Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company
This tea embodies the qualities of top-quality black tea and fine oolong tea. Also known as “Ruby Red”, this is another high quality tea from Mrs. Lee’s farm above Sun-Moon Lake. Extremely rare to find this tea in this quality! Whole leaves, hand-picked and processed by Farmer Lee himself and his lovely wife. This varietal is unique to Taiwan. This crop is sweet smelling, delicate and smooth!
A combination of the best characteristics from the robust, rich Assam tea together with the best characteristics of a fine Taiwanese Oolong.
Learn more about this tea here.
I wish to thank Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company for a sample of this tea. Truth be told I enjoy trying any tea with the word Jade in it, partially because I have a best friend called Jade but also because it is my middle name. I’ve had a few Jade black tea’s from Taiwan before so I know roughly what to expect, but that still does not stop me being excited to try it. Also this tea is from above Sun-Moon Lake which is awesome!
The loose leaves are mostly whole and look twisted and crisp to the touch. Dark brown in colour. I must note there are also some sticks present amid the leaves. They have a wooden, dry scent with a touch of sweet smoke.
Steeping Parameters: 5g of leaf – Boiling Water – 320ml Vessel – Time 4 minutes
Once steeped the resulting tea liquid is golden, red/brown (similar to a scotch) and bares a thick sweet wood scent with mild dryness.
Flavour is not as strong as the scent but the first few sips reveal a wooden character that dances on my tongue and becomes sweet through the after taste. The sweetness is honeyed, not overly strong but beautiful and pure; it just trickles elegantly down my throat, coating my mouth with sweetness.
A few sips more have an increase of dryness with a touch of leather and smoke. On the whole the strength is still medium and though there are some strong sounding flavours they are not thick nor too much ie. A nice balance of combinational notes.
At this point I’m halfway down the cup and I am still finding the sweetness very pleasant, it has not lessened in any way; though the dryness is more apparent.
Now with a few mouthfuls left there is an added sour quality to a thickening strength but throughout it has been a wonderful steep.
Final thoughts: I believe this is one of the best Jade Taiwan tea’s that I have had the pleasure of trying. It was flavourful, a nice strength and even as it cools it had wonderful characteristics. The leaves after steep are still whole and show what wonderful quality this tea truly is, it says top quality in the listing and after trying I truly believe it. Very wonderful and a tea that I thoroughly recommend.
Happy Steeping Everyone!
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Beautiful Taiwan Tea
The premium teas of Taiwan are known for their smoothness, the quality of their soup and their “Chaqi”. Only grown in the highest areas, theses leaves take their time to grow and soak up all the cool mist and the High Mountain air. You’ll feel calm and attentive with this Dayuling sourced High Mountain Oolong.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’ve heard great things about Dayuling Oolong; and I’m very happy to finally get the chance to try one! The high, high altitude at which this tea is grown (greater than 2500 meters) and limited quantity that can be produced because of the geographical location are a giant part of what makes this tea so special. At $20 an ounce, this isn’t the priciest tea in my cupboard but it’s certainly up there – I can’t help but cross my fingers and hope it’s worthy of the price tag.
I have to say, the leaf is very beautiful; dry the rolled up leaf gives off a very large, ‘thick’ appearance and has a weight in my hands. After the first infusion I could see why; the leaves are so giant – some of the biggest I’ve ever had the pleasure to brew up. Almost every single one is a completely full leaf, and I even picked out a stem that had not one, not two, not three, but FOUR completely intact leaves branching off it. Just stunning!
I certainly wasn’t going to squander this sample by Steeping it Western Style; so I enjoyed a lovely evening Gong Fu session. Sometimes I feel I can get a little stuck in my head when I’m drinking tea or doing Gong Fu in particular and I focus too much on the technical side of things while trying to pick apart flavour – and I didn’t want to do that with this tea so I just kept doing infusions without really taking physical notes; and I just kind of let the tea ‘speak to me’ while I drank it. It’s so delicate and fragile with very lovely, complex nuances! Teas grown at higher altitude tend to be more complex because, due to the altitude, they grow at a slower pace – and that comes through here for sure.
It’s quite a floral tea, that’s for sure – while the infusions I did blend together I remember the first couple had really lovely, pronounced floral notes of orchid, lily, and a bit of violet as well. Incredibly well balanced though; not ‘perfumey’, forced or over the top in the slightest. Other things I noticed were this very cool, crisp freshness. I kind of instinctively want to call that flavor ‘the smell before it rains’ but I don’t know if there’s a technical word for that. I know petrichor is defined as the smell of rainfall on dry soil/earth (and that’s my all time favourite smell) but this wasn’t quite that: it’s the smell of rain before any has actually fallen. No earthiness.
This was such a pleasant, relaxing tea though! I’m not sure how many infusions I got in total but it certainly lasted quite a while and made my evening magical. Probably well worth the price tag just to say I’d tried a Dayuling, but all in all a very delicious, serene taste experience too. I definitely felt a little tea drunk’buzzed afterwards.