Seems everyone here got this tea during the end of year Teavana clearance sale, and who wouldn’t? I got this tea mainly because of the cheap price, I didn’t know what to expect, had never read reviews about this tea or anything. A pure impulse buy.
The tea comes in a nice black tin and the rosettes inside a foil bag. The dry leaf gives a nice spicy aroma and each rosette is made of a mix of golden and black fuzzy tips, they almost look like small tarantulas.
I brewed this tea in a small teapot using only one rosette and following the suggested brewing guidelines from the tin (2-3 min steep time and 185-200F water).
The tea brews a nice dark brown liquor with a smooth malty flavor and chocolaty hints. It wasn’t strong or bitter, even after the first cup, where I left the rosette in the water for maybe another 4-5 mins, the tea just became slightly stronger in taste but not bitter at all.
The leaves after being infused, loose their golden and black colors and become a nice dark brown-red (almost red clay colored) rosette. The rosette also “blooms” like those art teas expanding itself in to a little dark red flower. Great for displaying in a glass tea pot.
Overall, this tea is a great, easy to brew, tea that pairs well with breakfast in the mornings. I enjoyed the flavor but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. The rosettes look like they were made from tying up Yunnan Gold tea and they taste pretty similar. So while I paid a cheap price for this tea, I would’ve never gotten it for the full price Teavana was asking for ($40), especially since you can get loose Yunnan black/gold/pure gold for a much affordable price from other vendors. Still, it is a nice looking tea (dry and wet rosettes are lovely to look at) with a great taste and packed in a nice tin. If you are still able to find this tea on sale, I’d say go for it, as it seems Teavana has already discontinued it.