Taiwan Ruby 18 Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Crisp, Fennel, Fruity, Herbal, Medicinal, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Spearmint, Tannic, Wet Dog, Wintergreen, Bright, Cedar, Cherry, Dried Fruit, Earthy, Forest Floor, Geranium, Juicy, Malt, Marshmallow, Olives, Sarsaparilla, Savory, Tangy, Tomato, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cream, Drying, Earth, Floral, Menthol, Mineral, Raisins, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Wood, Apricot, Artichoke, Wet Wood, Burnt Sugar, Jasmine, Molasses
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 oz / 152 ml

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13 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I opened this box of adventures-to-come from derk and about went catatonic with indecision. I finally snapped out of it and — having just tried Mountain Stream’s Wintergreen White Ruby — decided...” Read full tasting note
    86
  • “Spring 2022 harvest Not wanting to brew this in glass or porcelain, I decided to use a clay pot normally used for sheng pu’er only. The tea turned out very well. Maybe the clay softened some...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is my third Ruby 18 in the past few months. The one from What-Cha was so good that I now consider picking up samples of other Red Jades, even though this is a tea type I often find too tannic...” Read full tasting note
    85
  • “An interesting tea that can be quite tasty, but is easily overbrewed, drawing a strong artichoke and chrysanthemum flavor that is a bit odd, but not entirely bad. It’s a long-lasting tea with a...” Read full tasting note
    65

From Floating Leaves

Updated 18 Mar 2023 by derk

Rich and flavorful red tea with a generous helping of the special Ruby 18 spearmint fragrance. Broth is full and juicy. Along with the prominent spearmint flavor, there are herbal, dried fruit and caramel notes that round out the bottom end.

This is a luxurious, fragrant ruby 18.
Facts

Harvest Location : Sun Moon Lake Region, Nantou, Taiwan Harvest Date : Spring 2022 Cultivar : Ruby 18 [Hongyu #18] Farming Method : Conventional

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Ruby 18 is a modern Taiwanese invention, also known as Sun Moon Lake black tea. This cultivar is a cross between indigenous Taiwanese tea bushes and Assam varietal bushes. It was bred by a member of the Taiwan Tea reform institute back in 1999.

The minty effect of Ruby 18 is up front and clear in this crop, but the tones are lower. This makes it feel more like wintergreen than peppermint. And the medium tones that fill in the body of the tea are chocolate, soy sauce, and dried dates.The tones are all reaching lower into the spectrum than previous batches of Ruby 18.

Overall this tea has a beautifully complex bouquet and well balanced broth.

Harvest Location : Sun Moon Lake Region, Nantou, Taiwan
Harvest Date : Spring 2020
Cultivar : Ruby 18 [Hongyu #18]
Farming Method : Conventional

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We are very happy to carry Ruby 18th Black Tea. This specific varietal was developed by the Taiwan Tea Reform Institute and was released back in 1999. This black tea is gaining its popularity due to its unique flavors. Our Taiwan Ruby 18 Black Tea smells very sweet. It has a caramel and roasted sweet potato taste. One doesn’t need to put sugar in this tea. It’s medium body and very easy to drink. After you take a sip of this tea, please take a moment to see what’s happening in the mouth. A lot of people experience a mint-like sensation in the mouth.

About Floating Leaves View company

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13 Tasting Notes

86
392 tasting notes

I opened this box of adventures-to-come from derk and about went catatonic with indecision. I finally snapped out of it and — having just tried Mountain Stream’s Wintergreen White Ruby — decided I’d start by pulling a couple of gifted 18s and splashing around in some ruby puddles this afternoon.

The steaming leaves already have me off and running to understand wintergreen… they smell like those pink chalky candies and Euthymol toothpaste. I’ve always been quite drawn to this flavor, so I’m stoked. Also a bit medicinal/herbal. Celery became the prominent scent after several steeps.

For the nerds: wintergreen is an essential oil from the Gualtheria procumbens plant; the specific compound that creates the smell is methyl salicylate. Wintergreen is not a true mint. The sassafras descriptors in others’ notes make sense, as wintergreen is the oil most often used in root beer these days (sassafras itself got outlawed, so we replaced it). Anyway.

Pours a reddish caramel, and the liquor first and foremost smells like wet dog — persistent through all steeps. Also red fruit, and a spearminty scent that isn’t quite wintergreen.

