Small glass jars filled with canna cotta garnished with candied vanilla with spoons on a snowy surface.
Photography, Art Direction & Food Styling: Anthony Contrino

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Harney & Sons Teas asking if I’d be interested in being one of their Teafluencers for the month of December.  I immediately jumped on the offer.  

I think tea is an underrated ingredient, and I was super excited to be able to choose from their extensive catalog of teas.  When I purchase teas for drinking, I usually keep it pretty simple and prefer a simple breakfast blend or Darjeeling, but I knew I wanted to experiment with some of their more fun flavors and was immediately drawn to their Black Vanilla Tea.  While not required, I wanted to create a recipe to showcase the tea, and this panna cotta was the perfect catalyst!  I know this may seem like a “fancy” recipe to many, but give it a try – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at not just how easy it is to make, but how delicious it is, too!

Vanilla Black Tea Panna Cotta

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup Harney & Sons Vanilla Black Tea
  • 1 .25-ounce envelope unflavored gelatin
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Candied vanilla bean pods, for garnish, optional


  • In a medium-sized saucepan, warm the cream and milk over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture begins to simmer around the edges.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the tea; steep for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the gelatin with 2 tablespoons cold water, to combine, and set up an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and a splash of water and nesting a slightly smaller bowl inside.
  • Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the tea from the cream mixture into another medium-sized saucepan, using a spoon or rubber spatula to squeeze as much of the cream mixture out, as possible.
  • Add the sugar and salt, place over medium-high heat, and warm, stirring often, until the mixture begins to simmer around the edges; remove from the heat.
  • Add the bloomed gelatin and whisk until dissolved.
  • Strain the panna cotta through a dry fine mesh strainer into the smaller bowl of the ice bath.
  • Bring the mixture to room temperature, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
  • Divide the panna cotta into six (6-ounce) glass jars, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.
  • To serve, garnish each panna cotta with some candied vanilla bean pods.
Course: Dessert
Author: Anthony Michael Contrino