|"While there is nothing really “wrong” with this tea - it's mix of stone fruit and wood tones is a pleasant one, there are definitely more sophisticated tasting Taiwanese black teas out there. "|
Sun Moon Lake is an area in Central Taiwan famous for it’s black teas. This offering comes in the form of finely powdered leaf, bagged in a traditional paper teabag, packaged in a foil envelope. It smells rather tannic, like run-of-the-mill bagged black teas, but with a sweet, malty undertone.
I followed the instructions on the envelope, steeping the tea for 2 minutes in filtered water, heated to 95 degrees Celsius. A malty, toasted bread scent greets me as I brew the mahogany brown cup. The profile is fairly light, featuring oak, stone fruit, cinnamon and again, malt. The flavours become more tannic as the tea cools. The smooth creamy feel holds just enough astringency to make it interesting.
I try a second steep following a 3 minute-long brew. Again, the cup is smooth and sweet, with a good dose of woodsy cinnamon flavour still going strong. It’s a little lighter bodied but still decent.
My third cup is rather bland and mineral while it’s hot. It gets better as it cools. Most of the flavour is concentrated in the sweet aftertaste, mixing peach, malt, cinnamon notes. I probably wouldn’t bother with this steep again.
I also tried this tea brewed at 90 degrees Celsius, based on the instructions found online. The results are less sweet and more tannic. I would therefore recommend going for the hotter temperature. Overall, it’s more interesting than your grocery store variety of bagged black tea and very affordable. It’s a decent offering in a pinch but not something I buy personally, having other choices available. While there is nothing really “wrong” with this tea – it’s mix of stone fruit and wood tones is a pleasant one, there are definitely more sophisticated tasting Taiwanese black teas out there. It’s still worth a try for those on a limited budget wanting to experiment with these.
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