Monday, November 13, 2023

Tea Review: Sun Moon Lake Native Black Tea (Wang Family Tea)

Sun Moon Lake Native Black Tea
Wang Family Tea
Type: Black
Origin: Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake, Yúchí Township
Product Description:
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.
Temperature: 208° F
Amount: 3 grams
Steeping Time: 2 minutes

The dry leaves have a savory and sweet aroma of brown bread and malt.  I was reminded distinctly of Grape Nuts breakfast cereal.

The liquor is copper orange with an aroma of baked squash, baked yams, green vine, and grapes.  The taste has almost no astringency with notes of roasted yam and squash, chestnuts, and snow peas with a long, sweet finish.

This tea was flavorful throughout three infusions with notes that hit all the right marks for my preferences and the flexibility to allow for variance in steeping time and water temperature.  It was quite interesting how the flavor profile changed with each infusion, becoming notably sweeter by the third infusion.  

This tea was provided as a free sample without guarantee of a review.

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