Hongyu Hongcha Nantou Ruby #18 SUN MOON LAKE BLACK TEA

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Cinnamon, Drying, Grapes, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Sweet, Tannic, Vegetal, Wood, Caramel, Chocolate, Fruity, Medicinal, Mint, Citrus, Nutmeg, Cocoa
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Fair Trade, Organic, Vegan
Edit tea info Last updated by jLteaco
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 5 g 6 oz / 192 ml

Currently unavailable

We don't know when or if this item will be available.

From Our Community

2 Images

8 Want it Want it

4 Own it Own it

31 Tasting Notes View all

  • “One of those days when I open the drawer and rifle through the dozens of sample packets and toss them aside one by one. No, not that one. Had that one recently. Eh, not wanting to steep that many...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thank you Fong Mong Tea for this Sample The weather is windy this afternoon, cloudy with a sprinkle of rain now and then. I am always tempted to gather my tea tray and a black tea or pu-erh when...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is my first sample from Fong Mong Tea as well as my first Sun Moon Lake. Is it possible that a black tea can taste vegetal? I think so – to me anyway. Smells like a warm inviting soup...” Read full tasting note
  • “I definitely jumped on the chance to get some free samples from Fong Mong Tea, especially after early reviews for their teas were coming back really positive. I asked for this one in order to...” Read full tasting note

From jLteaco (fongmongtea)

Hongyu Hongcha, Sun Moon Lake black tea (also known as Ruby #18) can be declared “Red Treasure” in central Taiwan. Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County is surrounded with mountains and lakes with remarkable environment and typical climate. Heavy moist and stable yearly average temperature make the tea trees grow thick and rich tea leaves which produce carmine and perfectly clear liquor. Its unique sweet aroma with the cinnamon hint and strong mint flavor make it truly unforgettable. Rich catechins enrich its character of black tea itself. It is also the best ingredient to make “bubble tea” (the most famous Taiwanese tea drink on earth).

Brewing tips:

The water used to steep this tea should be about 90-95 degree Celsius. Use about 3 grams of tea leaves for about every 150c.c. of water. A steeping time of about 3-5 minutes is recommended with more or less time depending on the desired concentration. As a rough guide, the higher the temperature of the water or the greater the amount of leaves used, the shorter the steeping time should be. The tea leaves should uncurl for full flavor.

About jLteaco (fongmongtea) View company

Company description not available.

31 Tasting Notes

1719 tasting notes

One of those days when I open the drawer and rifle through the dozens of sample packets and toss them aside one by one. No, not that one. Had that one recently. Eh, not wanting to steep that many times today. Oh wait, what did I put in this tin? Well hello! I forgot I had this one. What a really nice black tea. No bitterness. Just wonderful flavor. Cup two was even better than one. The only negative thing I can say is this is a sip down. Tunes: The 5678’s I’m Blue, Klaatu – Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft, Joey Ramone – It’s a Wonderful World


Glad to see this review. I’ve got a sample of this one coming my way! I really like Sun Moon Lake Black Teas. In fact, you got me in the mood to brew some. Thank you! :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

676 tasting notes

Thank you Fong Mong Tea for this Sample

The weather is windy this afternoon, cloudy with a sprinkle of rain now and then. I am always tempted to gather my tea tray and a black tea or pu-erh when the clouds gather. Storms excite me. I huddle on the couch and watch between the pulled patio window curtains…wondering if there will be lightening over the mountain behind my house.

There was a single Black Tea sample packed in the sample box from FONG MONG TEA this week. Lucky me!

The flavor of this tea was very chocolatey with light malt (a bit like the Laoshan Black Tea from Verdant, but milder). This was sweet and wet on the tongue without astringency. An icy coolness was tingling my whole mouth and was perhaps what was refered to as mint in the Steepster notes. However, I didn’t taste mint like mint leaves…but felt the coolness. The flavor is light but has depth. Real character.

So much of the world drinks Black Tea with additions. I try now and then to comment on tea for people who prefer drinking it that way.
With sweetening, this tea was enhanced a great deal (which is not always true). It became a very mellow chocolate dessert tea, with an aftertaste that was like taking a bite of pastry…and the flavor lingered!
With milk, (cream in my case)…Heaven! I could serve this to the Royals! Superb!

Here’s another bit of information I looked up. If you want to make your own “Bubble Tea” this is the tea to use. With sweetener, condensed milk, tapioca pearls, ice in a blender… this Taiwanese Tea is the type that is used. (Don’t put the pearls in until after blending of course and you can add fruit also).

Really tasty tea. The flavor does not end. I mean it! It’s been a while since I finished my cups of tea and I can still taste the flavor clearly! I want more!


This sounds so tasty! I got my samples from Fong Mong yesterday and this was one of them, now I’m extra excited to try it.


Same here!


I asked for this one! I have had Ruby #18 and Black Ruby which are the same varietal from the area and loved both, so I have high hopes for it!


Are they only on EBay?


I’ve only seen the ebay sadly. It appears that the cheapest way to purchase would be to go in with one or more others to cut costs which looks good actually. So far the tea gas been very high quality.


Gas? Really? Waz up? HAS OK!


