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on June 5, 2016
The box it came in was pretty big, 3 bamboo cases could have fit in it. Inside the case everything is snug and it presents nice. The pot itself feels like borosilicate glass. The lid has a vent hole, so when you pour there is no vacuum. The tea is pretty good. The flowering tea is a little bitter, and some of the blossom don't go well with honey. But I being bitter doesn't bother me, and I don't put sugar in my tea.
My only complaint is that it's too small. But that isn't Numi's fault. Amazon didn't filter it out after I put in my preferences, and I didn't read the entire description. Not the first time this has happened either.
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on August 16, 2014
I'm a fan of blooming tea, and the first brand I ever had was Teaposy. That one was gorgeous and delightful! After that, I ended up getting a Primula teapot gift set, and eventually I replaced the Primula teapot with one from Grosche. The actual Primula blooming tea balls were not very impressive, as they seemed to be very unreliable with some of the balls floating and refusing to sink, or some not opening properly (the ones that did open properly, though, were nice). I had a few of the Grosche tea balls that came with the teapot, and they displayed many of the same problems (although, to be fair, they may have been old or something). After that, I was intrigued to try out the Numi branded ones.

Numi has a great reputation for tea, and indeed I like many of their normal boxed teas, such as the white rose flavor. However, I noticed many bad reviews for their blooming tea. Still, the price per tea ball was good compared to Teaposy, and I was really intrigued by their unusual flavors. Most blooming tea I've encountered is either white or green jasmine tea (which is nice), but the Numi tea seems to have more unusual flavors. The flavors in this box are: Dragon Lily (white tea with lily petals), Sunset Oolong (oolong tea with lily flower), Lavender Dream (lavender flower, hibiscus, and possibly white tea), and Golden Jasmine (black tea and jasmine). Lavender is a flavor you never really see in blooming tea, so I was excited to try it out. Not to mention I love the fact that their tea doesn't have any artificial flavors in it. Besides, even if the tea balls were terrible, I'd only be out about six bucks.

The very first thing to discuss is the packaging itself. It came in a tiny box (which is fine) but inside none of the tea balls were labeled, leaving me to guess which was which based on matching appearances with the pictures on the box (I think I got it right). More perturbing than that, though, is that the individual ingredients for each type of tea ball are not listed – the ingredient list is all jumbled together for all four. In addition, the plastic encasing the tea balls is only loosely sealed – it's not vacuum sealed for freshness at all! The box claims these don't go bad until March 2016, but not being vacuum seals still worries me a bit. Oh well, there's only four, so surely they'll be used up before long regardless. I'll go through each individual flavor and describe my experiences.

I started off with the Golden Jasmine first, because that's the one my husband was most excited about. Unfortunately, this experience seems to reinforce all the negative reviews. The tea ball failed to sink, and it opened sideways on the top of the water line. Not very impressive or nice-looking at all. The flavor isn't particularly impressive either. It tasted of a rather weak black tea, and although the box describes it as being “scented with delicate jasmine,” there is almost no jasmine in evidence. The scenting must be very “delicate” indeed. Lest you think it was my steep time or my teapot size, well, I let it steep a full 15 minutes by the end (10 minutes is my normal steep time), and the teapot is the same one I've used for other brands (that gave good flavor). After my husband and I each drank one cup, there was enough for one more cup left. This liquid had, of course, steeped longer due to being left in the pot, and when I drank it, it was indeed a bit stronger tasting. Unfortunately, it just tasted like slightly stronger black tea; still no real hint of jasmine. Oh well, one dud out of the four. We'll see what the others are like...
The next one I tried was the Lavender Dream. I had high hopes for this one since I do like lavender. While this one sank and opened correctly, it was not particularly attractive. The “bloom” in the middle wasn't much to look at – just a few ruddy brown petals that looked more like leaves than anything (that was the hibiscus, presumably). The taste was not good, either. The hibiscus taste was mildly there, but the lavender wasn't really apparent and the whole thing had an unpleasant bitter undertone. Overall, I wasn't impressed.

Next I tried out the Sunset Oolong. This one has to be better, right? Well, the flower in this one was at least more colorful, but this one once again the tea ball refused to sink, and ended up not fully opening either. The taste was...bland. It is rather hard to describe, but it's just bland. Maybe it didn't steep fully or properly since it failed to open? I don't know.

Lastly, I tried out the Dragon Lily. By this point, I didn't have much hope for this product. This one, unfortunately, didn't do anything to change my mind. This one, once AGAIN, didn't sink and opened on its side. The bloom was dull-colored and rather unattractive regardless. The taste was pleasant enough, though. It just tasted of a mild white tea (which it pretty much is). I can't say I detected any of the purported “velvety apricot flavor” that the box describes, but it was at least drinkable. However, it wasn't particularly special-tasting, and I can't say I'd want to drink it again (if only because this is an expensive option for something that tastes of plain white tea – I might as well just buy a cheaper box of white tea).

Well, overall, I'm deeply disappointed in Numi. Normally they make such nice tea, but this was a huge let down. There wasn't a single bloom in here that made me want to buy this again, and frankly, I won't be. Unfortunately, the other negative reviews are correct. If you want some blooming tea, I'd recommend you buy Primula (for a cheaper option) or Teaposy (for a really awesome, but more expensive, experience). There may be other good brands out there, too. Either way, avoid these.
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on November 29, 2014
I would most likely never make another purchase.

Some of the teas bloomed nicely and had a great flavor to them. I especially liked the one that smelled and tasted like honeysuckle.

One tea bulb looked like it was something rotted in a swamp. Not pretty at all and I discarded the bulb without tasting it for fear it was bad. I've posted photos of what it looked like, even after letting it sit in pot for an hour. You can see it's pretty disgusting looking.

