Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea
Flavors
Cloves, Dried Fruit, Leather, Licorice, Mint, Cherry, Cherry Wood, Malt, Menthol, Herbs, Metallic, Plum, Raisins, Spicy, Tangy, Anise, Camphor, Fruity, Honey, Spearmint, Spices, Caramel, Cocoa, Grapes, Tree Fruit, Apricot, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Eucalyptus, Mineral, Sweet Potatoes, Wood, Burnt Sugar, Chocolate
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
High
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 5 g 10 oz / 282 ml

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16 Tasting Notes View all

  • “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
    93
  • “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
    86
  • “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...” Read full tasting note
  • “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...” Read full tasting note

From Whispering Pines Tea Company

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!

http://whisperingpinestea.com/sun-moon-lake.html

About Whispering Pines Tea Company View company

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.

16 Tasting Notes

93
218 tasting notes

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

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86
1123 tasting notes

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 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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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996 tasting notes

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

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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362 tasting notes

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

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
mrmopar

I don’t do much with mint at all. The exception is old style cucumbers with vinegar to soak in. For some reason I add mint to that concoction.

Kawaii433

mrmopar… I have never tried it with cucumbers and vinegar. I eat cucumbers and vinegar all the time though. Hmmm :D Maybe I’ll try. hehe

Kittenna

Intriguing. I have a very large mint plant this year, and have made mojitos and added it to a salad; I think I will have to try it with cucumbers/vinegar!

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80
649 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Shae

Oh goodness, I hope you feel better!

Martin Bednář

It seems we are almost all sick here. Well, it is that season

Maddy Barone

Thanks! Still sick. But the temp is down. So I must be getting better.

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86
78 tasting notes

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

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
eastkyteaguy

Just chiming in here, but you may want to reduce the water temperature a bit and see if that reveals anything else. In my experience, that seems to bring out some of the more herbal qualities in many black teas. I think I brewed this one at 195 F if memory serves.

Jlvintagelove

Thank you, I will definitely try that =)

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90
943 tasting notes

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, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Cocoa, Eucalyptus, Grapes, Herbs, Honey, Leather, Malt, Mineral, Plums, Spearmint, Sweet Potatoes, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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84
91 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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1184 tasting notes

This one is good. The raisin and plum notes are prominent in my opinion. The cocoa notes are only there for a brief second. there is a baked goods aroma wafting out of the cup.

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40 tasting notes

This is a black tea that requires attention. Very complex. In the first steep, I tasted prunes, caramel, what I imagine wet leaves to taste like, a subtle hint of pine at the back of the tongue and milk chocolate at the middle. It was dry at the end of the sip and sweetness lingered.

The second steep introduced pine gum at the front of the sip, but geez, I haven’t chewed pine gum since I was little so it could be my imagination. In the third steep the sharpness hit my tastebuds as dill!

I really enjoyed this tea. As I said, I will drink it when I can pay attention.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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