Saturday, April 27, 2013

Norbu Tea Hong Yu Ruby Black Tea - Spring 2012

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: large, dark and very twisted
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 205 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: bright orangish amber

I recently bought a bunch of sample sizes from Norbu and could not resist picking this one up. It had been way too long since I have had any of the infamous Ruby #18. The steeped tea had a malty aroma that almost reminded me of a Yunnan. The taste was very difficult to describe. The maltiness continued in the taste along with notes of chocolate, fruit and just a hint of spice. The sweet aftertaste was almost wine-like and lingered long after each sip. There was no bitterness or astringency whatsoever. This tea was wonderfully complex and it was just what I needed as a writing companion on a chilly night. I did four consecutive infusions in my gaiwan before it started loosing a bit of steam on the fifth. I don't often find black teas with that kind of longevity, especially ones that are as nuanced and delicate as this one. For many of my tea friends this is the penultimate black tea and it's easy to see why. I will definitely be sad to see this one go when I finish my sample but I will console myself with the thought that it makes room for another wonderful tea to cross my path.

You can find out more about this tea here.