Golden Imperial Lotus

Tea type
Black Tea
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Autumn Leaf Pile, Floral, Smooth, Wet Earth, Wet Wood, Cocoa, Earth, Peach
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Edit tea info Last updated by MattLytle
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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33 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Thanks again to Autumn for a sample of this! I feel as though I’m going to be thanking her in every tasting note for a long while now :) I very nearly bought a tin of this last December, and when...” Read full tasting note
  • “Almost out of these little tarantulas… which is probably good, since they’re going to have a birthday here pretty soon. I’ll miss them, but there’s a similar tea from Teavivre that tastes just as...” Read full tasting note
  • “And it continues… thanks to Indigobloom for yet another sample! I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this one, but it seems to be a tasty, slightly sweet and malty black. With a hint of smoke,...” Read full tasting note
  • “I just got back from the dentist. The whole time I was there I managed not to jump out of the chair by thinking of tea. :) When I got home half of my mouth was and still is numb. I am having to sip...” Read full tasting note

From Teavana

The ancient art of hand-tying teas is one that has been around for over a millennia in China. Today’s artisans use long, tippy black leaves from the Yunnan province of China and gently tie them into a beautiful rosette. This rich, dark, chocolaty black tea is as pleasing to the eye as to the palate. Perfect for travelers, because a strainer is not necessary. The rich flavor can be resteeped multiple times by simply adding more hot water. Packaged in an attractive tin containing 4oz of tea.

About Teavana View company

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33 Tasting Notes

323 tasting notes

Thanks again to Autumn for a sample of this! I feel as though I’m going to be thanking her in every tasting note for a long while now :)

I very nearly bought a tin of this last December, and when she said she had some, I asked if she would send a bloom or two. She graciously sent a mini tin full of these beautiful little discs.

The tea is flat and sewn together, like a pressed flower. When it’s put into water, however, it becomes a spiky ball like a sea urchin or a dandelion. It’s beautiful.

The liquor is a deep reddish brown. It’s certainly in the mahogany/walnut color family.

Oh, the taste! At first, when it was too hot to really taste, I thought it was just another malty, chocolaty black tea. Good, but not remarkable.

Was I wrong!

There’s that, sure, but there’s something new here! I’m struggling to describe it. It’s very creamy. I first went to some sort of ice cream – mint chocolate? No… vanilla? Not quite… now I’m thinking of creme brulee. I’ve never actually had creme brulee. So I’m not entirely sure if it’s accurate. But the flavor profile here seems to match what I’ve heard of that dessert.

There’s something creamy and heavy and sweet here, as though I’m not just drinking what is effectively flavored water. It’s almost a little bit banana, or dulce de leche. It’s not quite caramel, though. It has that sort of feeling on the tip of your tongue when you’ve just eaten a spoonful of melted ice cream.

Ohh, I do look forward to puzzling this one out.

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec
James R

I picked that up when they had their last heavenly sale, I regret only buying one tin I’m out! Really good tea!!

If you want a similar tea, tastes almost identical! It’s currently on sale. If you want I can send you a few cups worth.


James, you are quite right! They are very similar and quite delicious!

Autumn Hearth

I still have quite a bit of this left, bought two tins at the sale and one for my husband earlier at 40% off. One bag is still sealed and is available for trade. I’ve been taking out of my other tin which is still half full, I realize the husband will never get through his in time to need mine. I mostly bought it for the black dragon tins ;)

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185 tasting notes

Almost out of these little tarantulas… which is probably good, since they’re going to have a birthday here pretty soon. I’ll miss them, but there’s a similar tea from Teavivre that tastes just as good, if not better (and not $10/oz!). Can’t remember which off the top of my head though. I’m sure I have a tasting note somewhere.

How are all you beautiful people tonight?

Terri HarpLady

Hi Dylan!
I’m having an awesome night watching SNL. I still have the tin from the Golden Imperial Lotus tea, it was a tasty tea, & I like the tarantula image!


Oh god little tarantulas… what a spine-tingling image! Tarantula tea aaah

Dylan Oxford

Haha, something about the leaf tips sticking out of the little brown and black mottled bundle has always made me think of tarantulas.


That’s a hilarious mental image. :D


Tarantulas?!! AHHHHH!!! Why would you even go there?? Now I’ll never be able to try this tea!

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6106 tasting notes

And it continues… thanks to Indigobloom for yet another sample!

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this one, but it seems to be a tasty, slightly sweet and malty black. With a hint of smoke, but I’m not sure if that’s contamination from the Gunpowder it sat with for ages, or if that’s part of the tea. Either way, this is pretty delicious and smooth, and I’d definitely drink it again, though likely not buy it (especially as I read that it cost $40 for a tin!!! $40!!!!)

