Many people have described this tea as a bit of a chameleon because it can take on so many different flavor profiles depending on who steeps it, but this example from YuanShiang farms is spectacular, and I’ll describe it as my palate interprets it.
I’ve included a few more pics and info in my blog review here: http://bit.ly/v4Y5Yu.
You can definitely tell that it’s an Assam underneath the processing. Malty, medium astringency, bright. Then there’s the spice, the red and blue fruit flavors, and I detect an aftertaste that reminds of tobacco or leather. It’s very much like a red wine, but with the Assam underneath, it’s that much better!
The Ruby name might refer to the color of the liqueur, but strangely enough it “tastes” like what I would expect a “red” beverage to taste like, whether wine or tea. Not fruity in the citrus or sweet vein, but like a tart raspberry or grape.
And the leaves are long and appear to be delicately rolled or “handcrafted” as the jargon goes.
I guess I have The Global Tea Taster’s club to blame once again for adding another “must have” to my repertoire.