I admit it….I am selective when I chose my personal tea favorites. I tend to favor the greens and whites (especially Japanese Green teas) over all others. How can it be that while I appreciate the complex nuance and taste of the exquisite array of black tea from India and China we have at American Tea Room, that whenever you see me drinking tea it is always: Gyokuro, Matcha, Fukamushi, Silver Needles or Bao Zhong? Has there ever been a darker tea that has caught my fancy? Year after year I appreciate the subtle nuance of Darjeeling from first flush to last. Beautiful malty and astringent tea from Assam and complex Qimen from China rival all the world’s finest blacks yet I always find myself favoring greens, that was until I met my dark true love RUBY BLACK.
RUBY BLACK is rare, so rare in fact American Tea Room is the only source for this magnificent tea in all of the United States. Just us, and that’s fine. Here’s what is so special about Ruby Black – First it is from Taiwan. Taiwan? Yup, the island so renowned for the finest Oolongs and some nice green teas too has produced a black tea to rival any on this planet. Second: This tea has only been in production for three years. Yup this tea has been in production since 2008, and this is only the third harvest. This tea is grown on the shores of the Sun Moon Lake (the largest in all Taiwan) in Nantou an area that was devastated by the 1999 7.6 earthquake that killed over 2000 people. Surprisingly the devastation of the land led to the rediscovery of the original Assam tea plants that were planted by the Japanese in the 1920s that led to redevelopment of black tea production in Taiwan. And what a tea RUBY BLACK is.
Imagine the finest Assam with not a hint of astringency and sweet malty taste almost dripping down the sides of your tongue and marry that flavor with the undertones of cinnamon and mint. The taste is beyond description so light and balanced yet robust.
I get the taste of light roasted baby root vegetables, small fresh potatoes and rich earth (like in a primeval forest). Only 1000 kilograms are produced each year and virtually none is exported to the US until now. American Tea Room has a limited amount of this spectacular tea plucked just for us from March 28 – 30 and expertly crafted before being air shipped directly to us to insure optimal freshness.