Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Cameron Tea
Region: Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan
Type: Black Tea
Harvest Time: Winter 2013
Oxidation level: Fully oxidised
Taste: Natural flavour of cinnamon with a slight hint of mint.
When to drink: Throughout the day
Learn more about this tea here.
Another gorgeous black tea leaf from Cameron Teas! When I opened the package of this Sun Moon Lake Ruby Tea, what I found were leaves that looked exactly like the photo above – beautiful, chocolate brown to black tea leaves, long with wiry curls.
The aroma of the leaves reminds me of leather with very subtle spice notes. Once the leaves are brewed, the spice notes emerge. The tea smells of warm spice and leather and wood. It’s a very masculine fragrance.
The last tea that I sampled from Cameron Teas was a Sun Moon Lake Assam tea, so as I was brewing this tea, I found myself wondering how different this would taste from that Assam.
There are some similarities to that memorable tea: most specifically, notes of caramel, cocoa and malt with some earthy notes. Both of these teas share these characteristics, but they definitely DO taste different. I think that the Assam has more malt to the cup and more of that caramel-y undertone, while this tea has some distinct warm spice notes of cinnamon – just as the description above suggests – as well as a subtle yet crisp, mint-like finish and aftertaste.
This tea has less of the fruity notes and more of a rich cacao and spice flavor than the Assam. They are distinct differences between the two, and I would find it a difficult undertaking to recommend one over the other because I enjoyed both and rather than recommend one over the other, I’d simply say that you should also try both and determine which you like best!
Both teas are rich and satisfying, but if I were to choose one for that all important first cup of the day, I think I’d reach for this one. The Assam, while delicious and rich in it’s own way, it has more of an “afternoon tea” type of flavor to me with it’s fruit notes, while this one has the kind of flavor that I think would stand up nicely to a splash of milk and a drizzle of honey if you care to add it to your morning cuppa.
This tea seems more robust to me, which almost seems odd for me to say and to read as I type it … because I generally consider Assam to be a bold, robust sort of tea. But when it comes to these Sun Moon Lake varieties, I think that this Ruby has a slightly “heftier” flavor and texture than the Assam. That isn’t to say that I’d recommend this one over the Assam … only that this one offered more of a “breakfast tea” experience to me while the Assam offered me an “afternoon tea” experience.
This is a really excellent Sun Moon Lake tea. I’m very impressed with these teas that I’ve been trying from Cameron Tea!