Middling weight in the mouth — not light or full. Cooling taste and big ol’ wintergreen, dried red raspberry, lightly tannic and crisp. Sweet, but a light fruity sweetness that doesn’t read caramel/molasses/honey to me… distinctly herbal, which is probably the wintergreen but feels like it could lean toward fresh fennel… a touch of toastiness toward the final steeps.

I stopped around eight steeps — the last two sat quite a long time and, though the character was still pleasant and the mouthfeel good, the tannins started vying for too much attention. I cut ‘em off. I’m really enjoying the Ruby 18 cultivar (aka Sun Moon Lake!). Thank you, derk <3

Flavors: Crisp, Fennel, Fruity, Herbal, Medicinal, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Spearmint, Tannic, Wet Dog, Wintergreen

derk

Glad you enjoyed what little I was able to forward you from Leafhopper!

Sassafras bark stripped of its safrole is still legal to sell and buy. It’s just expensive. I actually brewed up a quart of some rooty tea containing sassafras last night.

beerandbeancurd

Aw — thank you to Leafhopper, then, too! Hehe <3

Interesting. I read somewhere that we might be wrong about safrole causing cancer, but no law changes yet. I wonder if stripping the safrole takes any other flavors away (like decaffeinating coffee/tea).

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1577 tasting notes

Spring 2022 harvest

Not wanting to brew this in glass or porcelain, I decided to use a clay pot normally used for sheng pu’er only. The tea turned out very well. Maybe the clay softened some tannins that Leafhopper experienced.

Complex aroma hangs close to the cup, vacillating quickly and quietly between fleshy geranium and marshmallow and other niceties.
Taste is savory, crisp and clear, juicy and bright, dark earthy tone.
Wintergreen and sarsaparilla, dried cherries, malt, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, cedarwood.
The third steep got away from me. When I came back to pour, the tea did not nip at me. I took it for another 4 or 5 pours after that.

I’ve had a Ruby 18 like this before and greatly appreciate this one’s flavor profile today.

Flavors: Bright, Cedar, Cherry, Crisp, Dried Fruit, Earthy, Forest Floor, Geranium, Juicy, Malt, Marshmallow, Olives, Sarsaparilla, Savory, Tangy, Tomato, Wintergreen

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
beerandbeancurd

This sounds dreamy.

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85
429 tasting notes

This is my third Ruby 18 in the past few months. The one from What-Cha was so good that I now consider picking up samples of other Red Jades, even though this is a tea type I often find too tannic and astringent. This version is from the 2022 harvest. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of sweet potato, caramel, malt, menthol, sassafras, and tomato vine. The first steep has notes of sweet potato, raisin, menthol, sassafras, malt, tomato vine, and brown sugar. The tea is a bit drying and already has some astringency. The next steep has even more raisin, sweet potato, and menthol notes, with tannins, malt, caramel, cream, sassafras, and wood in the background. Steeps three and four emphasize menthol, sweet potato, earth, raisins, and caramel, with increasing levels of tannins and a hint of something floral that I can’t name. More malt, tannins, and raisins appear in the next few steeps, though the tea is still quite sweet in spite of its astringency. The sweet potato persists into the end of the session, though the tea also becomes more tannic, earthy, woody, and mineral.

A solid Ruby 18, this tea nonetheless falls short compared to my beloved What-Cha version due to its higher levels of astringency and less complex palate. However, I liked the sweet potato and caramel, and this is a nice example of the type. I’m now completely out of Ruby 18 and I’m not sure if I mind. I think I like Shan Cha and Taiwanese high mountain black teas more than Ruby 18, in spite of its intriguing sassafras/menthol elements. Aside from the What-Cha version, it’s just too tannic for me to really enjoy.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cream, Drying, Earth, Floral, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Raisins, Sarsaparilla, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Tomato, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
ashmanra

Now I have to try a What-Cha Ruby 18. I can’t get my beloved one from Southern Season anymore.

Leafhopper

It’s honestly the best one I’ve tried. It has lots of menthol and fruity flavour without most of the astringency associated with this varietal. However, I’m not sure Alistair will be able to get it back in stock. :(

beerandbeancurd

Tomato, wow!

