Ruby Black is the New Black

Ruby Black tea leaf

I’m really enjoying the new Ruby Black tea that the Deli is carrying. The taste is unlike any other black tea that I’ve tried – tastes and aroma are high notes with some spicy and sweetness happening. The wintergreen like aroma is really nice. I’ve been drinking it from a gaiwan, both with 195 and 185 temp water – I like the 185 better. We’re brewing up a whole pot of it now to share in the office.

This Ruby Black (Hong Yue) has an interesting history. It’s a tea from Taiwan that was developed under the Japanese occupation at the beginning of the last century. The tea is a cross between an Assam varietal and a Taiwanese varietal and it has strong characteristics of each – some structure and tannins and a wild assortment of fragrances and tastes. Not much of this tea makes it across to us here so it’s a rare treat to try it.

The farm in Nantou that the tea comes from is only 5 years old and relatively small. They plant nitrogen fixing plants between the rows of the tea to build the soil. The farm is not certified organic but they don’t use any pesticides.