According to Rishi Tea this selection was grown on a small farm in Nantou and is a hybrid of wild Burmese tea and wild Taiwanese tea. The dry leaves had a dark and twisted appearance. Their aroma was so strong and earthy, it almost reminded me of coffee. I made this tea in a porcelain gaiwan using 212 degree water and three consecutive 40 second infusions. The liquor was a deep red color. I can see why this tea is called Ruby Black.
I was really surprised by the flavor profile of this tea. It started out very mild but with each sip I started tasting hints of a raisin and cinnamon. I could not believe how fruity and spicy it was. It is rare to find a black tea that works this well for gong fu brewing. I am always amazed at what can be achieved in a good quality unflavored tea and this one is a great example of that. I would definitely recommend this tea. Hong Yue is only available in limited quantities so make sure you grab some before it’s gone!