Premium Sun Moon Lake Assam Black Tea, Lot # 154

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29 Tasting Notes View all

From Taiwan Tea Crafts

Back in November, when we were investigating the New Hong Yun TRES No. 21 and the Wild Sancha teas of Yuchi Township, we had the opportunity to taste a wonderful Lot of Superior Quality Assam tea that we simply couldn’t leave behind us. Here it is! How does it differ from our Lot 147 will you ask? To make things simple, it is like Lot 147 but simply one good notch better and more expressive on all counts. More aromatic, with jammy sweetness and thickness in body. A wonderful alluring fruity aroma enthralls the taster and invites you to bring the cup to you lips. Wow, this one is tangy! It immediately captures the attention of all your taste buds with a sharp attack that plateau’s nicely and is very enduring. The tannins are present but not aggressive. All this good structure serves its purpose very well, by supporting the fruitiness and sweetness of the taste and aromas. We’ve found through our multiple cuppings that it is a tea that modulates quite a bit depending on how you make it. If we recommended our Lot 147 for English style black tea drinkers, I think this one has to be the ultimate choice for a dash of milk.

Note on March 14, 2013: Simply put, this new Lot 154 is even better than L-140 described above.

Style of tea – Formosa Black Tea
Picking Date – August 2012
Oxydation level – High
Roasting Level – Light Oven Roasting
Terroir – Sun Moon Lake
Administrative Region – Nantou County
Picking Style – Hand Picked
Varietal(s) Used – Taiwan Assamica, TRES No. 8
Garden Elevation – 800 m

About Taiwan Tea Crafts View company

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29 Tasting Notes

3262 tasting notes

I’m having a really nice leisurely day with my man, Tony. I drank this tea while I was fixing breakfast, & sadly, I’m still having a hypersensitivity to bitterness, so it wasn’t as fruity & tasty as I know it to be.


I’m having a bit of a weird taste thing going on today as well. Everything tastes astringent and slightly weird.

Terri HarpLady

Allergies do it to me every year. They also effect by digestion.


I started out ok with mt first cup of tea – but since then, everything has tasted weird and I’ve had an odd astringent thing. Which makes me sad because I was gonna gong fu a bunch of pu today :(

Terri HarpLady

I hate to ruin a good tea by not being able to enjoy it properly.


Yeah I just stopped with tea for today. Gonna see if a big strong cup of coffee hits the reset button at all. I have wicked allergies going on as well, so maybe that’s it.

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8227 tasting notes

So I’m indulging a bit…I took his out of the cupboard to try this morning. It’s one of 8 teas that Terri and I shared on my half of the world. This one was picked because it smelled the least like Stacy’s mountain black that is out of stock until August.

Colour me impressed with this one! It’s a little lighter feeling than I expected, but I think that’s because I was a bit light in both my tea and my steeping time. I’m playing these ones by ear so that’s to be expected. This is not your usual malty Assam. Instead there are chocolate notes and jam?? Something fruity like in any case. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it is delicious! I’m now looking forward to trying the rest of these from Taiwan tea crafts even more!


This is supposed to be the same as Ruby #18 I believe. It is a wonderful tea, but you are right, it is unexpectedly light yet very flavorful! I have had them from three companies and they are a bit different but share the paler color and the golden raisin notes.


aaah from nuvola teas you mean. i was confused. Good to know as well. i’ve got a few from taiwan tea crafts to go through so i’m excited. If this is any indication of what they have to offer, i may be placing more later. I’m a fan of the free shipping over 25$ for sample sizes as well…which are nearly an ounce!


My first came from A Southern Season and I still have some of that. My second was the very very best, but Shui Tea went out of business and I can’t get anymore. Boo hoo! Nuvola was my third.

Terri HarpLady

I’m looking forward to trying these! :)

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361 tasting notes

This is the premium version and is sweeter, lighter, fruitier, and more buttery than the other. Can’t go wrong either way. This one seems like a cross between a Taiwanese Assam and Yuchi Wild Mountain Black. Really delicious.

