Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea
Baked Bread, Broth, Lemon, Mint, Raisins, Spicy, Umami, Astringent, Camphor, Cinnamon, Clove, Malt, Menthol, Cloves, Earth, Honey, Molasses
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by sherapop
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 3 g 7 oz / 214 ml

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51 Tasting Notes View all

From Eco-Cha Artisan Teas

The producer of this tea is employed by the Yu Chi Township Tea Research Extension Station (TRES) and has consistently won gold medal prizes in each of the Black Tea Competitions in this area. He is a leading figure in his field and his knowledge and expertise of black tea cultivation in Taiwan is virtually unsurpassed. In recent years, he has formed a cooperative of 5 fellow tea producers that all follow the same standards of production. This allows these farmers to maintain their small, family-run farms at high quality, artisan standards while meeting demand for larger quantities of tea.

Flavor: Subtle hints of clove, cinnamon and mint. Full-bodied, complex. Substantial brew.

Garden: The maker of this tea is employed by the Yu Chi Township Tea Research Extension Station and his factory produced the winner of the 2011 Black Tea Competition in this area. He is a leading figure in his field and his knowledge and expertise of black tea cultivation in Taiwan is virtually unsurpassed.

Harvest: Harvest: Hand picked. Small batch. Summer 2012.

Elevation: 450m

About Eco-Cha Artisan Teas View company

Company description not available.

51 Tasting Notes

3253 tasting notes

I tend to enjoy black teas from the Sun Moon Lake area, in part due to their stone-fruit qualities.
I started this session off by preheating my cup, & then letting the leaf warm up in there for a few breaths. It was worth it! The aroma of the warmed leaf was beautiful, rich, & fruity apricot!
Otherwise I followed the suggested steeping parameters. It’s an interesting cup of tea, spicy, tart, & a little on the astringent side. There is a faint minty fresh sensation. The re-steep was even tangier like dried apricot, slightly bitter like clove, & a little sour like rye bread. Not a tea I’d probably keep in my collection, but an interesting one to try. I’ll probably go with gongfu parameters next time.

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206 tasting notes

Wow… Why are all the reviews for this so low:(
I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit!
I steeped it a little under boiling (I didn’t read reviews or this teas page before hand).
I steeped it for a little less than three minute, I usually go by smell when brewing tea and for how long. This smelled like a very earthy robust tea. The first sip, I got this mouthfeel that mint tea usually gives you. It doesn’t taste like mint but it feels like mint in my sip if that makes any sense. You do get that slight bitterness on the tongue that cinnamon gives you if you eat it straight ha ha which I highly recommend you don’t do. Being a baker I can depict the singular tastes of spices. I understand that in previous note they don’t get any of these notes… I think most people, when thinking of cinnamon think of the sweetness you get from the cinnamon component in desserts and baked doughs when cinnamon is combined with sugar. But cinnamon usually had a very bitter taste when on its own. Very earthy as well. The same with clove. Clove isn’t a sweet spice at all. It add a pinch of complexity to this tea. More earthiness as well. Over all this tea took me on a nice journey.

I loved the color of the dry leaves of this tea. Very beautiful! And the color of the tea steeped was amazing! You definitely see where the name came from. A beautiful velvety red!

Thank you for adding this as a tea for the January steepster select box! Really enjoying these teas:) not sure I can afford to keep up though. Have definitely enjoyed both December and January though! Thank you Jason!

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Good resteep. the spices came out for me more on the second.

Eco-Cha 一口茶

Hi BrewTEAlly Sweet,

Glad to hear you enjoyed this tea, and thanks so much for posting your thoughts! You’re right on with the cinnamon description (and the cloves as well), this is the flavor of raw cinnamon without any sweetener. Thanks for providing your baker’s perspective on that!

