2011 Sun Moon Lake Red Tea from The Essence of Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  The Essence of Tea

Tea Description:

This exquisite hongcha comes from Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan where it is grown on old trees (>100 years old). The leaves are hand picked. The quantities of this are very limited in each production.

The flavour is excellent with enough character to prevent it falling into that bland sweetness often found in hongcha.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have tried maybe a handful of the “Sun Moon Lake” type black teas and each time I try them, the more impressed I am by this variety.  The flavor is sweet with notes of chocolate and rich, dried fruit notes (I taste notes of sugary dates and raisin).  There are lovely notes of malt and something that’s been freshly baked – like a good, crusty loaf of bread.  Something with a nice, chewy crust with it’s hints of caramelized taste.

This tea has a very pleasing, full-bodied taste and texture.  It has a fair amount of astringency toward the tail, but no bitterness to speak of.  There is a savory note that is most noticeable toward the end of the sip.  This savoriness develops as I sip, but I don’t know that I would refer to it as bitter.  It isn’t sweet, it is more like a sour note, like the hint of sour you taste when you bite into a fresh, juicy plum.  It is mostly sweet, but there is just a hint of sourness in there to keep it interesting.  That is what I taste here.

Overall, the taste is very smooth and rich.  It is one of those teas that would please even the most discriminating tea connoisseur.  It’s stunning!  Then again, I’ve yet to find a tea from this company that I’ve not enjoyed – they’ve all been top notch!

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