Spell check?? :)

Invader Zim

It’s ok Bonnie, we all know you really meant gas ;)


Ok ok…I know what. I give you guys GAS! So there! Keep it!


By the way, where are all the old people like me on Steepster? Don’t you guys have young hearted grandparents or moms and dads? Kick some sense into them! (You are keeping me young though!)

Invader Zim

I’m over here laughing at the comments and my husband just looks at me and shakes his head!


He’s over 40 isn’t he?! That’s what they do. After 50 they can’t hear. After 60…have no idea. If I get one again…they’d better mind their own business until I need them. And have some money this time. I’ve been mama too much and I’m done with it!


You go girl! :)
However …. how did resteeping go for you on this one? Mine was unsuccessful.


I’ll try that now ….and I forgot amore! I think tea drinkers must be passionate folk!


Ok…resteeped for 5minutes and mmmmmmgood!

Invader Zim

No not quite 30 yet!


So sad!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

807 tasting notes

This is my first sample from Fong Mong Tea as well as my first Sun Moon Lake.
Is it possible that a black tea can taste vegetal?
I think so – to me anyway.
Smells like a warm inviting soup broth.
Mushroom soup! Thats it!
This tea is one to savor – like being invited into a top chef’s kitchen and offered to sip from his big pot of slowly simmering soup. A “soup” that needs to be allowed to breathe and collect subtle nuisances of flavor over time. An aged soup perhaps? If there is such a thing.
This tea speaks to you as if it is knowing of secrets held within old trees, running streams that have spread gossip from one watering hole to the next and the memories of vegetation along the way.
I think of immense spans of wooded lands, with the ripe smell of oak moss and dew on green leaves. Intoxicating!
Yes vegetal, spicy with flecks of sparks dancing on the top and tip of the tongue. Leather, woods, mushrooms, and chocolate notes bow like a gentleman before my palate.
A champagne tea that sparkles all the way down.
Thank you Fong Mong Tea for this gift of a sample of your precious collection!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I had two Ruby blacks from Taiwan and they were awesome, just as you describe this one. Supposedly they are frm the same varietal. It resteeped beautifully and you couldn’t make it bitter if you tried! I am really excited to try this one…can’t wait until it gets here.


Unfortunately I have found my re-steep to be very weak :( will try again and steep even longer but I went 6 minutes on the second steep. SIGH


Every review I have seen on this one sounds incredible. I hope it is in my samples – then again that’s a lot of pressure following these amazing reviews. Impressed.


Ah don’t be intimidated – my review was by far not as good as others. The thing is if a tea strikes you I think it just makes the words flow. I surely didn’t think I would be writing the words I did until I had the tea :)

Thomas Smith

Taiwan Reds really seem to benefit from an up dose and short steeps. I typically start ‘round 4-6g/100mL with 95C water at 45-90sec. I rarely get more’n 5 infusions from one, but do manage to get a nice range of light, sweet – and yes, mossy – characteristics with overarching stone fruit aromatics.


So western brewing is a no no it seems. With what I have left I will pull out my gaiwan :) Thanks for the tips!


LOVE the review, so much fun to read!


Thank you Jason! :)

Thomas Smith

Wouldn’t say a no-no… Hard to screw these up. I just get more fulfillment out of the many light infusions presenting flavor sets one after another as opposed to a singular one which tries to carry them all.


I can see appreciating it both ways – I have enough left to try it with the gaiwan so I think I shall :)


Yes, awesome review! : )

As I’m sitting here reading this I am beginning to question my decision to pass on the offer of free samples from them on Facebook (I’ve got a new package of samples on the way from Teavivre, and I don’t want too many samples complicating my life, now do I! Or, do I? :p ). I have two different samples of Sun-Moon-Lake from Life in Teacup I have yet to try; I’m looking forward to trying them as I have heard great things about Taiwan black tea.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

2201 tasting notes

I definitely jumped on the chance to get some free samples from Fong Mong Tea, especially after early reviews for their teas were coming back really positive. I asked for this one in order to further my education of black teas! I’ve never had a black tea from Taiwan. The leaves are very long and spindly and difficult to dish out, but hopefully I got the right amount in my cup. They smell kind of chocolatey, but also kind of roasted and they remind me a bit of a dark oolong in aroma.

After steeping the scent is fairly different from the black teas I’ve been drinking regularly. Almost floral? It’s kind of weird, but I think it’s just cause I’m not used to a black tea smelling floral. What a unique tea! It’s like I can taste more standard black tea flavors underneath it, but over top there is a flavor profile I am just not used to. I agree that I get the sensation of mint without actual mintiness. The chocolatey-ness comes out, but there are some… florals? I guess? It’s hard to put my finger on. Maybe piney and minerally, the way some dark oolongs are piney and minerally. Maybe a bit resin-y, like a retisna wine. I think I might have used a little much leaf as this cup has the tiniest hint of bitterness to it, mostly in the aftertaste.

I reall appreciate the chance to try this tea, thank you Fong Mong! It isn’t a flavor profile I normally go for but I am definitely enjoying the cup.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Scott B

Wow, it seems their shipping is really fast.


