Today is one of those days where a good cup of tea is needed for the soul. It has been a crazy few months and I haven’t been able to spend as much time on my gorgeous tea stash. Today I was determined to give some love and enjoy a few tea blends while checking off a few odds and ends around the house.
Ruby 18 from American Gongfu stood out to me as being the first one I needed to dive in. I have been a fan of American Gongfu’s gorgeous tea ware and was excited to check out their tea offerings. This particular offering boasts a taste profile of gingerbread. What better compliment to a snowy winter day!
I traditionally western brew all my tea and that is how I approached this tea. Brewed up with water at 195F and allowed to brew for three minutes, this tea is a showstopper that grabbed my heart at the very first sip.
Right off the bat you are greeted with these brilliant gingerbread like notes. The description hits that note perfectly. Towards the middle of the sip you get this slight earthy feel that isn’t overwhelming but compliments that sweet start. At the end, there is a solid malty tone that wraps the sip up nicely without any astringency.
American Gongfu does teaware and tea right. From previous experiences, I knew that they offered amazing high quality tea ware to compliment anyone’s tea needs. But now that I’ve tried this variety, I know that take that same care and passion to their tea offerings.
Highly recommend this marvelous tea! Can’t wait to try this as a cold brew tea. I think that is on the list for tomorrow!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: American Gongfu
This instant crowd favorite has an interesting pedigree. Ruby #18 – also know as Red Jade – is the name of a cultivar developed in Taiwan by pairing a wildTaiwanese tea treeCamellia formosensis with a Burmese Assam (C. sinensis var. assamica.). The best crafted Ruby 18 leaf usually comes from Nantou’s Sun Moon Lake region.
Brewed lightly or at lower temperature, the tea exhibits an aromatic sweetness with hints of gingerbread and other spice flavors. Brewed deeply or at high heat, yields a strong spicy tea, with notes of camphor, allspice, and deep woodiness.
A little goes a long way with this leaf, making it economical as well as delicious. We recommend a lighter brew if you’re new to this tea.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
I’m in love, you guys.
With a teapot. (Okay, also my fiancé. But we’re not talking about him today.)
Let me give you a little background on how I usually brew my tea. Wayyy back in the day when I began to understand that loose tea is generally preferable to pre-bagged (though I’m no purist– especially in a pinch!), I started brewing my loose tea by filling my own bags, or using a mesh tea ball infuser. This went on for a while, but really, I wasn’t getting much more out of my cuppa than from my already-bagged teas. I’d occasionally brew in a teapot, but usually only if I was making a brew for my aforementioned dude and I to drink together, as my teapot made more than I could feasibly drink on my own. Fast forward to the gravity steeper days– better, and oooh, so pretty whilst brewing– but my gravity steeper is plastic, and I generally try to shy away from hot things + plastic. Strike two.
Enter: this pretty little contraption. All glass + stainless steel? Check! (My hippie heart is super happy about this one.) Cute, vintage appeal with its swoopy, rounded base and little bubble-topped lid? Check. The perfect size to brew two small cups (hello, perfect for tea-time-with-fiancé)? CHECK. Alternatively– the perfect size to brew one giant, Mary-sized cup? CHECK AND CHECK.
More bonuses? It’s easy to clean– even my giant-handled scrub brush fits inside– and doesn’t hold the color of the tea after cleaning (which other teaware of mine has a tendency to do), and for a glass teapot, actually holds the heat of the tea well enough that if I come back for a second cup, I don’t have to reheat. Woo hoo!
“If you love it so much, Mary, why don’t you marry it?” Good question, tea-friends. I still plan to marry that dude of mine (and not this teapot, unfortunately), however– I forsee the three of us having many a happy tea-sipping years together to come. One happy, tea-loving family!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Teaware
Where to Buy: American Gongfu
DURABLE BOROSILICATE LAB GLASS is transparent and crystal clear; safe for use on glass-top and ceramic-top ranges and all newer electric ranges; great for viewing tea color of brewing loose tea, herbal teas and tisanes, and blooming and flower teas. It’s cute but still sturdy enough for daily use and is more heat and shatter resistant than pyrex. You can use it as a small kettle to boil water, or you can pour hot tea over ice for iced tea. Use it on the gas burner, over a flame or candle.