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What Is Vanilla Tea?

Lainie Petersen
Updated May 17, 2024
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"Vanilla tea" is a term typically used to describe a tea that is flavored with vanilla. In some cases, a vanilla tea is made from actual tea leaves, picked from the camellia sinensis plant, while in other cases vanilla is used in concert with other herbs and spices to create an "herbal tea," more properly known as a "tisane" or "herbal infusion." Vanilla is a sweet-tasting spice that is a popular flavoring agent in many areas, and is often used in flavoring teas and other hot beverages.

While tea leaves have a delicious flavor of their own, they also easily absorb other flavors and scents, making it easy to make vanilla tea. In fact, one way to make vanilla tea at home is to simply store tea leaves in a jar with a slit vanilla bean for a few days. Many commercial tea blenders incorporate vanilla into their tea blends. As a general rule, higher quality vanilla tea and tisane is made with actual vanilla bean, while lower quality products are made with extracts or flavorings.

One classic type of vanilla tea is Earl Grey Creme. Earl Grey is black tea blended with oil of bergamot. In an Earl Grey Creme tea, vanilla is added to the blend, giving some soft, creamy and sweet notes to the crisp and tangy Earl Grey tea. Many tea companies also offer several types of tea flavored with vanilla. The flavors of black tea, green tea, white tea and oolong tea all blend well with vanilla.

Another type of tea blend that may use vanilla as an ingredient is chai. While "chai" simply means tea in many places, many Americans use the word to describe a heavily spiced tea that is often blended with milk and sweetener to make a creamy, sweet drink that is often consumed in cold months. Chai typically contains a number of spices, including cinnamon and cloves and peppercorns; Vanilla is often added to the mix as well.

Some individuals and tea companies may refer to herbal teas and infusions that contain vanilla flavoring as "vanilla tea," even though these beverages contain no tea leaves. These blends may include a variety of herbs and spices to which vanilla bean or vanilla flavoring has been added. As with true tea, vanilla blends well with a variety of herbs and spices and can add richness and natural, calorie-free sweetness to herbal and fruit tea blends.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen , Former Writer
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.

Discussion Comments

By fify — On Oct 03, 2014

@bear78-- Is the artificial flavor harmful?

After reading your post, I checked the ingredients of my vanilla tea mix and it says artificial vanilla flavor as well. But like you said, it tastes good and I can't even tell the difference. Even if I had vanilla beans, I'm too lazy to infuse my own vanilla tea. Using a mix powder is very convenient for me. If the artificial flavor isn't harmful, then I don't mind using this type of vanilla tea.

By bear78 — On Oct 02, 2014

It's surprisingly very difficult to get real vanilla tea. Most vanilla tea products at the store contain artificial vanilla flavoring. It's challenging to find one that contains real vanilla. Vanilla beans are not very cheap, so a very affordable vanilla tea probably doesn't have the real stuff. It's listed in the ingredients though, so it's easy to check.

I actually bought a chamomile vanilla tea the other day. It smells wonderful and tastes quite good too. But when I checked the ingredients list, I was disheartened to see that it contains artificial flavor and no real vanilla. It's a popular brand too, so I'm disappointed. Next time, I will check the ingredients before I buy vanilla tea.

By bluedolphin — On Oct 02, 2014

I often see vanilla flavored black tea bags at the grocery store but I've never tried them. I've only had the pre-made kind sold in the coffee aisle. I think that coffee shops use the same kind to make their vanilla chai. It's not very cheap though so I don't buy it all the time. It still costs less than vanilla chai from the coffee shop.

Lainie Petersen

Lainie Petersen

Former Writer

Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
Learn more
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