About The Tea

Black tea crafting in Taiwan was initiated by the Japanese in 1903. In 1926, the first Assam cultivar was introduced and planted around the hills of Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County. This lake’s climate, environment, and terroir was deemed the most similar to the Assam tea gardens of India. Today, Sun Moon Lake produces the bulk of Taiwan’s black tea between three distinct cultivars: a pure-stock Assam, a native indigenous cultivar, and a hybrid cultivar named #18.

Our #18 crosses pure-stock Assam with the native indigenous cultivar. Called "Hong Yu" or "Red Jade" by the local Taiwanese, #18 is the result of nearly 50 years of research by the Taiwanese Tea Research and Extension Station. After a successful debut of this tea in 2010, we acquired 100 catties from the same grower as last year.

This tea is organically grown and produced in Yuchih, the village that borders Sun Moon Lake. The leaves were picked mid-May 2012 in the early morning. They were then wilted naturally, rolled, bruised and left to oxidize on covered bamboo trays until the next day when they were roasted, baked and dried.

The result is one of the most wonderful teas we have tasted. One of our customers likened it to black tea with cream and sugar already added. We think the tea is sweet, smooth and rich, with hints of bourbon, honey and cream, but with a slightly deeper and more complex character.

About Red Blossom Tea Company

Red Blossom Tea Company is first and foremost a family owned tea shop in San Francisco's Chinatown, but we are also much more. We are direct importers, traveling thousands of miles in search of rare teas and artisan tea ware. We are educators, striving to bring the richness of traditional tea culture to our customers. And most importantly, we are tea lovers. We love to drink tea, talk tea, think tea and even obsess over tea.

Learn more about Red Blossom Tea Company.