2018 Summer Hong Yu red tea from Sun Moon Lake
TTES No 18
Cultivar: Taiwan Tea Experiment Station No 18, 紅玉 (ruby)
Harvested by hand: July 2017
Origin: Sun Moon Lake, Nantou county, Central Taiwan
Process: striped whole leaves, fully oxidized.
The black dry leaves are long, whole and fine. The brew has a very bright and clear orange /red color. The open leaves have a uniform red color that indicates they were fully oxidized.
Hong Yu has a very particular and expressive scent: it combines cinnamon and menthol in a very powerful and fresh way. It's very close to a natural earl grey scent. It's the kind of smell that one either loves or hates. But in any case, it's fascinating to find it appearing naturally in an unscented red tea.
Full bodied and some reasonable astringency levels. The taste is actually improved by very long brews!
Conclusion: the Hung Yu red tea (TTES No 18) was obtained by crossing a Taiwan wild tea with a Burmese big leaf tea. The Taiwan Tea Extension Station announced the creation of this cultivar in 1999. This powerful red tea has since become very popular in Taiwan.