing Jacob Marley, our family opens stockings and presents. And if there is one thing I really love about the 25th of December, is that I typically get a strange and wonderful black tea in my stocking.

Last year my brother gifted me with the maple tea, and another herbal tisane. This year, I got a lovely tea called Trader Joe's Vanilla & Cinnamon Black Tea.

As you probably assume, he got it from Trader Joe's, and I must say I have never seen the like before. The box has a Lemur drinking a cup of tea wrapped in Christmas lights. While lemurs are not at all a Christmas icon, the Christmas lights are, telling us that this is a limited holiday item. So if you would like a box of Trader Joe's Vanilla & Cinnamon Black Tea, you should head out now to the USA and pick some up before they are gone. And you really should, as you would probably like a box of this tea.

The ingredients are black tea, natural vanilla, natural flavours and cinnamon. At first I was worried that it would taste like a cinnamon death valentines heart candy (okay as a candy, but not as a tea of course.) But when I opened the box, the vanilla was the main star and a the smell of cinnamon was light and subtle. I could also tell, upon opening the box, that this would be a wonderful dessert tea.

My first cup of this tea was gone pretty quickly, on the account of how good it was. Again, it was the vanilla that was the star, making it smooth and creamy. The cinnamon, from what I tasted and that wasn't very much, was enough to make it seem like I was partaking in a sinful feast. Like the little bit of cinnamon sprinkled upon a latte or mocha to give it the extra kick into heaven, the cinnamon is a sidekick and not the hero. The vanilla flavouring, well, that's the Superman of this tea's Metropolis. The tea rivals a Earl Grey Cream, which means nothing to you if you haven't had that tea. But if you have, you know how smooth and creamy that tea is too.

If you want something delectable, and something akin to a vanilla cake or dessert, this tea is just what you need. It it is perfect around this time of year, when everyone is baking and being well fed by cookie platters and cakes. While not full of icing and maraschino cherries, this tea would be a good switch from a typical dessert – and you wouldn't feel like you were missing out on a treat. Unless you were like me, using cream and sugar, then this tea would be a much healthier substitute too. Now while this is a good after dinner tea, you might not want to drink this tea really late at night. Black tea is the first ingredient, and where there is black tea there is caffeine!

I don't see why they couldn't offer this tea all year round, and it is a shame that it will be disappear from shelves pretty quickly if not already. I personally could drink this tea all year round, and maybe eat a little less dessert because of it. Or perhaps eat more, since this would be a great pairing to any dessert (oh I am terrible!)

And with that, I'll leave you with the cute inscription that graces the side of the box:
“You've never seen a lemur drinking a cup of tea? Trust us; it happens all the time. But only if that tea is Trader Joe's Vanilla & Cinnamon Black Tea. You see, the vanilla in this tea makes our island friends – the lemurs & their chameleon chums – thirsty. The blend of vanilla, cinnamon & black tea will satisfy your thirst and put you in a festive mood. The lemur says so.”

Tea available at: Trader Joe's but only for a limited time!

For all who are keeping watch for this tea, it is in stores now for the 2011 Holiday season!


  1. That sounds AMAZING! I totally want some ! Let's tea party soon!

  2. You totally should have some, and soon! Tea party: yesssss!

  3. What an enticing cup of tea! That sounds so extravagant, and what a neat idea to have the lemur! Definitely a special message there. Loving your blog of your experiences with different varieties of black tea. :) Love from Ana Goncalves on Swap - Bot. (End of the Year blog comment swap) And a very Happy New Year to you. Enjoy

  4. sounds like a lovely cup of tea. the packet is gorgeous!

    {purplecrazymum on swap-bot}

  5. i am missing it already! i wish i'd stocked up before they stopped selling it this year.
    I just love the box and the tea is good

  6. @CatQueen,

    I was just at Trader Joes a week or so ago, and they had a full stock of it!