Ruby 18 Formosa Black is a rare black tea from Mingjian Township in the western part of Nantou County in the central part of the island of Taiwan. Also known as Red Jade, Ruby 18 is a hybrid cultivar between a wild-growing Shan tree variety native to Taiwan and a native Burmese large leaf variety of Camellia sinensis assamica. The cultivar was released to farmers in Taiwan in 1999 after 45 years of development. The plants undergo organic cultivation, but are not certified, at an elevation about 1,000 feet and are hand-plucked and processed. Most Ruby 18 teas in the marketplace are poorly crafted and rely mainly on marketing of this rare, highly sought-after tea. Our Ruby 18 teas, however, are crafted by an award-winning tea maker who has trained extensively to produce this superior quality tea.
Long, twisted, dark leaves unfurl to yield a smooth, thick, medium- to full-bodied infusion that is sweet and complex with rich notes of fruit, wood, herbs, malt and a cooling, menthol finish. Preparing this tea with cooler water around 195° yields a milder infusion with subtle floral notes blended in with the complexity.