Taiwan Yu Chi Red Jade Black Tea T-18
country of origin Taiwan
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Black Tea from Taiwan
Distinctively dense aroma full of exotic tones, spices and rare resins. An unusual combination of honey, cinnamon, mint, cloves and wild pepper. Round and smooth, creamy taste. Easily palatable, delicious tea.
Origin: Yuchi township, Nantou County
Elevation: 700–1200 m
Cultivar: Hong Yu, TRES - 18
Preparation: we recommend to prepare the tea in 1,5 dcl of water. Put 3 g of tea into a warmed teapot and pour the boiled water, cooled down to 85°C . Let is steep for 1 – 1,5 minute, then pour into a cup. You can repeat the process many times, untill the tea has a good taste. With firther infusions, we slightly increase water temperature and time of steeping.
The exuberant and exotic aromatics of Taiwan oolongs is undisputed in the tea world. Nowhere can we duplicate Taiwan's rich terroir for tea growing. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that Taiwan's offering in black teas can be equally fragrant and expressive! One of its most impressive and representative black tea is undoubtedly Red Jade (Hong Yu in Chinese and sometimes referred to as Ruby tea).
Its beautiful Bao Zhong style twisted leaves are of the recently introduced TRES-18 hybrid which is a cross between an Assamica strain from Burma and a local wild tea strain. Developed by the Tea Research and Extension Station's Yuchih branch, this unique varietal proposes the full character and body of an Assam with exuberant fruity notes of wild plums, hints of cinnamon and a fresh menthol finish. This black tea is surprisingly generous and may be re-steeped several times similarly to its famous Taiwanese oolong cousins.
The majestic Sun Moon Lake's plateau of rolling hills in Central Nantou county provides the perfect setting for this one of kind tea. This beautiful scenic area of Taiwan has a long history with black tea cultivation that dates back to the 1920s, when the island was under the colonial rule of Japan. After the demise of Japan at the conclusion of WW II, the black tea plantations fell into disuse and the land was converted to other crops. It is only since the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of Sept. 1999 that a renewed interest resurfaced.
Yuchih township was hit particularly hard by the 9-21 quake. Several villages were completely destroyed, not only by the tremors but also by devastating landslides that destroyed crops as well as houses. Beforehand, the predominant crop was that of the betel nut palm trees and many local residents pondered if they should reconsider replanting these shallow routed trees which proved to be detrimental to soil stability. Local and government officials came to the same conclusions that the Japanese made 80 years before. The soil, climate and geography of the area was perfect for tea and even more, black tea! Furthermore, a new strand had just been developed: the now famous TRES-18 hybrid which proves to be particularly well suited for this area. In a few short years, many new tea farms have emerged that specialise in this value-added crop. The retrieval of Taiwan's black tea heritage seems to have helped a ruined community be reborn from the rubble and gain a new lease of life.
It is comforting to know that tea enthusiasts can modestly contribute to the success of this turn around with each Red Jade cup they drink. The effort needed to do so is less than painful considering the truly remarkable and distinct experience it brings!
Area: Taiwan - Yu chi district at Sun Moon Lake
Country of origin: Taiwan