Leafhopper

It’s that strong, tangy, tomato-plant scent you get when picking a tomato from the vine. I think someone else gave me this descriptor at some point and it fits certain teas.

beerandbeancurd

Ah, that’s awesome. Can’t wait to find it.

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65
11 tasting notes

An interesting tea that can be quite tasty, but is easily overbrewed, drawing a strong artichoke and chrysanthemum flavor that is a bit odd, but not entirely bad. It’s a long-lasting tea with a silky mouthfeel that’s well rounded in sweetness and tannin, but the artichoke flavor makes this more of a novelty that’s interesting to try rather than a tea I would love to sip on all day.

Flavors: Apricot, Artichoke, Caramel, Tannic, Wet Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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537 tasting notes

I drank this. I know I liked it, but I have no notes for this. I always expect good things from Floating Leaves and this tea is no exception. I just wish I remember what it tasted like. XD
Maybe I’ll have it tomorrow during the snowstorm….very very tired of winter.

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82 tasting notes

I’ve been meaning to try Ruby 18 for some time and finally ordered this one from Floating Leaves.

The tea has a strong note of sweet potato which I really like and a thick somewhat malty mouth feel.
The cooling sensation was just the ticket as I burnt my tongue last night on hot soup.

It is an interesting tea, I will look for other samples of Ruby 18 to experience the differences.

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46 tasting notes

Prep: 60 or 100cc gaiwan, 4-8g, boiling water, start at 5, (10, 15, 20, 30, etc)
Sessions with this tea: 10+

Taste: Boom big caramel to start. Yes sweet potato comes into the picture, as well as some anise. The menthol starts really early and is very cooling and very good. After steep 4 or so the caramel drops out and it turns into a kinda incensy woody sweetness with anise, still with some potato note. Only the late steeps lose the potato note and give a hearty, woody, pine/cedar flavor.

Body: Very thick mouthfeel, slurpy good. Mild, calming energy. The cooling/menthol sensation starts early and gets really intense through the middle steepings. This also retains its body and steeps out a lot longer than I expected for a black tea.

Extremely enjoyable. I continue to love floating leaves offerings. I’m glad I bought a larger quantity of this and look forward to continued enjoyment.

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247 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping TTB

There was just enough for a tasting of this one left. I’m still trying to branch out from typical flavored blacks and this one was interesting to say the least. It’s very savory, with heavy sweet potato notes. I’ll have to hunt down some more samples of Ruby 18 – this one intrigued me.

Flavors: Sweet Potatoes

tea-sipper

The Rubies are worth hunting down. :D Zentealife.com has a nice one.

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1271 tasting notes

This is the most mint cooling Ruby 18 I’ve had so far. The cooling sensation starts early on, going with a mellow, fruity, woodsy and sweet flavor. This tea has an excellent thick body too.

A ruby 18 for someone who wants all the texture and feels!

Full Review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/pacific-northwest-taiwanese-black-tea-comparison/

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 0 OZ / 12 ML
Daylon R Thomas

All of them sound excellent, it would honestly depend on how particular I was for a black tea. I usually prefer sweet and thick chocolate notes in my black tea, but I need plenty of sweetness with the dryness. But I do love fruitiness and being able to taste a balanced variety of the notes that a tea can offer. Decisions. I still need to review their Earl Grey…

Evol Ving Ness

Speaking of Earl Grey. Have you had a chance to try the ones I sent?

Daylon R Thomas

I tried the David’s but not all of the others yet. It was a bit strong. I thought I wrote a note, but I could be mistaken.

Evol Ving Ness

I am looking forward to hearing what you think about the rest.

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86
55 tasting notes

(Here’s another review from the Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox! Actually all my reviews lately are from the teabox although I may have forgotten to mention it once or twice.)

Mmmm. I think this is the first tea I’ve actually tasted the “sweet potato” flavor in. That seems to be the strongest note, although I think I can detect some malt in there too. But it tastes so much like sweet potato I’m thinking of putting brown sugar and marshmallows in and calling it Thanksgiving or something. (Have you ever put marshmallows in your tea? I haven’t. It probably doesn’t go over as well as putting them in hot chocolate.) It’s a very full-bodied flavor and an interesting one, although I’m not sure yet whether it’s going to be one of my favorites or not.

(ETA: I have decided that I quite like it and that it is extremely excellent with milk and sugar and also goes well with french toast.)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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