I stopped by Peet's Laurel Village today to see if they had any interesting rare teas for the winter.
I was delighted to see they are once against featuring a black tea blended with osmanthus flowers. This is a bargain at $7.95 for four ounces. They're selling it as a dessert tea; the flower gives it a sweetness and you shouldn't need any added sugar.
I was treated to a pot of Golden Monkey, an almost syrupy black tea. The tea is sweet without any trace of heaviness. Golden monkey runs $25.95 per quarter pound, so definitely for special occasions.
I noticed several new teas including a fragrant and grassy sprouting emerald green from Anhui province and a wonderful smelling tung ting oolong pearls from Taiwan that I didn't try. Imperial red is back; this is usually one of their best offerings.
As always, finding rare tea at Peet's stores is hit and miss. Best selections are Laurel Village, Walnut Square, and Menlo Park; some places will let you taste a tea if you ask, others charge up to $3 for a pot of rare tea. Always brew it yourself and don't be shy about asking for more hot water. If you read the employee reviews on the website, you'll see lots of wine-like descriptors being applied to tea.