I received a generous (10 gram) sample of Hong Yu Taiwan Ruby Black from Norbu and have been looking forward to trying it.

The very dark dried leaves are beautifully twisted and elongated, and they unfurl upon infusion into fairly large leaves. The liquor is orange amber, and the flavor is nice. I would describe it as somewhere between a Ceylon and an Assam. I drank my glass au naturel, but next time I may try it with cream.

second infusion: this was so tasty and much better than the first! Perhaps I should start heeding the advice of those who advocate tossing the initial infusion. The real question is: could I knowingly dispense with all of that caffeine????

third infusion: it is virtually unheard of chez sherapop to do a third infusion of a black tea, but tonight’s Taiwan Ruby Black Tea proved to improve with each successive steep! I really loved the third infusion and was tempted to do a fourth, but the evening slipped away from me. It was only after three steeps that the leaves had expanded to their full size—wow, they are really huge!

I’m probably going to buy a supply of this excellent black tea before it disappears, now that I have discovered how excellent the later infusions are. Who would have guessed? Well, perhaps a true black tea connoisseur, but I for one had no idea!

I have increased my rating of this tea and suggest that those who are unhappy with the first infusion, simply move on to the second!

(Blazing New Rating #32)

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

How did you get a sample? Couldn’t find a link. I want to try some teas fr them badly;)

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How did you get a sample? Couldn’t find a link. I want to try some teas fr them badly;)

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I have fallen off the “tea log boat”, as I am now in New Zealand and was really flailing about for a while, having depleted all of my Chinese and Japanese green tea supply! Fortunately, my first order of 2015 has now arrived! I should begin writing very soon about tea at my new blog, sherapop’s tea leaves. Please stop by and contribute your ideas—all viewpoints are welcome!

A long-time tea and perfume lover, I have recently begun to explore the intersections between the two at my blog: http://salondeparfum-sherapop.blogspot.com//

The scent of tea can be just as appealing as—sometimes more than—its taste! Tea also offers boundless visual beauty in its various forms and states of preparation.

A few words about my ratings. In assessing both teas and perfumes, my evaluation is “all things considered.” Teas do not differ very much in price (relative to perfumes or any luxury items), so I do not usually consider the price when rating a tea.

What I do consider is how the particular tea compares to teas of its own type. So I might give a high rating to a fine herbal infusion even though I would never say that it is my favorite TEA. But if it’s good for what it is, then it deserves a high rating. There is no point in wishing that a chamomile blend was an Assam or a sencha tea!

Any rating below 50 means that I find the liquid less desirable to drink than plain water. I may or may not finish the cup, depending upon how thirsty I am and whether there is another hot beverage or (in summertime) a source of fresh water available.

From 50 to 60 indicates that, while potable, the tea is not one which I would buy or repurchase, if I already made the mistake (I have learned) of purchasing it.

From 60 to 70 means that the tea is drinkable but I have criticisms of some sort, and I probably would not purchase or repurchase the tea as I can think of obvious alternatives which would be better.

From 70 to 80 is a solid brew which I would purchase again.

From 80 to 90 is good stuff, and I probably need to have some ready at hand in my humble abode.

From 90 to 100 is a tea (or infusion) which I have come to depend on and look forward to imbibing again and again—if possible!

If you are interested in perfume, you might like my 2400+ perfume reviews, most of which have been archived at sherapop’s sillage (essentially my perfumelog):


Finally, please note that after a great deal of debate with myself, I have decided to use the cupboard here at Steepster as a “museum” of sorts—to commemorate all of the various teas which I have purchased and truly enjoyed since December 2013.

I do not currently possess all of the teas listed in this cupboard, but am using the function as a way of recording how many times I drank every tea which I did own at some point and wish not to forget. Teas found both in my “cupboard” and on my “wishlist” are those which I did own and intend to restock. Teas best forgotten have been removed from the cupboard once depleted (in some cases tossed…).

I have also decided (beginning in 2015) to use the tasting note function to maintain a chronological record of the teas I’ve consumed since December 15, 2013. Most new reviews will now be posted directly at my blog, sherapop’s tea leaves.


Curio Bay, South Island, New Zealand



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