In Taiwanese culture, cinnamon is used as a medicinal ingredient in traditional herbal remedies and in cooking recipes that use traditional Chinese medicine ingredients for flavoring. The cinnamon taste in Red Jade is of the highly aromatic, slightly bitter quality in cinnamon rather than the sweetness that is associated with it in deserts and sweetened drinks.

Glad you enjoyed this tea and have a great day!


I’m right there with you BrewTEAlly Sweet, the cool mint and bitter cinnamon and clove are totally apparent as I sip the tea and read your description. Thanks for helping me identify those flavors!

I’m also in the same boat, canceling my membership even though I’ve thoroughly enjoyed December and January’s shipments.

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129 tasting notes

Definitely not my cup of tea.
No taste of cinnamon, cloves or mint.
Rather bland, but in a medicinal way.
I drank a full pot, but couldn’t bear to do a re-steep.
The red liqour is intoxicating & I had high hopes for this one

Eco-Cha 一口茶

Hi CelebriTEA! Thanks for posting this tasting note, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the tea though!

I wanted to share a little more info on the tasting notes and where we are coming from with ‘cinnamon’. In Taiwan, Red Jade is often described as having a note of cinnamon in its aroma and aftertaste. In Taiwanese culture, cinnamon is used as a medicinal ingredient in traditional herbal remedies and in cooking recipes that use traditional Chinese medicine ingredients for flavoring. This is in contrast to our common experience of cinnamon in baked goods or beverages if it is combined with sweeteners and other flavoring. So the tasting note in Red Jade is of the aromatic, slightly bitter quality in cinnamon rather than the sweetness that might be associated with it in western cuisine.

I completely understand this might not be ‘your cup of tea’ ;-) though! Just wanted to share a couple notes.

Have a great day and enjoy whatever is in your cup!


Thank you for that note~ explains it to a “tea”

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409 tasting notes

I had actually forgotten that I signed up for Steepster select until I got the email that it had shipped! Must’ve been a black Friday or holiday sale? I went for the darkest, most warming tea first, because it’s really really cold today.

I used one full sample bag (there are two of each tea, and the bags are not resealable; I’ll measure the quantity when I get home) for 8oz water. They suggested boiling water, so I heated my mug over the kettle to avoid the temperature drop from pouring into a cold vessel.

First impressions: dry leaf is big, dark, and twisted, like a wuyi oolong, but they list this as a red/black tea. Liquor: very red! Smells like… an assam? Yes, an assam. With all the rich honey notes, but also a hint that the taste might be more tannic. Taste: oddly muted, definitely a little bitter on the front, then mellows out into something more chewy, like a dark wheat bread. I’m not getting any of the cinnamon or clove spices – will have to see if they come out on later steeps.

So far, I’m not too impressed. I will try the other sample of this gongfu style, it seems like it might benefit from shorter, more intense steeps. This manages to be mild and muddled at the same time. It smells delicious though! Maybe milk and sugar? I try not to do that to good teas, but I also don’t drink a lot of black teas completely straight.

Edit: I like the second steep better. I’m getting more of the subtle spice notes now. I think the first steep was just too much leaf/time/temp and got muddy. I ended up steeping this 4 times, steeps 2 and 3 were the best, though the first steep was also improved by a dash of milk and sugar. Fans of Assam and Darjeeling might appreciate this more than I did.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Eco-Cha 一口茶

Hi teabird – thanks for the notes, it’s great for us to hear everyone’s experience of our tea! Glad to hear you enjoyed the second steep a little more.

Good catch on the Assam aromas, Taiwan Red Jade is a hybrid of the wild tea plant that naturally occurs in mountain forests of Taiwan and the Assam tea plant that was imported by the Japanese during their occupation here. Good nose!

With this tea, brewing is everything, and gong fu or gaiwan is definitely the way to go. To get those subtle aromatic and flavor qualities that we describe this tea as having, the timing of the brew is most important. It’s very easy to overbrew so the basic rule of thumb is quick brews. In addition to pouring off the tea before it gets too strong experiment with the right amount of leaves for you.

