Sun Moon Lake Black Tea
We offer the four famous black tea cultivars grown around Sun Moon Lake:
- No.18 Red Jade（紅玉）
- No.21 Red Rhyme（紅韻）
- Taiwan Native Cultivar（台灣山茶）
- No.8 Taiwan Assam
No.18 Red Jade （紅玉）: Red Jade （紅玉） is a hybrid of a Burmese large leaf variety bred with a native, wild growing variety from Taiwan. A cultivar created by the Tea Research and Extension Station (TRES), the governmental body responsible for researching and promoting tea in Taiwan, Red Jade took over five decades to produce.
Our No.18 Red Jade is tightly twisted into a strip shape, has a dark black with hints of auburn color, and a distinct mint aroma laced with undercurrents of woodsiness. When brewed, the beauty of our Red Jade becomes even more apparent. The Tea liquor is a crystal clear, warm dark red. This color can truly only be described as “Red Jade”. The first round of brewing yields a wonderfully aromatic cup. The unique mint aroma and taste of our Red Jade are on full display here. Underneath the mint, you can detect a light aroma of cinnamon. The second round builds on this wonderful start. The mint and cinnamon flavors begin to deepen, and are joined by a light sugary sweetness that is reminiscent of ripe fruit. The third round is where this tea really shines. The taste of mint, cinnamon, and sugar reach their zenith, and are further enhanced by an added aroma of exotic wood.
No.21 Red Rhyme（紅韻）: Like its older sibling Red Jade （紅玉）, Red Rhyme（紅韻） is a hybrid cultivar created by the Tea Research and Extension Station. Red Rhyme is a crossbreed of the Chinese Keemum variety of black tea with the Indian Kyang variety. It was formally given the name “Red Rhyme” in 2008, which poetically captures the beautiful fragrance that Red Rhyme emits. Our No.21 Red Rhyme is tightly twisted into a strip shape, possesses a light black color with dark brown stems, and emits a subtly sweet floral aroma. The first round of brewing reveals why this tea was given the poetic name of Red Rhyme; the aroma this tea produces is as unique, as it is beautiful. The initial aroma our Red Rhyme emits is that of perfectly ripe grapefruit. The second round of brewing further enhances the ripe grapefruit aroma by introducing a light sweetness. The liquor of our Red Rhyme should give you a wonderful soft aftertaste of fruit, and a lubricated feeling in your mouth and throat. The third round is mellow, sweet, very fruity, and further showcases the beautiful grapefruit characteristic of our Red Rhyme. No other black tea is as refreshing as our Red Rhyme.
Taiwan Native Cultivar（台灣山茶）: Taiwanese Native Black Tea （台灣山茶）, also known as Cang Ya（藏芽 ) is a rare, indigenous variety that was first discovered in the mountainous area surrounding Sun Moon Lake. This is a true heirloom variety of Taiwanese tea. Cang Ya thrives in misty shrouded mountain forests. To this day, this unique tea is still produced in small quantities and handcrafted in the traditional way. When you drink Cang Ya, it is said that you can feel the vibrant atmosphere of the misty mountain forests that birthed this black tea. Our Cang Ya is tightly twisted into a strip shape, it possesses a black color with an undertone of dark brown, and a light aroma of roses. The first round of brewing produces a powerful berry (blue and black) aroma. The aroma also has hints of plum and grape in it. This fruit theme is continued in the mouth where a distinct fruit pectin sensation can be felt. The tea liquor is a crystal clear, bright golden-red. The second round of brewing sees an increase in sweetness, and furthers the distinct soft mouthfeel that this tea produces. The third round is truly fascinating. The flavors and aromas from the previous round become very prominent, but somehow they also retain their softness. To understand this, we must compare our Cang Ya to the terroir in which it was produced: You have both the strength of the mountains around Yuchi, and the softness of Sun Moon Lake. Furthering this theme, the aftertaste is reminiscent of the morning mist that often envelops Sun Moon Lake - refreshing, clean, and beautifully thick on the palate. Truly, no black tea better represents terroir than Cang Ya.
No.8 Taiwan Assam: Assam black tea in Taiwan traces its roots back to Taiwan’s period of Japanese occupation. In 1936, at the base of mount Maolan and on the banks of Sun Moon Lake, the Japanese established the Yuchi Black Tea Laboratory. Assam seeds from India were sourced to develop a black tea industry in Taiwan. During this period, black tea from Yuchi was ranked as the highest grade of black tea at the London Tea Auction, receiving the ultimate distinction of being offered to the Emperor of Japan as a gift, and becoming the first Taiwanese black tea to be sought after in the international market.Our Assam Black Tea is tightly twisted into a strip shape, it possesses a black color, and has a strong maltose aroma. The first round of brewing reveals a light, milk aroma, a robust but not overpowering flavor, and a beautiful honey-amber colored liquor. The second round introduces a light maltose sweetness that rapidly builds on the finish. The third round kicks the previously mentioned notes into overdrive. The flavor is robust with a comforting, deep maltose sweetness; the milk aroma from before is also enhanced by the growing presence of maltose. We believe that this is the perfect showcase for what a good Taiwanese Assam can be: A robust character that is perfectly balanced by comforting sweetness.