I’m a sucker for bug-bitten oolongs and their characteristic honey flavor. Although I usually avoid black teas for health reasons, I couldn’t resist a straight black tea with honey in the name. I did not know anything about it at the time I drank it and took notes, but I have since looked it up and am not surprised to learn that this is a Taiwanese black tea produced from tea leaves that have been nibbled on by leafhoppers. It tastes exactly like you would expect that description to taste, in the best way.
The sample I received came in a pyramid sachet. This is also available in loose leaf. I brewed three steeps in the sachet, but if I were to do it over again I would cut open the sachet and put the loose leaf in a steeper. I opened up the sachet when I was done and the reddish-brown leaf was still not fully unfurled even though it had filled up all of the space available. It’s just really good leaf, and it deserves room to breathe.
The dry leaf smells like honey, malt, and sugar. It steeps up a nice amber color. The flavor is malt and honey. Simple but beautifully executed. It’s seductively smooth for two solid steeps. A third steep is possible but comes out watery; I had to top it off with some actual honey. If you’re looking for a black tea that’s a little different than the usual, this one’s worth a try.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Golden Leaf
Third Place Award Winner at the North American Tea Championship 2015. Honey Red Jade Tea is a unique fermented black tea from the pristine hills of Taiwan. Hand-picked and processed, Honey Red Jade Tea is grown naturally to encourage the tea leafhoppers to feed on the tea leaves, producing a natural honey fragrance when the enzymes from the leafhoppers interact with the tea plants. This tea brews to a dark caramel color with a sweet fragrance and refreshing taste.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Golden Leaf Tea
Honey Red Jade Tea is a unique fermented black tea from the pristine hills of Taiwan. Hand-picked and processed, Honey Red Jade Tea is grown naturally to encourage the tea leafhoppers to feed on the tea leaves, producing a natural honey fragrance when the enzymes from the leafhopper interact with the tea plants. This tea brews to a dark caramel color with a sweet fragrance and refreshing taste.
Honey Red Jade tea is irresistible when it is hot. It is even better when it is cooled. The unique sweet floral and honey fragrance becomes more pronounced, with a slight hint of citrus. This is a tea you can leave in your cup or tumbler and not worry about over steeping or drinking it cold. Over-steeping and bitterness is not a problem with this tea.
Available in tea bags or loose form.
Benefits: Aid in heart health. In a 2009 research by Arab L. et al., it is said that people who consume 3 or more cups of black tea per day have a 21% lower risk of a stroke compared with people who consume less than 1 cup per day.
Learn more about this tea here.
Honey Red Jade Tea from Golden Leaf Tea is a fermented tea from Taiwan. Straight from the bag you’ll see tightly rolled tea leaves waiting to release their magic. Once these rolled leaves hit hot water – BAM – they puff out and open to fill the tea cup with magnificent black tea! The post-infused aroma of Honey Red Jade Tea from Golden Leaf Tea is that of a biscuit and honey duo which was very pleasing to the nose.
I think I was expecting a brash and overly rich black tea flavored base to this on the tongue but it has a more even sip than I thought it would. I’m not saying that is good, bad, or indifferent – it’s just something I was surprised by. It had a woodsy-type flavor that seemed to come and go. I do like this tea. It’s satisfying. Honey Red Jade Tea from Golden Leaf Tea is pleasant and not overly done in any way. Perhaps this would be a nice loose leaf to share with friends…especially if you are unsure of their tea tastes. Personally, I think this is perfect for early to middle of the afternoon. I would need something more robust to start my day off but it might be better for those not into the super strong tasting black teas, too.
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Stone Leaf Teahouse
Jinggu, Spring 2011
Smooth, velvety, nutty
The most delicate combined with the robust; a skilled harvest of just the tips of the tea plant, exposed to the outside world for one day, then processed as black tea. Features characteristic earthy tones of Dian Hong, yet yields an incredibly soft, sweet cup. Notes of grape, slight pepper, and olive.
Learn more about this tea here.
This Yunnan Golden Strand Spring 2011 from Stone Leaf Teahouse has the sweetest bready flavor. It reminds me of raisin bread, or fig cake. There is even a yeasty quality to the sip that makes it even more like a true gourmet baked good.
While it is sweet, very sweet, there is something interesting about this tea that brings it toward a savory note as well. I do get the olive note that is mentioned in the description, and just a light taste of black pepper, which is very nice, but I also taste bulgar wheat, and milo.
The mouthfeel of this tea is heavy but not thick. It fills the mouth and has a near creamy feel, but with all the sweetness it finds a way not to become syrupy. It has a clear finish.
The leaf itself is beautiful, one of the lightest colored Golden Strand teas I have encountered.
Other notes worthy of mention are caramel, cocoa, fruit, hay, cane sugar, indeed it is a strange brew, but quite delicious.
Stone Leaf Teahouse never fails to provide tea of the highest quality.