Also, slightly less than boiling temperature water should be used for single mug brewings.

For Gong Fu brewing, the first steeping can be done with boiling temperature water, but only steep for 20-30 seconds and pour off the first brew. Starting with the second brew, slightly less than boiling temperature water should be used, as you increase each successive brew by 10-20 seconds.

Thanks again for your notes and it would be great to hear what you think of a gong fu brew if you’ve got any left.

Have a great day!


Thanks for the feedback! I brewed the other packet gonfu style and was very pleased with the results :)

Eco-Cha 一口茶

Our pleasure, glad to hear you enjoyed the gongfu brew!

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599 tasting notes

Wow, this really isn’t getting good reviews, is it? I steeped mine to the suggested parameters, also added milk and sugar (I know I know). I let it cool down a bunch because I lost track of time.

It smells like a nice assamica black tea, though I can’t really see the colour of the tea liquor. I pick up a bit of the Darjeeling flavour that I hate so that’s not so good. And there’s definitely something spicy on the back end of the sip that makes the aftertaste a bit strange as it fades. A bit of astringency as well.

I can’t say I like this one nearly as much as other black teas in my collection. Perhaps those looking for the spice should let theirs cool down a bit? First steep is too much spice for me. Let’s see about the second steep with some dinner and sweet iced tea in between.

ETA: Way more spice on the second steep. Still no mint but I could mistake this for very weak chai if I wasn’t careful. But then, I’m very sensitive to spices, usually in a bad way as they overwhelm me. 3:30 minutes.

ETA2: 3rd steep, 4 minutes. I think this tea is running out of steam. It has lost most of the spiciness that made it unique and has started tasting like just a slightly bready black tea. I actually like this type of tea so I’m going to enjoy this mug but I think this is the end of it. This is a 3 steep tea for me.

If someone likes the spiciness and can pick it up, I imagine they’d like this tea a great deal but it’s not my cup of tea. And I never did pick up any mint from it.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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361 tasting notes

I’m with the crowd on this one. #18 isn’t a tea I love in general, but I’ve had a few that are really good. This one is not the best in my opinion. Still happy to have tried it though, as I tend to enjoy most black teas from Taiwan

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257 tasting notes

The dry leaves have the scent of Cream of Wheat cereal and they are thin, blackish-grey and twisted.
The liquor is a clear red-clay color and the wet leaves have turned that color too. I get the scent of persimmon, hay, barley, hops.
The flavors!!! This tea really has unique flavors!!!!! I had to close my eyes to get all the tastes that were coming thru. I caught tamarind and sweet potato first.
This really is a complex tea because the flavors change with each sip!!! It’s like a tea trip and my taste buds are trip pin’!!!!!
As it cools, I catch persimmon , butternut squash, and pumpkin. Very fall flavors and there is a slight astringency too.
Chefs and wine tasters would dig this tea,,,,I used to do lots of wine tasting and I never caught this many flavors from wine!!!!!!!
This tea is very intriguing and Far Out!!!!
This is why I bought the Steepster Select Club. Thank you Eco Cha and Steepster!!!

From the Steepster Select Box, January 2014

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Great review Lee, I’m definitely flavor trippin’ on this tea. Astute observation comparing this tea to wine tasting, all the complexity of color, mouth-feel, tannin and bitterness, and wild array of flavors are easy to translate into tea-tasting.


Thanks!!! :)


We are so on the same page. I thought the dry leaves smelled like pumpkin and as soon as I did an initial rinse of the leaves and smelled them wet and warm they smelled EXACTLY like cream of wheat or malt-o-meal type cereal. I’ll agree that this tea is very complex in many ways. I was definitely impressed by that.


Cool! Thanks!!

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291 tasting notes

This red tea is deep, dark, and rich, and the red liquor it creates is definitely alluring. I’ll come right out and say that I am usually more drawn to lighter, fresher tasting teas than to dark highly oxidized ones, so keep that in mind while reading my review.

