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Notes of cinnamon, abbada date, and eucalyptus.

Red tea from Taiwan・April 2018・紅玉,十八號・Organic

Eighteen, aka Red Jade, is the 18th cultivar developed by Taiwan’s Tea Research & Extension Station (TRES), an organization dedicated to research and development of tea and new tea cultivars. TRES has developed twenty five original cultivars through hybridization. Each cultivar harmonizes the hybrid’s component qualities vis-à-vis Taiwan’s unique terroir.

Eighteen is a hybrid of a native Taiwanese wild cultivar and a Burmese large leaf Assamica. This tea gets its florality and sweetness from its Taiwanese lineage, and its richness and intensity from its Assamica lineage.

Today there are many producers of Eighteen – and Sun Moon Lake is now known as a tea production region as well as a scenic area. This tea is from a new producer we met on our sourcing trip in 2018, one whose skilled craftsmanship creates beautifully-shaped, very consistently sized leaves, and a tea with both clarity and depth.

For this tea, we also intentionally only purchase the prior year’s harvest (2018). Time allows the tea to achieve a natural balance, and improves its sweetness and texture. The resulting brew has a beautiful vermillion tint, with a hint of cinnamon, the sweet creaminess of abbada date, and the mentholic quality of eucalyptus oil.

Brew: 5 grams・150 ml・208° F・1 min

This tea takes well to full, hearty steep using water that is near boil. The resulting brew is almost syrupy and intense, yet with a beautiful clarity of flavor. Alternatively, using lower brew temperatures than what we recommend will yield a tea that is sweet, clean, and fruity.

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