After finishing another family feast, you're sitting at the dining room table, wishing you could have something to help you digest all that food! Everyone turns as the room fills with the sweetness of vanilla. And as if your wish was granted, you are presented with a cup of oolong. The addition of the sweet, creamy vanilla bean turned this cup of tea into a dessert.
Vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron, as there is extensive labour required to grow the seed pods. Despite this setback (or perhaps because of it), it is highly valued for its flavour, and is widely used in both the commercial and domestic spheres in baking, perfumeries, and aromatherapy. Here, vanilla adds roundness and rich character to the oolong, producing a distinctive, sweet taste.