Pods were not labeled, so you had no idea what flavor you were using. I didn't like that.

Pods seems poorly assembled, many had to be poured though a strainer before drinking.

My experiences with blooming teas is that you can reuse the blooms for at least 3 pots of tea. The second pot of tea was so weak that I gave up this notion with this brand.
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on February 21, 2016
Eh. Teapot is kinda cheap and most of the flowers don't sink. So they kinda float there looking like a hot mess. Just ok.

Updated - I finally got a nice one (see second picture), but I stand by my three star rating.
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If you are buying this because you love to watch flowering teas or as a novelty gift, it is a great buy. If you are buying this because you actually want to drink the tea, I suggest you find the variety of flowering tea you actually like and then buy it in bulk and not in a gift set and save a lot of money. For the price, you don't get much tea in this set. In addition, only some of the varieties were actually palatable. While they were all beautiful, some of them were downright nasty and I couldn't stand the taste of them.

Again, if you want to give a unique gift this is a good choice. If, however, you are just buying this because you want to drink flowering tea, there are more cost-effective ways to accomplish that.
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on January 19, 2014
Ordered this for a family gift at Christmas. The packaging was beautiful and unique, we couldn't wait to try it! That's where the experience went south.... In hindsight, one issue makes perfect sense however the second is a total misrepresentation.

#1 - It's tea, and it will not be clear so you can't see the bloom with any sort of clarity. I should have realized this before so this is a "my bad" expectation. For the pot show the flowering tea pod like the advertisement you won't be drinking tea, just cold water.

#2 - The colors and appearance of the pods that came with the set were nowhere near the brilliance and vibrance shown in the photos on the box or the online description. Even when the tea was poured out and clear water poured in, the opened pods looked more like a "dead, rotten siamese fighting fish" in a small jar than a beautiful flowering bloom! (My wife's description which pretty much explains how the gift went over.). Dull army-jeep green dangling things with muggy off-pink filaments and the whole thing floating sideways on the top of the pot.

As I said, all this makes perfect sense if you stop to think before you make it. I just didn't, I believed the pictures. All-in-all, beautiful, impressive looking packaging but disappointing presentation when used. I would never buy this for anyone I expect to see again with any frequency...
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on February 13, 2015
i love this! used it right away. i heard about it from a friend, i'm glad i bought this. the tea isn't just for one use, you get another steep or 2 out of it. i also use the pot to steep my other loose leaf tea brand. it's very pretty. i bought a second set for a friend. the box and packaging is very nice.
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on January 11, 2014
It took close to one month for this tea to arrive; I actually was losing hope to ever see it. I ordered it to be enjoyed in a group of friends who are not tea drinkers; I have used flowering teas a number of times before for friendly gatherings - an open flower in a glass jar of aromatic tea adds a unique touch. Also, i myself am a tea-drinker and can tell a good tea from a bad one. What was supposed to be magic moment never happened: the flowers lost a bunch of petals and never fully opened, and when they did, only one out of four teas had an actual flower in it (that lost half of petals and looked pathetic), and the other 3 were looking more like scary creatures from the bottom of the sea - bulky green leaves tied together. Desperate, I tried all 4, hoping that at least 1 would not disappoint - in vain, all lost leaves, all failed to open fully, all looked ugly. Finally, the taste was plain bad - no flavor, no strength, barely any aroma, wrong color - all wrong. The biggest disappointment is that I trusted Numi brand, from my past experience. The only possible explanation I could find is that perhaps, these teas were way past their due date; or could they be counterfeit altogether? My advice: buy some other flowering teas.
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on November 17, 2014
This is a tiny little tea set, perfect for my mom.

Yes, the teapot is TINY and really fragile and for the price I can understand why people are slightly put off by this but I liked it.

Other people have stated that once you remove the actually outer wrapping the glue will destroy the box surface, but I didn't have that problem. I took my time to slowly peel it off and came out with no imperfection. The top cover is slightly skewed so the lid doesn't align properly when closed shut.

I was slightly disappointed by how the flower bloomed once in the hot water. It didn't sink to the bottom so it just bloomed upside down on the surface. We really couldn't see the flower and if we poked it too much the green parts ripped off making it look like murky seaweed water. The actually taste of the tea was a tad bit strong to the point that it was starting to taste bitter.
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on October 9, 2014
I have given this set as a gift to several of my friends on different occasions. Every time it has been met with rave reviews. The packaging is such that you should open it first and re-wrap it in a prettier box. It looks just like the picture but it comes in a plain packaging box that takes away from how really special it is. And the price is great at about 20 bucks. Now, to the teas -- The teas are dried flowers and herbs that are sort of stitched together to "bloom" when the hot water is added. The set comes with the pot and 6 tea "pods" of different flower/herb varieties. Each pod will make 3 pots of tea, so 18 pots of tea per set. You can buy more Numi Flowering Teas on Amazon or at a number of retailers. The teas are delicious and aromatic. The 3rd pot is not as strong as the first, but I suspect if you let it steep longer it would be fine. Also, by the photo you might think that it will be a beautiful centerpiece to your tea party. Not really -- it's cool and all, but the water is a lot darker than pictured and the colors are much more brilliant than pictured. It's cool, just not as visually stimulating as the packaging. The box it comes in is pretty nice and can, of course, be used for numerous things. It is not lined as I recall and the bamboo slats are a little spaced apart, but it would be fine for storing tea, makeup, hair-kabobs and the like. I give 5 stars for presentation, and about 4 on actual use. But it's still a really cool gift and for 20 bucks I'll be buying more. This set is also available on subscribe and save so I'm stocking up for Christmas.
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