Ruby 18 Formosa White is a very rare white 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. While most Ruby 18 leaves are processed into black tea, this is an experimental batch that has been processed using white tea techniques.
Large, naturally-dried, multi-colored leaves unfurl to yield a smooth, sweet, viscous, medium-bodied infusion that is well-balanced and complex with fruity and grassy notes, a subtle sweet spice and a cooling finish. Preparing this tea with cooler water around 180-185° yields a milder infusion with subtle citrus and floral notes blended in with the complexity.