Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company
AVAILABLE THE SECOND WEEK OF JULY!!!
What a smooth tea this is! This tea comes from a farm just above the pristine alpine lake called Sun Moon Lake. It’s hand processed by Mr. Lee and his wife, a wonderful and hospitable couple. They grow without chemicals the old fashioned way. Do you like black teas from India? This tea is similar but has no astringency. It’s a pure stock Assam Black Tea that has been growing in Taiwan since 1926 when the Japanese imperial machine started to foster a tea industry in Taiwan for world-wide export.
Learn more about this tea here.
I have been excited to try this Formosa Assam Black Tea from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company. I love the teas from Sun Moon Lake and the fact that this is an Assam (but grown in Taiwan!) I was so happy to have the opportunity to try it.
The aroma that I am enjoying from my teacup at the moment is sweet and delicious smelling. I smell rich notes of “black tea” … notes of fruit and flower and earth and molasses that seem to meld together into a unified fragrance that is “black tea.” It’s a rich, soothing and comforting aroma, something that inspires thoughts of being curled up under a big, warm, fluffy blanket in front of a fireplace. A welcome thought since it’s kind of a cold and dreary day here in the Pacific Northwest.
A quick glance at the calendar suggests that this shouldn’t be so, but, that’s the way it is here. On the days that you expect heat, we get wet. On the days that we expect cold, we sweat. On the days that we expect wet and possibly frost, we get … well, we probably do get wet. We are in the Pacific Northwest, where they say that if you don’t like the weather, you should just wait five minutes and it will change for you. But, you should still be prepared to get wet.
My weather rant aside, this is the kind of tea that I like to enjoy on days like this. I prefer a cup of hot tea over a glass of iced tea anyway, and when it’s cold and wet outside, I want something comforting and hot to drink (preferably inside!) And this tea is giving me just what I want today.
The flavor is rich and bold, but there is a smoothness to it too. Similar to an Assam grown in India, but as the definition above suggests, there’s virtually no astringency to this and nary a hint of bitterness which is something that, even with utilizing a very careful steep temperature and time, you are likely to taste slight bitter tones to an Assam grown in India, and you will most likely experience some astringency as well. But this is remarkably smooth and sweet.
The molasses-y notes that I picked up in the aroma are represented in the taste too. There are notes of stone fruit, like a mild plum note and possibly an apricot note in the distance. There is an almost autumnal feel to this cup, as I can pick up on some notes of warm spice, not really so much of a zesty spice but more like a gentle warmth that indicates a hint of spice. There is also that delectable “fresh baked goods” type of taste to this that I often get with an Assam, that chewy, delicious flavor that evokes thoughts of the warm, chewy, caramelized crust of a freshly baked loaf of bread.
While this definitely has a boldness to it, it isn’t quite as bold as a typical Assam would be. It tastes like … imagine if you would: a marriage between the best Indian Assam tea and the finest Formosa Oolong. This Formosa Assam Black Tea would be the lovechild that was born from that marriage, resembling both parents, carrying possibly a few more attributes of the Assam than the Oolong.
A truly lovely tea experience!