ETA: Second infusion, also for 3 minutes, is still pretty tasty. This is quite a good black for those times when something like Laoshan Black would be a bit too bready and heavy; this tea is lighter and caramelly and I imagine it would go quite nicely with a meal. Mmm.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

glad you like it! :)

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807 tasting notes

I just got back from the dentist. The whole time I was there I managed not to jump out of the chair by thinking of tea. :)
When I got home half of my mouth was and still is numb. I am having to sip this out of only one side of my mouth and yes I have spilled a little on myself.
The first flavor I am getting is malty. I love a malty tea!
I steeped one tarantula as Dylan calls them in about 12 ounces of water for 3 minutes at a boiling temp water.
Its a very smooth, non astringent, non bitter black tea.
I guess it does not matter much about the rating or my feelings on it since I guess they are not being sold anymore on the Teavana site which is a shame.
I will add more tasting notes another time when my palate is fully functioning and I can actually take real sips but so far loving it!
Thank you Missy and Dylan for sending me some!

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Scott B

Be careful sipping-you could burn your mouth if you sip on the numb side.
Teavana has at least a couple decent straight black teas, but their overall black selection is very sad.


This one I really like. It’s good hot and iced. It very light and smooth for me. I just want to bounce around after I drink it. Maybe that’s what that tea drunk thing is.


Thanks Scott I will be careful :)
Yeah I have never ordered from Teavana myself but this stuff isn’t bad at all.
Missy I think I did get tea drunk! I broke my glass teapot when drinking this :(
Good thing they are under 5 bucks right now on clearance at the english tea store!!!

Dylan Oxford

I’m glad to hear that half of you enjoyed it ;)


D’oh broken tea pot! sad face


oooh how many steeps did you get through? the third is my fave.


This was my second steep. :( I could not brew the bud again because some glass fell into the pot with the bud still in it. :(
I have more though Dylan and Missy were generous and sent me several :) So I will try it again soon. I loved what I had of it !


LOL @ Dylan yes half of me enjoyed the half I got to drink from half my face. :)


aww too bad. Oh well, you will have more than you think.. if I remember correctly!


Well we know how our memories are though too don’t we lol


Ohhhh I get it hahaha well cool then! :)

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557 tasting notes

My friend gave me some more of these bundles as a gift along with a new tea mug. I’m steeping one now and I have a full kettle of water to get at least two steeps out of the bundle.

The first steep is exactly as I remember it. Dark and rich and flavorful. Just what I need to keep those chocolate cravings at bay because I am supposed to be being good this Easter holiday. It was an interesting experience to get the tea out of my press without squishing the rosette. The fully expanded rosette looks like a little Cthulhu on the bottom of my press.

The second steep is even deeper and richer. This is reminding me of how much I love Yunnan Blacks! So yummy.

I left the third steep sit in there for about eight-nine minutes. The flavor is a little less intense than the second steep, but still yummy. I love having teas that I can re-steep. One day, I will learn how to take my time with them throughout an entire afternoon. But for now, it makes a delicious snack-time tea.


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1759 tasting notes

Backlog #4
Wow, $40 for a tin of this tea?! sheesh.
It was on clearance, for 75% off so I indulged… and I was not disappointed. Much.
I guess I expected it to blow my socks off, maybe even my toenail polish- for that price anyhow! but it was just your regular high quality tasty Asian black tea. Hey I can’t help it if they set the bar sky-high with the price tag! I mean, if I’d spent FORTY buckaroos on this brew, well you can bet I’d be plotting ways to get my monies back.
Either way, it was still pretty decent. Chocolatey, rich, lovely. I made it through for steepings and they were all yummy. The last one was a touch scratchy, which I expected.
I need to give it proper attention next time… maybe suss out some more deets!
Oh did I mention the beautiful rosette it comes in? Definitely a selling feature. However it does make the tin less full than I had anticipated. Not a problem for me, since I will never finish it all before the tin goes stale… knowing me!


Wow $40 for a tin of tea? Sees it is sold by Teavana Oooooooohhhh… okay :x


le sighs
Oh Teavana… they are the devil of tea vendors!!

The DJBooth

I got this one too when I saw it on sale :)


Did that include the price of the tin? Jerk who found me a tin of Tarocco Blood Orange didn’t bother to tell me I’d be charged $3 for it. So cute that he thought he’d lose the sale over that when I had no choice but to buy 12 ounces of it.


I thought about buying this one, but this is one of the few of their sale teas I passed on. Glad to hear you are enjoying it (the tin does look pretty cool).


DJBooth, nice! I hope you liked it as much as I did :)

Amanda: yep, it was a sealed package type deal. Ever since I get free tins at David’s Tea for purchasing 100g or more, I’ve hated paying for them!!

ST: yep that’s one of the reasons I caved and bought it! the tin is indeed neat looking. What did you buy instead of this one? :)

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1220 tasting notes

Sebastian is acting like a fool this morning, I have no idea what his deal is but he was even chirping like a crazy bird before I uncovered his cage. Now he’s quiet. Whatever bird.

