Flavor: Subtle hints of clove, cinnamon and mint. Full-bodied, complex. Substantial brew.
Garden: The maker of this tea is employed by the Yu Chi Township Tea Research Extension Station and his factory produced the winner of the 2011 Black Tea Competition in this area. He is a leading figure in his field and his knowledge and expertise of black tea cultivation in Taiwan is virtually unsurpassed.
Harvest: Hand picked in small batches. Summer 2015. Sun Moon Lake, Nantou, Taiwan.
Red Jade Tea - also known as Taiwan Tea No. 18, brews a rich, full-bodied tea with subtle hints of clove, cinnamon and mint in its complex composition.
The character of Red Jade is unique among black teas, while still possessing a classic black tea quality. It is another exemplary selection on the Eco-Cha menu in that it is sustainably produced with low-impact farming methods and minimal processing. If you are a black tea lover, you deserve a sampling of this unique strain of tea.
What is called red tea in Chinese is known as black tea in English. The name Red Jade was given to this tea due to its luminescent reddish-ochre brew. Also known as Taiwan Tea No. 18 Red Jade is a hybrid of the Assam tea plant and the wild tea tree that grows naturally in the mountain forests of Taiwan. This strain of tea was created by the government subsidized Tea Research Extension Station in the Sun Moon Lake tea growing region of Nantou County. Since it possesses the DNA of a wild plant in the local eco-system, it has natural immunity to some of the “pests” that tend to compromise the health of the more conventionally cultivated tea plants. Consequently, this tea garden - now in its fifth year of growth, has been cultivated without the use of any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Although this farmer has not pursued official certification, this is - in effect, organically produced tea.
These wild tea qualities, in combination with the Assam tea plant that was originally a native plant to South and Southeast Asia produces an extraordinary type of black tea. The processing of black tea involves full oxidation of the leaves after being harvested, followed by low-temperature drying without any roasting. Due to the fact that black tea is processed without being exposed to high temperatures to cease oxidation or subsequent roasting, it maintains more of its natural character – similar to that of dried fruit or nuts. Summer is considered to be the prime harvest time for black tea, when the leaves contain the most catechins, providing more flavor and astringency.
The producer of this tea is employed by the Yu Chi Township Tea Research Extension Station (TRES) and has consistently won gold medal prizes in each of the Black Tea Competitions in this area. He is a leading figure in his field and his knowledge and expertise of black tea cultivation in Taiwan is virtually unsurpassed. In recent years, he has formed a cooperative of 5 fellow tea producers that all follow the same standards of production. This allows these farmers to maintain their small, family-run farms at high quality, artisan standards while meeting demand for larger quantities of tea.