Review: Driftwood Tea Red Jade (Hong Yu)

Black Tea, Driftwood Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This offering is a rare example of a black Taiwanese tea. The folks at Driftwood Tea describe it as having “ a dark maltiness, subtle hints of spices that all combine with a fresh, almost minty finish”. Looking at my sample, the leaves are extremely long and spidery. Their aroma is a robust mix of […]"
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.9/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 7.6/10
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This offering is a rare example of a black Taiwanese tea. The folks at Driftwood Tea describe it as having “ a dark maltiness, subtle hints of spices that all combine with a fresh, almost minty finish”. Looking at my sample, the leaves are extremely long and spidery. Their aroma is a robust mix of wood, toasted bread and tobacco.

I steeped this tea following Driftwood Tea's suggestions for a European style cuppa, infusing 3 grams of tea in 8 ounces of freshly boiled water for 2 minutes. I really recommend using a kitchen scale here, as the leaves are quite hard to measure otherwise. The liquor quickly colours to a dark mahogany hue. The brew's aroma is similar to the dry leaves', only more concentrated. Taking a sip, the tea is sweet, smooth and creamy, needing no milk or sweetener at all. It's profile is predominantly malty, with some hints of cinnamon heart candy and maple syrup to the finish. The feel of this cup is quite luscious, getting thicker and creamier as it cools.

After a 3 minute-long steep, a second brew is a little thinner in feel but it's pleasant malt, toasted bread and tobacco notes make for a successful cup. This more savoury version is equally satisfying and I don't miss the sweeter elements of the previous steep.

My third cup is definitely on the watery side, yet overly rough at the same time. Following a 4 minute brew, the top notes are pleasantly malty but the bitter, peppery finish is a bit too rough to my taste. This lack of balance serves to highlight just how smooth and well - hum... balanced the previous two cups were.

Rich, filling, and smooth, I could drink a lot of this tea without getting tired of it. It's stout enough for breakfast but smooth enough to be paired with deserts. I never experienced the minty finished described in the write up but this tea has enough going for it without that. It's definitely worth a try for fans of sweet, malty teas. Highly recommended!

— To purchase Driftwood Tea Red Jade (Hong Yu), 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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