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3134 tasting notes

Ok, I NEED more of this tea. It’s amazing, and by far the closest tea I’ve tried to Butiki’s Premium Taiwanese Assam. It doesn’t quiiiite taste right, maybe a bit more on the caramelly side, but the distinct raisin notes? Oh yes. So good. SO SO GOOD. So perhaps Sun Moon Lake should be the tea I investigate to replace PTA? It probably means I’ll be making an order with Taiwan Tea Crafts sooner than I would have thought. I hope they still exist, haha. Thanks so much for sharing, Sil. (I still have enough left for one cup. That is exciting.)

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Christina / BooksandTea

Ooh, I really liked PTA too. I really need to investigate assams more. I think my palate can handle it now.


they still exist and you can still get free shipping if you build a cart with 25$ sample sizes. you may want to pick up the one in my cupboard at the moment… uh lot 336 of the yuzi one? it’s fabulous.

Terri HarpLady

Did I try that one?


Apparently you did, but it was at a not-good time and it was too bitter for your uber-sensitivity. Which sucks – good to know this can get bitter.

Sil – you’re terrible. AKA I’ll probably make an order soon. Sigh.


Terri hasn’t tried the Yuchi one, but has tried this one. The Yuchi one is fantastic. I’m contemplating ordering another 100g.

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4528 tasting notes

Sipdown (110)!

Lets see how quickly I can write this, my boss just showed up a half hour early, but he’s doing a recycling run right now…

Drinking this currently, in a thermos with some milk: it’s so sweet, definitely honey notes (smelled so strongly of honey when it was steeping) to it. And then there’s this fruity note cropping up and it’s weird because normally I’d describe fruit notes in a straight black as either stonefruit like, raisin-y or citrus-y but this comes off to me as more of a “red fruit”, almost berry like but not berries. Not totally sure how I should be describing it at all, but it’s delicious, anyway.

I got a really cool surprise at work today too; one of the seniors in the mall brought me a Christmas card which was shocking and very thoughful. I mean, it’s heavily religious and I’m not religious, but it’s the thought that counts anyway and that was really thoughtful. Made my morning, really.


Sun Moon lake blacks, and Red Jade #18 in particular, always seem to me to have a sort of sweet dried tomato paste kind of flavor.


AnnaEA, that is an amazing description.

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3232 tasting notes

Well Sun Moon Lake Assam, we meet again and I am very happy about that. This really is a great black. Fruity and smooth with the faintest touch of malt. Thank you Sil for sending more of this my way. I think I will take one more cup and pass the rest on to Roswell Strange. Hopefully she also enjoys it :)

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1779 tasting notes

Thank you Sil! This was a really great assam to start my day with. It was slightly tangy and sharp, but evened out into sweetness and fruit. It’s a very easy cup to drink; I’m really enjoying it, and would consider placing an order some time!


stick to 25g samples if you do! it’s free shipping and then you don’t have huge quantities!


That’s awesome! :D Is that just for the first order you can do that?


nope. always and forever. so totally the best time ever. :)


drink your other teas whatshesaid! haha but yes.. it’s a nice deal for trying out taiwanese teas to see if you like them

ohfancythat (whatshesaid)

Haha yeah, I know I have to focus on my mass quantities of samples before July…gahhh

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2188 tasting notes

Thanks to Sil for sending me more samples of TTC black teas! I still have never gotten around to ordering tea from them, so it’s nice to try some more. I’ve tried #147 before (also from Sil), so I decided to try this one and see how it compares.

I am out of practice brewing these long, spindly Taiwanese black teas. At one point I had a decent eye for dishing out leaves but apparently I’ve lost it. I decided to use the entire sample in my mug, but I probably should have split it up a bit. Actually a shorter steep by only a minute might have solved it. The tea was ever so slightly bitter and just overall very strong (I realize this may be how some people like their teas, haha), but I thinned it with a bit more hot water and it smoothed out most of the rough edges incurred by steeping that much leaf.

