Red Peony Rosettes from Teany

Red Peony Rosettes from TeanyI have only tried a few of the 98 teas that TeaNY offers, but of those few, I would have to say that this one is my favorite.  And what’s kind of funny about that – at least to me – is that this is the tea that I postponed trying because I didn’t know if I would like it.

This is a lovely bunch of Black Tea leaves that have been tied by hand into a shape that looks a bit like a flower – or possibly a sea anemone!  But as it brews it starts to look more like a flower, although it could be argued that the sea anemone comparison is a better one because of the motion of the leaves from the liquid that surrounds it.  Either way, it is really interesting to watch it brew, and should definitely be brewed in a glass mug or teapot.

And, not only is it a beautiful looking tea – both in its dry form and as it brews, but it tastes wonderful as well.   The flavor is very rich, smooth and has a mild sweetness that is very satisfying.  This medium to full bodied tea has virtually no astringency and absolutely no hint of bitterness whatsoever.  The mild sweetness that I eluded to a moment ago is very honey-like in taste.

But what makes that honey note even more intriguing about this tea is the “biscuity” notes as mentioned in the description below, because it has a very warm, freshly baked kind of quality to it.  It’s a bit like freshly baked biscuit with honey!  It’s very delicious and comforting.

Teany describes this tea as

a rare china black tea made from tender yong leaf buds which, after going through the process of black tea production, are carefully hand tied to form the shape of a flower. during the infusion the rosettes slowly open up to resemble a “peony”. the flavorful and aromatic infusion has a light, natural sweetness and faint, biscuity notes. stands up well to multiple infusions and does not turn bitter

This tea is fabulous served with cookies.  My favorite are these cuccidata cookies.  I mention these particular cookies because as I was enjoying one of these fabulous fig cookies with this tea, I noticed a faint yet very delightful smoky quality to the tea that I couldn’t detect without the cookie.  So, I highly recommend the pairing!

I use one peony rosette in my glass mug and steep in boiling water for four minutes.  This creates a brew that is everything I described in this review.  This tea can be steeped multiple times with no significant loss or change in flavor, although I will say that the second and third infusions are a bit smoother.

A perfect afternoon tea – perhaps one to share with friends (and don’t forget the cookies!)

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