Here’s the short version of this review: if you like maple-flavored hot oatmeal, such as Maypo, you’ll LOVE this tea.
The longer version of the review: it’s sort of funny to have something that tastes like breakfast be a late-night tea, but this grew on me as something to drink for dessert. It really does taste almost exactly like Maypo, and I have been a fan of maple oatmeal since childhood. I’ll grant you, it doesn’t taste that much like tea – the underlying black tea isn’t very strong – but it does taste like comfort food, and one sip will make you think you are in a nice warm kitchen enjoying the raging snowstorm outside from your safe vantage point.
Now, I will caution you – if you are a purist, and what you are looking for is an intense tea experience, tea and nothing but the tea, then do not bother trying this. This is not the droid you’re looking for. This tea should be thought of more as something in the hot chocolate category, a comfort drink, only without the caffeine or other stimulants. (Note: decaf tea is not entirely caffeine-free; it does have about 5 mg of caffeine.)
One of the reasons this tea tastes so much like oatmeal is that it does have a cereal grain in it: roasted barley! It also has chicory; if you’ve read other reviews of mine, you’ll recall that I like chicory a lot. It lends a coffee-ish flavor without the bitterness or stimulation of coffee. It’s not very strong here, just a slight note among the sweeter and maltier ingredients.
Celestial Seasonings says about this tea:
Quaint colonial villages tucked into peaceful valleys. Sugar camps in the spring offering pure maple syrup. A fall backdrop of trees in hues of orange, yellow and red on a sky blue canvas. Quintessential images and flavors of Canada inspired our Canadian Vanilla Maple Decaf Tea. A delicious combination of full-bodied, decaffeinated black tea, natural vanilla flavor for creamy richness and real maple syrup crystals for natural sweetness. Warm your senses with the essence of the Canadian countryside.
Because of the maple crystals, there’s no need to add any sugar to this tea. I didn’t feel a need to add any milk to it, either, because the vanilla tasted creamy enough for me, but if you like milk in your hot beverage (or always add milk to your oatmeal!) then you’ll probably enjoy adding it to this tea.
As with most Celestial Seasonings tea, this tea is in the convenient form of teabags. It’s available at most supermarkets, and from a wide variety of online vendors.