I found this tea to be overall quite tasty and a pleasant cup to drink. A bit fruity, a bit malty. I didn’t have the same reaction to this one as I did to #147, but to be fair my steeping may have something to do with it. This one has more of that character of most Taiwanese black teas that I don’t particularly care for; that je nais c’est qua, but not in a good way. It’s not enough to make me dislike the tea and I would happily drink another cup, but it’s not something I love. Glad to have tried this, though!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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612 tasting notes

Ohhh, all I can say is this is a nice, nice tea—so nice I’m too busy enjoying it to think. My gosh. I like how the brassy elements one might wish to have smoothed out in a typical Indian Assam are indeed gentled or just plain not there thanks to the (what’s often for me too subtle, mind) Taiwanese style, which in turn gets amplified when given the backbone of a substantial general tea type like Assam. Wow I didn’t write that well. Hrm. The second steep yields more chocolate, delicious.

I’ve been impressed with Taiwan Tea Crafts (and grateful as always to Steepster—ain’t no way I’d have learned of them otherwise)—I love that they offer fancier teas in reasonably small amounts that make them a possibility for me, and that they have promotions and fair shipping policies if you want to try before you commit. And even when one of their teas proves generally not something I’d reach for often given my own proclivities, I have yet to encounter any where the care and quality (indeed, the craft) in producing the leaves wasn’t readily apparent from dry leaf aroma to finished cup and unfurled leaves. And some have knocked me completely off my socks (that one Red Jade!) with qualities I’ve never tasted together in a single tea before. We’re so lucky to live in this age when incredible tea is being crafted so many places AND thanks to modern transport and the internet etc. someone in a place as un-hot-tea-focused as the US has ready access to some of said tea. AND can learn and trade notes with fellow fans to boot. Awesome.

Speaking of, the dry leaf aroma on this one is a splurge. It’s rich and grapey, deep without being cloying like so many sweet grape-smelling teas. And the appearance of the wet leaves! Big and gorgeous, with these ripples of brilliant brighter red streaks here and there. I am surprised sometimes how often big, beautiful leaves can sway me. Admiring them makes tea even more of a pleasure.


Really happy that you are enjoying this tea. I agree with your thoughts on how wonderful it is that we live in a time that we can experience and learn about all these wonderful teas.
Just when I thought I was beginning to understand, I see a name like this one. Sun Moon Lake is in Taiwan. Assam teas are from the Assam region of India. How can a tea from Sun Moon Lake be an Assam? It hurts my poor head. I guess it doesn’t really matter as long as you enjoy it. :))


my (admittedly patched together, mostly from the harney book and the internet, might be wrong/off) understanding is that in the last 10 to 30 years (partly thanks embargos with china lifting which forced them to switch from simply palely imitating the chinese tea not available from china at the time to using what they had already invested in re: tea making to create new teas not meant to compete directly with chinese styles but rather offer novelty and their own branding) taiwan has really become a game changer in terms of sharing innovative new tea styles and whatnot, and one of those new things has been taking varieties of tea leaf and seeing how they do in taiwan when “mated” with native tea plants (i could be getting the specs wrong there though; it’s been a while since i looked into it). so yes, it’s weird that assam is named after where it’s grown and yet they’re growing that in taiwan now too. be kinda like taking a darjeeling plant and discovering it grows well in, i dunno, florida once you melded it with something native to florida. ha. i know TTC mentioned how leaf and what exactly it is in more detail somewhere on the site, at least they did when i bought this but it’s been a while…
not the same type (i do feel excited the mint thing is recognized in the jade teas though! i thought i was crazy!) exactly, but a quick explanation:


Wow, ok – thanks so much for this. I feel that the more I learn, the more I realize how little I really know. I keep trying to take a tea class, and it keeps getting cancelled from lack of interest. I must be the only tea drinker here. I think I really need to find some time to do some research on my own. Thank you so much for posting this and nudging me towards learning more.

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