There is a form of hypnosis caused by watching water move – At once it’s both calming and playful, it invites us to stay and watch stories unfold. My folks often invite us over to the lake house, and as much as we can cause a raucous, I take a simple pleasure in just watching the light dancing over the rippling lake. I am doing this as I steep the Sun and Moon Lake tea from Taiwan Leaf Tea.
There are deep chestnut colored, thick, loosely twisted leaves with a hint of apple chips smell to them. They yield a sumptuous auburn colored tea that now smells of rose and honey. Wow, this is so unexpectedly beautiful. I find that as my eyes take in the visual symphony on the water, the medium-bodied mouthfeel of this tea provides an equally stimulating journey for my taste buds. The more I drink it, the more I find to like about it.
Though there are no added flavors, I find a natural hint of sweetness but the tiniest incidental Granny Smith crisp to it, hmmm but without any tart pucker face. I’m torn between adding sugar to bring the flavors out more or leaving it as is. A sip ends with a short, smooth yet robust aftertaste. Nope, that sugar didn’t do anything here to enhance those subtle flavor nuances. On its own, it’s a well-rounded, meditative tea.
One of my favorites from this whole review box, Definitely a keeper. Would be great for sipping during an artistic event – figure skating at the Olympics comes to mind, or even just a walk past the new spring blossoms peeking out lately.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black loose leaf tea
Where to Buy: Taiwan Leaf Tea
Premium Taiwan Sun Moon Lake Black Tea (Tea # 18) is rare black (red) tea from Central Taiwan (Yuchi, Nantou County).
Sun Moon Lake is located in Nantou County in Central Taiwan. It is surrounded by mountains. Average temperature is very stable during the whole year and humidity is very high. These all enable tea leaves grow rich and intense.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company
This tea embodies the qualities of top-quality black tea and fine oolong tea. Also known as “Ruby Red”, this is another high quality tea from Mrs. Lee’s farm above Sun-Moon Lake. Extremely rare to find this tea in this quality! Whole leaves, hand-picked and processed by Farmer Lee himself and his lovely wife. This varietal is unique to Taiwan. This crop is sweet smelling, delicate and smooth!
A combination of the best characteristics from the robust, rich Assam tea together with the best characteristics of a fine Taiwanese Oolong.
Learn more about this tea here.
I wish to thank Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company for a sample of this tea. Truth be told I enjoy trying any tea with the word Jade in it, partially because I have a best friend called Jade but also because it is my middle name. I’ve had a few Jade black tea’s from Taiwan before so I know roughly what to expect, but that still does not stop me being excited to try it. Also this tea is from above Sun-Moon Lake which is awesome!
The loose leaves are mostly whole and look twisted and crisp to the touch. Dark brown in colour. I must note there are also some sticks present amid the leaves. They have a wooden, dry scent with a touch of sweet smoke.
Steeping Parameters: 5g of leaf – Boiling Water – 320ml Vessel – Time 4 minutes
Once steeped the resulting tea liquid is golden, red/brown (similar to a scotch) and bares a thick sweet wood scent with mild dryness.
Flavour is not as strong as the scent but the first few sips reveal a wooden character that dances on my tongue and becomes sweet through the after taste. The sweetness is honeyed, not overly strong but beautiful and pure; it just trickles elegantly down my throat, coating my mouth with sweetness.
A few sips more have an increase of dryness with a touch of leather and smoke. On the whole the strength is still medium and though there are some strong sounding flavours they are not thick nor too much ie. A nice balance of combinational notes.
At this point I’m halfway down the cup and I am still finding the sweetness very pleasant, it has not lessened in any way; though the dryness is more apparent.
Now with a few mouthfuls left there is an added sour quality to a thickening strength but throughout it has been a wonderful steep.
Final thoughts: I believe this is one of the best Jade Taiwan tea’s that I have had the pleasure of trying. It was flavourful, a nice strength and even as it cools it had wonderful characteristics. The leaves after steep are still whole and show what wonderful quality this tea truly is, it says top quality in the listing and after trying I truly believe it. Very wonderful and a tea that I thoroughly recommend.
Happy Steeping Everyone!