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TAIWAN BLACK Ruby 18 is produced by tea maker Mr. Du in Yuchi township. Locals refer to him as Master Du. He incorporates skills accumulated from many years of oolong tea-making into the production of his black teas.

Ruby 18 is a cultivar developed and introduced in Taiwan in 1999, from the cross of Taiwan Shan and Burmese big leaf varieties. Ruby 18's popularity led to the revival of black tea production in YuChi Township [Nantou County] and subsequent development of black teas in Taiwan's other tea regions.

When brewed, TAIWAN BLACK Ruby 18 exhibits a brilliant and clear orange-red luster. Its first note of minty coolness is followed by a spicy cinnamon flavor, both signatures of the Ruby 18 cultivar. The backdrop is a mellow fruitiness and a full body. The tea is brisk with hints of bright citrus acidity, a good level of astringency, and little bitterness. After sipping the tea, you can enjoy a sweet honey-like malty lingering.

This tea is unique because of its post-production roasting (most black tea are not roasted). This roasting contributes to a clean taste that allows the tea's complex flavors to shine through.

Region: Yuchi Township, Nantou County (central Taiwan)

Tea Plant: Ruby 18 Cultivar

Oxidation: Full

Roast: Light / Oven

Brewing note: As a big-leaf variety, Ruby 18 is different from most Taiwan teas. Thus the brewing method can be slightly modified. To start, try using (i) the standard ratio of 1:50 (gram:ml), steep 2 minutes for 1st steeping, and adjust for subsequent steepings, OR (ii) use a 1:70 ratio and steep for 4 minutes. These brewing methods should result in noticeably different flavors.