hong yu red jade black tea
hong yu red jade dry tea leaves
hong yu red jade tea liquor in cup
hong yu red jade wet tea leaves floating in cup


Hong Yu - Red Jade - Black Tea

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A black tea unlike any other and uniquely Taiwanese. This tea is produced from local cultivar Tai Cha #18, which was developed by the Yuchi Tea Research and Extension Station in 1999 through crossing a Burmese assamica variety with a local Taiwanese wild mountain variety, the latter also being known as camellia sinensis var. formosensis. The assamica variety has a long history in Taiwan, being first introduced in the 1920’s during Japanese rule as they sought to set up their own black tea production. Across their empire, they found the area around Sun Moon Lake to be the most suitable, with climatic conditions here similar to those in Assam. The local wild mountain variety has a far older history. It has been consumed by Taiwanese indigenous peoples for centuries and was first documented by the Dutch in 1645 and later by the Qing court in 1717. It is this variety that provides the signature menthol and cinnamon notes to the hybrid. Our tea is from a small-batch farming family who have switched away from unsustainable, shallow-rooted betel palm cultivation and joined the Taiwanese black tea revival. Also known as Ruby black tea.


● Harvest: 1st week September 2021
● Location: Yuchi, Nantou County, Taiwan
● Altitude: 600-800m
● Cultivar: Hong Yu

● Method: hand-picked
● Pluck: bud plus 1-3 leaves
● Oxidation: 90-100%
● Roast: none

Tasting notes

● Dry leaf: twisted and wiry whole leaves, dark taupe brown colour with purple undertones
● Wet leaf: unfurls partially, lightly crushed
● Liquor: jasper colour, deep orange-brown hue

● Dry leaf: camphorwood, raw honey, rosehip
● Wet leaf: menthol, eucalyptus, cinnamon
● Empty cup: malt, nectar

● Taste: raw walnut, pine resin, peppercorn
● Aftertaste: thyme, liquorice, basil
● Mouthfeel: clean, structured, low astringency

hong yu red jade flavour wheel by oolongtime

Brewing tips

The following tips are for your guidance.
Please feel free to adjust to taste.

Gongfu style
● 4-5g per 100ml at 95-100°C (205-212°F)
● 15-20 secs for 1st steep
● add 5-10 secs for each re-steep
● 6-8 steeps total

Western style
● 1-1.2g per 100ml at 100°C (212°F)
● 2 mins for 1st steep
add 30-60 secs for each re-steep
2-3 steeps total

What our customers say

Based on 4 reviews LEAVE A REVIEW

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Derrik Ong
Good representation of a Ruby 18

I've had this tea many times before from other vendors and can say that this is an excellent representation. The cultivar is absolutely unmistakable due its strong minty and eucalyptus notes. The flavors are pretty full on, so best to share rather than a solo session. Thanks!

Denise Flores
Must try for true tea lovers

Unexpected! The menthol, minty notes are something else. Supposedly these come from the native Taiwanese, wild tea-tree part of the hybrid. I would be very curious to try this same cultivar #18 done in an oolong style? The flavors are unmistakable and bold. Maybe that doesn't make it an everyday drinker, but definitely something every tea lover should have in their collection.

Samantha Turner
complex and unique

so much going on with this tea. personally, i love it. a great example of how taiwanese and chinese black teas are entirely different to any other black teas out there.

Floris van Dijk
want to try something new?

If you guys want to expand your tea horizons, this one is it. Personally, those minty notes aren't quite what I'm looking for in tea. However, always curious to try something new and expand my tea knowledge.