jamin said

Ruby 18 lovers thread (and other Taiwanese black)

I’ve decided I want to explore Taiwanese Ruby #18 in depth. I’d love to hear anything you can tell me about it. Places to buy it. Best seasons. Best growing regions. Brewing experiments. Best fresh or aged?

I feel that this tea is very unique and special. I’ve only tried one example of Ruby #18 but look forward to exploring all the enjoyment it has to offer. Also enjoying a #21 and would like to hear more about that tea too.

12 Replies
jamin said

The Ruby I have is from Rishi. It’s a bit on the bitter side which I like. Will probably try a couple Rubies from Taiwan Sourcing next.

I have the Ruby #18 that is from Rishi as well, but haven’t tried it yet. Perhaps I should make that a priority!

jamin said

I’ve had it since early Jan and I think it is getting better with time. It’s usually the opposite with most black teas I’ve had.

Rich select said

One of my favorites as well! I think I had a decent one from Tea Hong last year. Would love to hear other ones people really like.

jamin said

Thanks Rich. I’ll check out Tea Hong.

Rich select said

Taiwan Sourcing also has a couple, if you search for ‘Ruby’.

Song tea in San Francisco has an incredible #18. It’s a loose leaf black. I’ve also had a Ruby Oolong from American Tea room that is really good. Not sure if it is the same cultivar or what makes it a ruby. but it was a really nice roasted oolong and from Thailand.

The best #18 I’ve ever had was Organic Formosa Red, no. 18 by Red Blossom Tea Company. It held up well over the three years I had it, but unfortunately it is no longer available.

https://steepster.com/teas/red-blossom-tea-company/14596-organic-formosa-red-no-18

jamin said

I’ve looked at both the websites for Song Tea and Red Blossom. Their reviews are great and I would like to get some tea from them but the prices are pretty high. Feeling more comfortable about spending that much having had some feedback from this chat.

Song tea is expensive. But they are really good. I had the chance to actually go there and I tried their 18 and was like Whaaat. so good. so I got it. I could see being apprehensive if you actually haven’t had any. I’m all out right now otherwise I would totally do a trade.

jamin said

Just opened an order of tea from Yunnansourcing.us which included 2 ruby 18’s. The winter 2017 “Frost Ruby” and the “Red Lion”. Both very good. The red lion reminds me of the rishi 18 but more clear and a bit less complex and with a nice sharp texture. The frost ruby has a very nice texture and a kind of deeper earthy composty thing going on. I’m gonna taste them some more and also let them age a bit and I’ll be back with more comments.

jamin said

Got a fresh order of 18 from rishi last week as well as some 21. Gotta say that I prefer these teas to the ones from taiwan sourcing. The rishi 18 steeps a lot longer. It also has more clearly defined flavors than the ts teas. Leaf quality on rishi much better. What really sets these teas apart, especially the 21 is that when brewed out (even after steep times up to 30 minutes) the leaf will have this amazing fruity smell. Have not tried the Song 18 yet. Plan to at some time but have been putting energy into exploring pu’er.

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