Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Cameron Tea
Sun Moon Lake is located at altitude of 700m, 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.
Learn more about this tea here.
I previously reviewed Cameron Tea’s Competition Grade of the Sun Moon Lake Assam Black Tea from Taiwan, so I was eager to also try this Premium Grade of the Sun Moon Lake Assam. I also found myself curious to know what the difference was between the Premium Grade and the Competition Grade teas. Here’s how Cameron Tea explains it in their FAQ section:
The competition grade means the tea leaves are being specially prepared (normally by selecting with extra fine leaves) to the highest standard for regional tea competitions. The competition grade only means that the tea has the same process treatments as the competition ones, it does not necessary mean that the tea has entered/won the regional competitions. The premium grade also uses carefully selected leaves, therefore sometimes the difference between “competition” and “premium” are very minor.
So I don’t know if I’ll be able to notice much difference between the two teas. But, as the Competition Grade of this Sun Moon Lake Assam Black was a really outstanding tea, I’m really looking forward to trying the Premium Grade!
The leaves look very much like I remember the Competition Grade looked: each is long and curly and each is a dark, rich chocolate-y color. They smell sweet and fruity. The brewed tea has less of a fruit smell and more of a sweet molasses-y scent.
And it tastes very similar to what I remember from the Competition Grade: Sweet, lighter in body than a typical Assam but still rich and flavorful. There is a lovely note of malt that marries beautifully with a caramel note. The result is a rich, satisfying taste and texture. I also find myself appreciating that this has neither the astringency of a typical Assam – the astringency is soft here – nor does this have the slight twinge of bitterness that an Assam often carries.
Notes of molasses, honey and cacao! I taste an earthy quality to this: notes of leather and a slight woodsy note. It’s smooth and it has a thick texture – very satisfying! – and while it would make an enjoyable morning cuppa … this may be the tea that you want to save for those mornings where you don’t have to rush off. This isn’t a get up and get going type of tea. This is the type of tea that you want to sit back and enjoy for a while.
I loved the Competition Grade of this tea, and I’m loving the Premium Grade too! This is a tea that … is just worthy of LOTS of love! It’s a really great tea.