Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tea Review: Sun Moon Lake Assamu (Shen Zen Tea)

Sun Moon Lake Assamu
Shen Zen Tea
Type:  Black
Origin:  Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake
Product Description:  Assamu is a rare tea to be found in the US.  The assam cultivar is grown in the high mountains of Taiwan in the city of Sun Moon Lake.  The result is an extraordinarily complex black tea with sweet and floral notes of honeysuckle and prunes.

Temperature: 195° F
Amount: 3 grams
Steeping Time: 3 minutes

The dry leaves have an aroma of chili spices, fragrant seasoned wood, prunes, and wood smoke.

The infusion is orange-amber with an aroma of warm tangy plum sauce, wood smoke, and roasted chestnuts.  The taste is smooth and rich with notes of plum and a hint of smoke.  The long finish reminds me of creme brulee and flowers.

Steeping this tea at 195° F (208° F is ideal for black teas) was a happy accident and the results were deliciously smooth, rich, and complex throughout three infusions.  It reminds me of both a rich dessert and a thick, flavorful broth.  A fresh cup steeped at 208° F for 5 minutes resulted in a pleasantly rich flavor with slightly less complexity and very little astringency.  




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