Review: T-oolongtea.com Ruaysui Sky Crane Honey Black Tea

Black Tea, T-OolongTea.com Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Fairly light bodied, it's got just enough intensity to it to satisfy. The fruit, toasted bread and chocolate notes of the first infusion are particularly addictive. Highly recommended!"
Sophie’s Teaview: 9.4/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 9/10, CJ gave it 10/10
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Harvested in July 2012, in the Eastern Taiwanese township of Ruaysui, the leaves used to make this tea have been bitten by tiny insects called leaf hoppers. The affected leaves change chemistry, leading to a more honey-flavoured tea (hence the name). The tea gardens that produce this type of tea therefore have to be pesticide-free. Taking a look at my sample, the dark maroon leaves are curly in a zigzaggy sort of way. There's a malty raisin aroma to them, but it's quite faint.

I brewed a heaping teaspoonful of leaves in 8 ounces of freshly boiled water for 3 minutes. The resulting cup is a clear coppery brown hue. Once brewed, the tea is quite fragrant, with an enticing toasted bread and malt aroma. The flavour profile is an addictive combination of slightly drying, savoury toasted bread top notes and a rich, sweet and sour finish. Plums, berries, and mandarin oranges all come out to play. A hint of dark chocolate also develops as the tea cools, which is a great pairing with the smooth, creamy body. I could drink this all day long!

I brewed a second cup for 4 minutes. It's thinner and less complex but definitely worth it. Being less tannic and more evenly sweet gives more intensity to the plum and honey notes. A cinnamon flavour also develops, giving the finish an extra little kick.

After 5 and a half minutes, my third cup is still pleasant but doesn't really make me want to try for a fourth. While the body is again smooth and creamy, the flavour profile is a bit more mineral now. There is still a good amount of cinnamon-like sweetness to the finish. The longevity of the leaves is impressive, especially for a black tea.

This is quite a delicious tea – it seems I say that every time I write a review for this company's teas, but it's particularly true in this case. Fairly light bodied, it's got just enough intensity to it to satisfy. The fruit, toasted bread and chocolate notes of the first infusion are particularly addictive. On top of it, it's reasonably priced, especially for a pesticide-free tea. Highly recommended!

— To purchase T-oolongtea.com Ruaysui Sky Crane Honey Black Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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