I did not realize how big these rosettes are. They look like sea anemones. I dropped one into an infuser basket and let it infuse for 3 minutes on the first steep, four minutes on the second.

It’s a pretty smooth, malty tea. Kind of sweet like honey.

I don’t really find it remarkable, it’s just like pretty simple, nothing really super flavorful about it. I prefer other black teas. I think this might be more suitable for me in the morning, but it clearly has the ability to be resteeped without really changing its flavor.

I’ve got a little tin full thanks to Autumn Hearth so maybe when I have time to just sit around all morning with a tea (week of the 17th? :D) I can just have it all morning.


Birds will be birds.


This has a special place in my heart because it got me started on yunnan black teas.

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676 tasting notes

Thank you to IndigoBloom for these sample Blooms of tea!

Steepster has been misbehavin’ again and it took hours to find this tea and bring up the screen to do a review. I hope whatever the issues are will be for the benefit of all of us tea-freaks in the future. I do understand that maintinence does have to occur now and then. Oh, am I the ONLY tea freak? I think not!

This tea was like a sea urchin. Indigo-B sent me 2 whole creatures. Brown, spiny, golden tipped, silver dollar sized, sleeping beings needing water to revive them. I am an obliging woman…a nurturer always ready for doing what needs to get done. (I was ready for drinking the life out of the little critters… really… ya ha ha!)
Teavana doesn’t list this tea anymore and Indigo-B had no instructions on the packet, (she has a life apart from tea) so I guessed on the steeping time and temp. at 4 min. and 195f.
The liquor was medium brown, fragrant, tasting like chocolate malted black tea. Rich and pleasing flavors! For those who hate astringency, this is a winner because this is a tame acid free brew. I’d choose this tea as a mild, uncomplicated tea fully capable of handling both sugar and cream in the morning without losing the malty chocolate, wheat bread goodness one wishes for at that time of day. While I prefer a more malty (manly) robust tea myself, and as I read Indigoblooms comments that this was originally $40 for 4 oz. (ouch!) I know that there are better tea’s for far less money. The comment from Teavana about “you don’t need a brew basket, the tea is portable” is bunk. The tied tea bundles fall apart during the first steeping.

But, this was a good enough cup of tea.


I really wanted to try this when Teavana was having their 75% off sale, but never did… Oh well :)


I believe they discontinued it. It happens to be one of my favorite teas from Teavana. We call it tarantula tea. :D


This is a fun tea.


It does dissolve doesn’t it!! I found placing it in the water after it’s been poured helps… but only for the first steep. After that… it’s all over! :P

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2816 tasting notes

Thanks to The DJBooth for sending some of this my way. I was also tempted to pick this up at the end of year Teavana fire sale but didn’t.

No doubt one of the reasons this one was initally very pricey is the beautiful flower like formations that are all tied by hand. And the tin looked pretty cool as well. ;-) I wasn’t sure how much tea to steep in my cup but I ended up using two rosettes at 212F for around 3 minutes.

This is a very nice dark red color in the cup. It’s a bit malty, chocolatey and dark, pretty smooth. I think perhaps Teavana should tell more plain teas for those of us who want them. No doubt they are hanging onto my every word (hee hee). I enjoyed this one!

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I had something vey similar to this a few years ago, whick I liked very much. I’m sure they’re somewhat pricier than they were then. Amy….do you think they are price worthy? :))


I think originally this tea was around $40, I would not have paid that much for it…


This is one of the few that I really wanted to order during the big sale. The rosettes were such a neat idea!


Sounds exactly like one I bought two years ago from Harney and Sons that JacquelineM and I loved. It was called Golden Mudan.


WOW! $40 is too much for this tea….I’d never pay it.

Yes ash…I think Golden Mudan is similar…I almost bought some.

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3261 tasting notes

I knew I needed a good, sturdy black tea this morning after I leaned over to hug the dog while making breakfast and thanked him for the “near ibbles.” I love near ibbles from man or beast, but when I am fully awake I call them “ear nibbles.”

I decided to gong fu brew this one, which I don’t do that often with black tea. The result rather surprised me. I think gong fu brewing really amped up the fruitiness on this one. The fruitiness is really a byproduct of a very pleasant, light astringency. This isn’t a hearty, add milk and sugar kind of breakfast tea loaded with Assam, but is strong enough for my needs since I never took to coffee.

And this is a SIPDOWN of a sample sent by Missy and Dylan, whom we miss on here! I am pretty sure this tea was discontinued at Teavana, and I am pretty sure it is a close relative of the Golden Mudan tied in wreaths that was discontinued years ago at Harney and Sons. Both were very nice teas.

ETA: Fourth and fifth steeps are even better, smooth and mellow and sweet.

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