It must be something in the soil or trees or I don’t know… that is giving this mint coolness illusion in these tea’s…so interesting.


I’ve had that cooling sensation in an oolong before but not a black tea. I’ll have to check this one out! Unfortunately, I was one day too late for the free samples. :(


Yes it’s very oolongy for a black tea!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

557 tasting notes

Finishing this sample off, this is a very good tea :-) thanks to Fong Mong Tea for these awesome samples, I have one more oolong to try still I have enjoyed all my samples.


How much in weight did you get in these samples?


I believe they were between 3 and 6 grams

Tommy Toadman

Yep, it was 6 grams, I must have used bout 3 grams per session.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

2816 tasting notes

My samples arrived today from Fong Mong and of course I was excited and had to try one immediately. :)

I used about 3g of tea in a 10 oz. mug, steeped Western style, my tea liquor is dark orange.

This tea has a nice flavor profile, to me it seems malty with some cocoa and flowery notes and a quality that reminds me a bit of red wine. As the cup cools I am getting a lot of tannins which is definitely not something I look for in a tea because it makes my stomach feel queasy.

At the moment I am not quite sure what to make of it but I think I will try a shorter steep in the morning and perhaps that will improve things for me.

I am very grateful for the sample!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

How would you say this compares to other SML you’ve had?


I believe the only other Taiwan black tea I’ve had was from Asha Tea House and they called it a Ruby Black.


Oh, I thought you had tasted some. I suppose it’s hard for me to remember with so many ppl on Steepster XD

Scott B

I got this one today too-can’t wait to try it.


Us tea folks are so easily excitable. ;-)


Sun Moon Lake, Ruby Black, and Ruby 18 are all the same tea. Rather than a blend of teas, it is a hybrid tea bush of an assamica varietal and a Taiwanese varietal. Fong Mong put a link to “The Splendid Table” feature that was on NPR over a year ago about it. Sandy introduced me to Ruby 18, and it is still a favorite. I think it was one of the first teas I drank without additions, and the first black tea that I could resteep and really be satisfied with!


@ashmanra, thanks for the info. It does seem like there is something very assam-y about this tea. To that end, I may try it with some soymilk too. :)


I can send you some of my Ruby 18 to compare! I think I still have your address. Black Ruby that Paul M Tracy sent me was the same thing, but far richer with a dark, deep raisin-y flavor. Alas, it is no longer available!


Sure and I can send you the one I got from Asha, if you’d like. :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

3261 tasting notes

This is a sample I received from Fong Mong Tea.

Of all the teas I have seen being sampled from Fong Mong, this was the one I was most excited about. Ruby #18 from A Southern Season was the first “expensive” tea I ever bought, one of the first I enjoyed without additives, the first that resteeped really well for me, and when Paul M Tracy sent me Black Ruby I was stunned by the rich, dark, raisiny flavor.

It is amazing to steep a black tea for 5 minutes and then pour a yellow liquor into your cup! This is such a unique tea. I think this one has more flavor than the one from SS, and remember I really love that one! This will likely be a replacement for it, as it is quite good.

This tastes more like an oolong than a black to me, and it is at once malty, fruity, sweet, and vegetal, light, yet having presence. Everyone should get to try a Taiwan Ruby tea!

Thank you, Fong Mong Tea, for the opportunity to try this delightful tea!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

4843 tasting notes

I have tried a couple of different Sun Moon Lake Black teas now, and I’m really enjoying them. They are certainly unique!

I love the aroma – rich and delicious with hints of fruit, and a little earthy, with notes of wood in the distance. It has a warm, comforting kind of fragrance.

Delicious. Sweet fruit notes, hints of sour, bold and invigorating while at the same time soothing. Hints of chocolate and an earthiness to it that reminds me of mushrooms. It has a woody/vegetative kind of taste too. It’s nice and complex… it has enough interest to it that it keeps me sipping.


Where did you get this tea? Was it sample or you purchased it. I looked into buying some of Fong Mong tea but a bit costly/pricey. I was eying their Dong Ding tea on EBay. Oh well.


More choices can be found in facebook store: https://www.facebook.com/FongMongTeaShop/app_135607783795

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

6768 tasting notes

Sure…I have LIKED the other Sun moon Lake’s I have tried but THIS Sun Moon Lake is my fave thus far! There is ‘that flavor’ but magnified! It’s right where I want it to be! This is right up my alley! I’m grateful for this tea! It’s Dandy! It’s cocoa-E but with an aroma of hint of wine. It’s malty and smooth and the chocolate-E notes are quite remarkable.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

300 tasting notes

Last of the free samples from Fong Mong, sorry this took so long to get to reviewing this one. This is my first Taiwanese black tea so I might not have the best reference points. It is so unlike the Yunnans I have been drinking lately, absolutely no roughness or savory notes. However it does remind me a smidge of Bailin Gongfu and Laoshan Black. It definitely has cocoa notes but it’s sweetness is not chocolaty but mineral (which is something I love). Of course I am brewing this starting at 15 secs so that does bring out a lighter more sparkling quality. Looking forward to spending the day with this and I have enough to brew western as well to compare.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.