February 20, 2018

Song Yi Sun Moon Lake Black Tea

In medieval times I might have been a scribe. I always carry a notebook and keep a separate tea notepad in my kitchen. Many of my tasting notes become the tea reviews you read on the blog.

Did you know that Oriental Beauty is not the only tea made from bug-bitten tea leaves? I didn't either until I was introduced to  Song Yi Sun Moon Lake Black Tea, a bug-bitten tea. World of Tea has a good article about the chemistry of bug-bitten teas.

Sun Moon Lake Black Tea does not look like Oriental Beauty. The black tea doesn't have the variegated coloring of the oolong. The long, dry leaves are uniformly dark and thick.

There are similarities in terms of aromatic and flavor characteristics, though. The fragrance of the Sun Moon Lake Black Tea leaves made me want to drink a lot of this tea. Sweet, baked, honey, woodsy. The infused leaves smelled strikingly similar to the dry tea. I had a few sessions with this tea and the experiences were fairly consistent. The middle cups in each session were deep and darkly sweet, woodsy, roasted, and fruity. The roasted note was smooth. In the first session, I noted that this tea "drinks like a hong cha with fruit" and in the second session, I noticed that the final cup had acquired the briskness you would find in an Indian black tea.

I used a small volume side-handled pot to prepare this tea. My ratio was 3 grams to 70 ml. Song Yi provides steeping times on its website.

Sun Moon Lake is known for its Ruby 18 black teas, which I like. Song Yi Sun Moon Lake Black does not have a Ruby 18 profile, and that's a good thing. I did not detect any overt cinnamon or wintergreen notes. Its sweet, fruity, woodsy notes are the cup of tea I wanted.

Song Yi Tea provided Sun Moon Lake Black Tea for review.

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