The mid-autumn festival is fast approaching (October 4th) so you're going to start seeing mooncakes in bakeries. Among stores celebrating the yearly harvest is TWG Tea in Vancouver. With tea-infused mousseline or lotus pastes, these are some of the most luxurious mooncakes you can buy for family and friends. I had the pleasure of trying out a few of them for myself to see which mooncakes are the best.
Disclosure: This was a media tasting and all opinions are my own.
TWG Tea Mooncakes
For this media tasting, I had a great taste of the following:
- Moonlight Snowskin Mooncake
- Pure Snowskin Mooncake
- Constellation Mooncake
- Daydream Mooncake
- Sunset Mooncake
We also had tea pairings to bring out the flavour of the mooncakes but the mooncakes are the main focus of this post.
Note: a la carte Traditional mooncakes cost $20 each and Snowskin mooncakes cost $25 each. All mooncakes (and baked goods of TWG Tea) are produced locally in their North Vancouver bakery.
Single Mooncake Box
The Vancouver TWG Tea salon has 4 exclusive flavours made with snowskin. The moonlight snowskin mooncake, for example, is made with a soft jade green snowskin and features infused Lotus Jade Tea in its mousseline. This had a delicate flavour and the jade green colour gave it a very exquisite presentation.
Moonlight Snowskin Mooncake
The pure snowskin mooncake was a sweeter take on mooncakes with a smooth dark chocolate mousse infused with the fruity and flowery notes of TWG's classic 1837 White Tea. As with the Moonlight, the Pure had a soft mochi-like texture that even my grandma could enjoy.
Pure Snowskin Mooncake
Onto more traditional shells, purists will enjoy the constellation mooncake. Brown lotus is infused with Singapore Breakfast tea and mixed with roasted melon seeds and a classic salted egg yolk. Compared to grocery brands, I found the constellation to be less sweet. Unless making a gift package though, I'd recommend purchasing the other mooncakes as one can find a similar flavour in many other bakeries.
Next up was the daydream mooncake. Wrapped in a bold red crust (think, red lanterns), this mooncake featured a blueberry-infused white lotus paste complemented by an almond and blueberry purée heart infused with Red Balloon Tea. If there were ever a fruity version of a mooncake, the Daydream would be it. The blueberries were well-balanced with the lotus paste and the bold red shell made the mooncake look like an official wax seal of an ancient Chinese dynasty.
And finally, my favourite was the sunset mooncake. This was actually taken home with me. Wrapped in a golden baked crust, this exclusive TWG Tea mooncake showcased an aromatic matcha almond paste centre cradled by a red bean paste scattered with melon seeds. I'll admit, it was the matcha, but matcha and red bean are a classic combo that never gets old. Matcha is also bitter which cuts down on the sweetness of desserts and gets me all excited inside whenever my tongue is embraced by its flavour.
We had our mooncake tasting in TWG Tea's back room. This room featured a majestic display of teas. Fun fact: the teas are given arbitrary numbers but TWG Tea does carry 800 teas and at least 1 tea for everyone. If anyone were to enjoy a tea session here, they'd be pleased that the chairs allow for lots of lounging back (great lumbar support) despite being dining chairs.
TWG Tea Teas
Not much to comment here as this was a media event, but the staff asked for my name and remembered it throughout the evening, asking for my opinion on the mooncakes. I can imagine a regular tea sesion at the level of TWG Tea means regular patrons get the same treatment and quite possibly the highest level of service one can find for tea in Vancouver.
Inside TWG Tea
Outside TWG Tea
One-liner: The most luxurious mooncakes worthy of gifting to friends and loved ones
Highlight: Sunset Mooncake
Price per mooncake: $25 (it's cheaper per mooncake to buy 4)
Would I go back? I already bought a Moonlight Snowskin Mooncake for my girlfriend.