If I were the type to judge a book by it's cover, I would say that based on the box alone, this is going to be a fabulous tea. The packaging is beautiful. I spent a full five minutes staring at the box, checking out the maps, learning about the tea's origin (Taiwan), and reading the brewing instructions. When I finally got around to opening the box, I found a dainty silver package of tea inside.
The tea comes from plants in Central Taiwan. According to Rishi they are "cross-bred from Burmese and Taiwanese wild tea trees," creating a tea plant unique to the area. Ruby tea is also known as Hong Yue #18. "Hong Yue" translates to "Red Jade."
I was very curious about this black tea from an island better known for its oolongs. It delighted me to read on the package that the tea is described as "remarkably strong." I love a strong tea!
The first thing I noticed about the tea itself was that the leaves are quite long - so long, in fact, that I had trouble fitting them into my tea ball! Per the instructions, I steeped the leaves for two minutes. The resulting liquor was a burnt orange color.
Beyond the nice presentation, this really is a neat tea. The flavor is smooth and pleasant with gentle fruity notes. The tea leaves can stand up to multiple steepings. I found the aroma to be extremely subtle, not particularly noticeable either when I opened the package or after brewing.
When I made this tea again the next day, I steeped for longer (more like five minutes for the first infusion) and got a stronger tasting, more brightly colored tea. This was a result I was rather pleased with!
I'm a fan of Ruby Tea and could happily drink it regularly. I like that it's something different: it's not from the more tradional black tea regions of China and India or from the most common varieties of the Camellia sinensis tea plant. I love that Rishi carries Ruby Tea because it is hard to find elsewhere.
Do you know any tea lovers? Rishi's Ruby Tea makes an excellent tea gift; it's an unusual tea with packaging that really makes it look like something special.
Disclosure: A review sample was provided by the manufacturer. No compensation was received for writing this review.
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