Sun Moon Lake T-18
We recently received the new summer harvest of one of those rare black teas produced in Taiwan: Sun Moon Lake T-18. As every year, it charmed us with its originality, the menthol aspect of the liquor and its comforting character, combining perfectly with the beginning of the cool season.
Its large leaves are dark and twisted. In their dry state, we can already appreciate its aromas of fruit and camphor. The brew releases a brilliant vermilion liquor no less aromatic: Rich notes of prunes, raisins and cooked cherries, along with licorice and candy, blend with the minty wintergreen - fresh and lively, flourishing in a beautifully rounded full body. With its fabulous flavors that are really unique, we can still find a malty character typical of Indian black teas ... Taiwan and India? How can this be? The T-18 hybrid tea used to produce the Sun Moon Lake from our selection is unique in its origins. It is derived from a cross between a wild variety of Taiwanese tea and a tea plant of Burma (Ashamu), the first giving the menthol aromas, the second its character of a malty and well rounded black tea.
Grown at an altitude of about 900 meters on the hillsides surrounding the beautiful lake "of the sun and moon" located in Nantou County, central island, the tea is produced throughout the year, the summer harvest, however, being recognized as the best, most aromatic and complex.
Although Sun Moon Lake is well suited to brewing in large quantities, the whole leaves of the tea are generous with their flavours - a chung (zhong) is a perfect tool to maximize their potential over several infusions.
I would associate this tea with a dessert such as a fruit pie, dates with a mix of nuts, or a slightly spicy, bitter, chocolate. Tasting this tea takes time to fully appreciate, a tea of precious moments ... like a lake, nestled in the mountains of Formosa, beautiful.
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