2009 Winter Ruby Black Tea - Taiwan Black Tea
-Winter Harvest 2009
-Growing Area: Yuchih Township, Nantou County, Taiwan
-Elevation: 1,970-2,300 ft (600-700 M)
-Varietal: Tai Cha #18
This is a beautiful looking and exceptional quality black tea grown in the Yuchih Township area of central Nantou County, Taiwan. The plantation is located in the hills overlooking the famous “Sun Moon Lake,” which is Taiwan’s largest natural lake and a very popular tourist attraction. Usually, on plantations at a moderately high altitude such as the one where this tea was grown (600-700 Meters/1,970-2,300 ft), Taiwanese tea growers do not produce much black tea due to very strong domestic demand for higher altitude grown oolong teas, so I really feel lucky to have found such a carefully & expertly produced black tea from this area.
Our Ruby Black Tea was produced entirely from hand picked and hand processed Winter harvest, 2009 tea. The cultivar or sub-species of Camellia Sinensis used to produce this tea is known as “Tai Cha #18,” which basically means this tea varietal was developed and designated as a unique cultivar by the Taiwan Tea Research Institute and was given the name (or number) “Taiwan Tea #18.” Other cultivars used in Taiwan’s tea industry are similarly numbered but also have common names. For example, the Jin Xuan cultivar is also known as Tai Cha #12 and the Jade Cultivar is known as Tai Cha #13, but Tai Cha #18 has not yet been lucky enough to get a nickname.
The predominant flavor profile of this tea is malty & sweet with a pleasant astringency, similar to a very good Dian Hong or Assam. There is a wine-like complexity to this tea which, to my taste, goes beyond a simple tannic sensation and shows up in the way it spreads & settles on the palate and sort of mingles with the quite sweet & lingering malty aftertaste. The wine-like aspect of this tea’s flavor is what really drew me to this tea, and I hope you find it as intriguing as I do.