I’m not as much a fan of darker black teas like this, but I grew fond of it over time. When I have it more gongfu style, I find it gives me a stomachache, but more Western style it’s much easier to take.
Flavors: Cherry Wood, Grapes, Plum
“I’m not as much a fan of darker black teas like this, but I grew fond of it over time. When I have it more gongfu style, I find it gives me a stomachache, but more Western style it’s much easier to...” Read full tasting note
“My tea drawer here at work is just about bursting, so I decided I need to do a little house keeping again. I finally tossed some samples I did not like and ran across this one. For some reason I...” Read full tasting note
“This is the first Sun Moon Lake/ Tea 18 that I have tried so I am not sure if my reaction specific to this tea or just to discovering the broader tea type it belongs to. In any case, in my...” Read full tasting note
“I got only 3 grams, so it is SIPDOWN while drinking it for first time. Thank you derk and White Antlers again… Prepared western. Quite enjoable aroma of malty, spicy and bit of cooling...” Read full tasting note
Sun Moon Lake has become one of the most well known Taiwanese black tea varietals on the market. Our Sun Moon Lake is bursting with smooth, juicy merlot grape notes and an intoxicating aroma of anise, grapes, and spice. Finish is sweet and lingering with a nice cooling sensation. Huge leaves and an absolutely beautiful sensory experience!
Whispering Pines Tea Company is dedicated to bringing you the most original, pure, beautiful tea blends. We use only the highest quality ingredients available to create additive-free teas teas inspired by the pristine wilderness of Northern Michigan. Our main focus is on customer satisfaction and quality.
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My tea drawer here at work is just about bursting, so I decided I need to do a little house keeping again. I finally tossed some samples I did not like and ran across this one.
For some reason I remember trying it, not really liking it, and moving on to other things without writing a review. And then the last time I cleaned house on my tea drawer, I kept this one, because I wanted to write a review before I threw it away.,
Apparently I may have gone through that cycle a few times because there was barely enough for 1 last final cup. So here we go.
First off, I did sit on this too long. You can tell its flavor has faded a bit. What’s left is about what I vaguely remember, Kind of, but not exactly, like menthol, camphor, or eucalyptus maybe? Definitely kind of minerally to taste. Not run across that before in other teas I’ve tried.
Funny enough I also get the impression of that glue you find on envelopes and stamps (the ones you had to lick).
So now I can verify I do not like it and have notes explaining as to why :D
This is the first Sun Moon Lake/ Tea 18 that I have tried so I am not sure if my reaction specific to this tea or just to discovering the broader tea type it belongs to. In any case, in my admittedly limited experience it came out as a unique and complex tea.
This tea has a medicinal and licorice dry leaf smell. When steeped it presents an interesting mix of dry fruit sweetness, licorice, mint, cloves and leather flavors. It also has a number of additional, more subtle notes that can be teased out for those who are inclined to do it. The aforementioned flavors mix well and a pleasant lasting aftertaste is present.
It is a very distinct tea that I am going to keep in my cupboard on the permanent basis as a nice change-of-pacer – along with Moroccan mint, purple tea, smoked Lapsang, Tieguanyin and such. It may not become a frequent choice of mine (I am certainly ambivalent about the licorice and cloves combination) but it is good to have once in a while.
I am also intrigued enough to explore other Sun Moon Lake teas so if anyone has recommendations they will be appreciated.
Flavors: Cloves, Dried Fruit, Leather, Licorice, Mint
I got only 3 grams, so it is SIPDOWN while drinking it for first time. Thank you derk and White Antlers again…
Quite enjoable aroma of malty, spicy and bit of cooling herbals.
While drinking I noticed mostly malty notes along with cherry (wood?), some dried fruits and wintergreen aftertaste. Of course as it’s past its prime, it could be much more present, but I am glad for chance trying WP teas!
The aftertaste isn’t actually bad. It’s long and highly enjoyable. The cooling effect is nice and not overpowering the actual tea notes. Bit sweet, but enjoyable.
Nice for breakfast!
Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Wood, Dried Fruit, Malt, Menthol
An oldie from the stamped bag era.
Had I tasted it blind, I would instantly be able to tell it was a Sun Moon Lake Ruby #18 varietal black tea. That wintergreen, that menthol! Felt absolutely therapeutic one morning last week after waking up with a rattling chest due to the smokey air. Coppery malt, leather, tangy cherry (Trader Joe’s sells dried Montmorency cherries from Michigan; that’s the exact flavor note I’m thinking of here), prune-raisin, and dark wood; warming spicy tone danced with the cooling effect. The tea lacked some of the complexity of a fresh harvest but it has otherwise held up fine all these years. Gotta get some more of this varietal back in my cupboard.
Flavors: Cherry, Dried Fruit, Herbs, Leather, Malt, Menthol, Metallic, Plum, Raisins, Spicy, Tangy
I got a free sample of this (yay and thank you) and have decided that I won’t put a numerical rating on it because well, I’m not a mint fan.