The scent really captivated me from the start. There’s a heavy aroma of malt and a fruity sweetness that to me most resembles dried apricot. I brewed this Gongfu Cha style, with the first infusion yielding a very up-front taste of cinnamon backed by flavors of dried apricot and date, finishing really malty and astringent. Definitely a dry finish to this tea. By second steeping, the cinnamon taste had nearly disappeared and was replaced by a very evident minty quality like unsweetened wintergreen, still underscored by the apricot. By the third brew, the flavor was similar to the second but sweeter and mellower overall and rather than gradually changing throughout a sip the flavors all blended together at once and I could taste them all throughout the sip.

I believe I may have overbrewed this tea. I used 203F/95C water and put 2.5g of leaf per 100ml of water into my porcelain gaiwan. Steeped for 3 minutes like the package suggests. I’m noticing in Eco-Cha’s notes also posted here they recommend much less time for the Gongfu method, which is making me wonder if the strong astringency at the end of a sip is because I brewed this tea too strong. I will say that the flavors didn’t seem overpowering at all until the aftertaste, and the brew color looked correct, so maybe this tea just has a naturally astringent finish.

I’m trying to remain neutral in my review because I’m not too into heavy bold red/black teas like this one. The complex flavor really impressed me at first, but I felt myself waning in enthusiasm as I drank more simply because the brew was a bit overpowering to me in its dry, malty finish.

Some more experimenting took place ! I went with 2g leaf per 100ml water and steep 3 minutes at 203F/95C, add 1 minute for each steeping after. This combo results in an orange liquor, not quite the deep red-orange that is so beautiful, but the flavor has a wonderful balance between the dark and light, letting those spicy notes come through with the fruity tones and that hint of mintyness. There’s little astringency to the finish this way, though it still finishes a bit dry. I feel this tea had very enjoyable qualities when brewed this way. It’s still not entirely my tastes, but I could see other tea drinkers really enjoying it.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Eco-Cha 一口茶

Hi Jace,

Great reading your tasting notes on this. Definitely try it out with a shorter steep-time gonfgu style and see what you think.

Good call on the dried apricot flavors – the full oxidation of this (and other black teas) do bring out a sun-dried fruit quality.

Looking forward to hearing what you taste with a shorter steeping and less leaves.

Thanks again for taking the time to write!


Hey Jace, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this tea. Dried apricot perfectly describes the flavor that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I also get the malt and astringency you noted. Reading your review helped me better enjoy this one for sure.


I’m glad that it helped, Callipygian, and thank you for the follow!

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59 tasting notes

This was definitely interesting. Not really what I was expecting. I’ve been trying a TON of different black teas lately, and this was definitely an outlier. BUT…it was pretty good, I guess. I followed the Steepster Select steeping instructions, and I feel like it might have been a bit too strong; for the second sample, I’ll probably lower the steep time to 2:30 or 2:45. I definitely got hints of the advertised “cinnamon, clove and mint,” which is I guess why it tastes so different.

I don’t know. It certainly wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t fantastic. Definitely my least favorite of January’s Select teas.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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636 tasting notes

So 1/2 of December’s Steepster box is still sitting in my cupboard. I have not written a single review on them. Every tea in that box just hit me wrong. This months box, January 2014, is rocking my world so far. Okay so this is only my second tea from the box but so far so good.

This tea is thinner bodied. When I sip I get a bread/potato taste followed by a sweet cool (minty ?) taste. I don’t pick out as much cinnamon as I have tasted in other teas from Taiwan, but I do get a sweet spice taste at the end of the sip. I really like this tea.

EDIT: My second cup of this was a completely different aninmal from the first. I don’t know if I steeped it differently or what, but I dumped out the second cup. It was so bitter. I didn’t get any of the nice qualities I enjoyed from the first packet. Yikes!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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