Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Fong Mong Tea on eBay
Sun Moon Lake black tea can be declared “Red Treasure” in central Taiwan. Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County is surrounded with mountains and lakes with remarkable environment and typical climate. Heavy moist and stable yearly average temperature make the tea trees grow thick and rich tea leaves which produce carmine and perfectly clear liquor. Its unique sweet aroma and strong mint taste make it truly unforgettable. It is also the best ingredient to make “bubble tea” (the most famous Taiwanese tea drink on earth).
I have really enjoyed the few Sun Moon Lake black teas I’ve tried thus far, and this is certainly one of the nicest I’ve encountered.
I love the aroma! It is so warm and comforting, that I like to hold the cup up to my lips and just inhale the fragrance. It smells sweet, rich, and has notes of fruit as well as some bold earthy tones and hints of woody scents in the background.
The flavor is so unique – quite unlike other black teas I’ve encountered. It has a fruity profile that is sweet and possesses hints of sour as well. It is bold and invigorating while at the same time maintaining a soothing sort of quality.
The earthiness here is not so much earth or peat as it is like the earthiness you might experience from a mushroom – like a Portabello. Sort of meaty like that. There are woodsy type notes to this as well, distant wood notes, maybe even a hint of smoke.
It has a fair amount of astringency, but it isn’t bitter. Then again, that could be attributed to my steeping – I steeped this at 200°F for 2 1/2 minutes. I suspect I could have achieved a very interesting cup using my gaiwan, but, I’m quite happy with the cup I brewed using my Breville One-Touch: it is rich, delicious and possesses so many interesting nuances, that I find myself sipping just to see what I might discover next. And that is one of the best qualities any tea can have!