But here’s the deal.. This is really good if you do like minty freshness. It is unique and has all the right notes of a good black tea. The mint notes are very light, not overpowering, it balances well with the spices. I got a few clove notes, some anise. It’s delicately sweet with honey and it lingered well after I finished my sip, and so did a light fresh cooling sensation. If you like mint and a great black tea, then I recommend this. If you’re like me and mint just isn’t your thaaang, then pass. ^^
Hope you’re all having a wonderful and productive day, teafriends.
Flavors: Anise, Camphor, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Mint, Spearmint, Spices
A few weeks ago a friend came to a meeting with a box of lipton tea bags, a bottle of honey and a bottle of lemon juice. She was getting a cold and brought her own meds for it. Knowing I was a tea drinker, she offered to make me a cup. I dislike Lipton with a passion but I didn’t want to be rude, so I accepted a cup.
It wasn’t half bad that way. So yesterday when I got a tickle in my throat I thought about making some tea with honey and lemon. I didn’t, but it is much worse today. Like, my joints ache and I keep coughing up junk , and it hurts a little to breathe, and I feel miserable, but my nose isn’t plugged. So I decided to see what straight black teas I had. I found a sample sized pouch of this. I remember having it quite a while ago. It’s languished since then, although I recall I liked it fine.
Anyway, just a tish of lemon and a teaspoon of honey in a large, 14 ounce mug. I used double the amount of leaf I normally would, but the tea sin’t really coming through,. It is overpowered by the honey and lemon. Although, I do get a hint of mint. I don’t know if this is actually helping, but it certainly isn’t hurting. I imagine I will finish off the pouch today.
This tea is a complex one. Extremely smooth. The base is excellent. Though honestly I kept waiting for the spearmint and or the cooling sensation to show up and it really never did for me…if there, it is extremely subtle.
Sometimes our taste buds can be off so I do plan to give it another try shortly —so stay tuned.
Everything I have had from Brenden at Whispering Pines has been worthwhile.
Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Grapes, Honey, Raisins, Tree Fruit
Oh man, this is such a blast from the past. I think I finished a one ounce pouch of this tea back around the start of the month, wrote a review in my notebook, and then just sat on it. I didn’t forget about it because it has been in the back of my mind pretty consistently since then, but I just couldn’t bring myself to post it here. I have no clue what it was that was holding me back. Anyway, I think I have previously mentioned how much I love Taiwanese black teas. They just do it for me. This one was very good, near excellent in fact, but I did knock a few points off for a couple reasons. First, I think there are better or at least comparable Sun Moon Lake black teas at similar or slightly lower price points and there was an odd tomato-like scent and taste in the very early goings that was a turn off for me. Not that I don’t like tomato or anything, but I don’t necessarily desire to smell or taste it in my tea.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. I went with a lower water temperature than Whispering Pines recommended (195 F as opposed to 212 F) simply because I am used to brewing teas of this type at temperatures between 194-205 F. I used 6 grams of leaves for 4 ounces of water and flash rinsed rather than going with a more standard 10 second rinse. The first infusion was 5 seconds. The fourteen subsequent infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted fairly powerful aromas of sweet potato, crushed basil, wintergreen, and tomato. Actually, it was more like stewed tomato to be precise. The rinse brought out new aromas of wood, malt, spearmint, and black grape. The first infusion then brought out a stronger spearmint aroma coupled with hints of baked bread. In the mouth, I immediately detected unexpectedly strong notes of basil, wintergreen, and spearmint on the entry. Notes of malt, wood, sweet potato, and baked bread followed. In the background, I caught a faint hint of black grape too. Subsequent infusions brought out new impressions of leather, eucalyptus, anise, plum, apricot, honey, minerals, cocoa, brown sugar, camphor, and of course, stewed tomato. Fortunately, that note (which admittedly kind of clashed with most of the others, lending a rather acidic and unwelcome tang to the tea) faded very quickly. I couldn’t detect much of it after about the fourth or fifth infusion as I recall. The later infusions retained a good deal of complexity on the nose and in the mouth. I could still find lingering impressions of baked bread, malt, brown sugar, minerals, camphor, eucalyptus, spearmint, and wintergreen underscored by fleeting hints of honey and stone fruits without too much difficulty.
To be honest, I enjoyed this tea greatly, but to reiterate what I stated in my introductory paragraph, I just had to take a few points off due to a rough edge or two that bothered me and the tea’s price relative to its overall value. Otherwise I would have rated it higher. Though it may sound like it, I’m not calling this tea overpriced or at least I do not intend to. I have just had Sun Moon Lake black teas and other similar Taiwanese black teas at or slightly below this price point that were smoother overall. To be fair, this is still a very high quality tea and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone with an interest in Taiwanese black teas. There are just a few other teas of this type that I think I prefer over this one.
Flavors: Anise, Apricot, Bread, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Cocoa, Eucalyptus, Grapes, Herbs, Honey, Leather, Malt, Mineral, Plum, Spearmint, Sweet Potatoes, Wood
OK, so I keep trying Taiwan teas, and I just can’t seem to get into that style. I can appreciate this one but I can’t say that I like it. The wintergreen flavor just didn’t seem to go well with the other flavors for me.
Nose; Wintergreen — lots of wintergreen, sweet potato, honey, oat straw
Palate; Wintergreen and lots of it, slight sweet potato, oat straw tea, blueberry, honey, somewhat bitter and tannic.