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!


Co-Founder/Co-Creator of SororiTea Sisters, Mad Tea Artist at 52Teas
Anne (aka the Mad Tea Artist) has celebrated her 29th birthday for many years now. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her hubby and her youngest daughter. Her oldest daughter is married and has bestowed Anne with the proud title of "Gramma" and her grandson is about the cutest boy you ever did see.

Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!

Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!

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