Black tea à la pop art: big, fruity taste bursting from dark, twisty leaves, the usual character of fully-oxidised tea has been rendered in a bright negative image. It may look like a dark oolong, but tastes like nothing else. Its singular character has an equally singular origin story: bred in 1999 from a cross of a native Taiwanese species of tea with a Burmese varietal of sinensis, researchers at the Taiwan Tea Research and Extension Station found it produced an excellent black tea. Incredibly soft-tasting, the candy-like flavour of concord grape is balanced by the astringency of grape skins and subtler notes of chamomile and mint, recalling Ceylon teas and bold, splashy colours. Careful steeping keeps it balanced for several infusions, and will be enjoyed by any who appreciate fruity flavours, pleasant surprises, and Andy Warhol.
- ORIGIN: Mingjian, Nantou, Taiwan
- ALTITUDE: 300-400 metres
- MEANING: Red ruby or jade (hong yu)
- CULTIVAR: Tai Cha #18 a.k.a. Hongyu #18
- HARVEST TIME: July 2020
- TASTE: Concord grape, chamomile, mint