Tea Journals: Celestial Seasonings Madagascar Vanilla Rooibos Tea

This journal entry was sent in to us by a reader quite some time ago, because they wanted to share some of their thoughts about Madagascan Vanilla Rooibos by Celestial Seasonings. We’ve finally had a chance to go through past submissions and are once again opening the floodgates to new contributors! If you’re interested in submitting a tea journal entry, don’t be shy – we’d love to have you on our site!

From time to time, we’ll receive thoughts about tea in our email inboxes from readers who want to have their works published on the site. If you’d like to submit something, let us know here. You’ll even make a few bucks if we end up publishing it on our homepage!


I tried this blend before I definitively figured out that I hate red tea and I think that had a lot to do with why I never bought it again. Rooibos comes from a specific plant from the Cederberg mountains in South Africa which sounds terribly exotic.

Actually I’ve noticed a lot of cheap tea bags seem to use it so I’ve started to believe that anything surrounding it is purely marketing. I love vanilla and have been trying to find a nice vanilla tea, this was one of my attempts.

The aroma from the box is actually pretty strong, you can really smell the vanilla, but with enough additives that’s to be expected. The bags are very fragrant which is encouraging, or at least I hoped so since I really wanted a true vanilla flavor. I didn’t open any of the bags so the actual content of the blend remains a mystery but I’m pretty certain they shred the ingredients to oblivion since there was a lot of powder loose in the bottom of the box.

Recommended steeping is 4-6 minutes, but for most robust teas I never steep more than 4 anyway, it’s unnecessary and doesn’t add to the flavor if you’ve got a strong blend. To be honest the smell was really warm and enticing, though it did smell a bit of vanilla air freshener.

It made me feel comforted and a little excited since I thought I was getting ready to have a really vanilla-y tea. I  liked the smell, always a good sign. The color was a really deep rich red and it looked great, it colored quickly and I didn’t see much change after about a minute or so. The smell wasn’t quite as strong as a sugar cookie but you could definitely get the vanilla. Celestial Seasonings has about 5 other ingredients in this blend but I don’t think they put much because there’s no hint of them either in smell or taste.

That’s about where my happiness ended. It wasn’t horrible, very vanilla; but like I said I’ve since figured out I don’t like Rooibos and I thought the two flavours clashed a little. I was impressed that there wasn’t a chemical after taste and it really did taste like it was supposed to. I’m not sure that I’d say it was from the quality of tea though, just seemed rather artificial. If I could have gotten the hang of the taste I think it would have made me feel quite warm, very calm, and centred. As is I couldn’t really drink enough of it to get myself there. I can’t say the taste really reminded me of anything, it was a bit over the top for me since both flavors overpowered each other. I think the vanilla flavouring would have been perfect with a chai blend instead of the Rooibos though. Hey Celestial Seasonings, hint hint!