Review: American Tea Room Ruby Black

American Tea Room, Black Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The liquor infused to a bold amber. Like "the-kind-that-would-trap-a-prehistoric-mosquito", amber."
Geoff’s Teaview: 9/10
Other Teaviews: Lynn gave it 10/10, Laura gave it 10/10, Jamie gave it 10/10, Vanessa gave it 10/10, Shaiha gave it 8.9/10, Sophie gave it 8.9/10, Katie gave it 9.1/10, Erika gave it 9/10
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americanrubyblackFirst and foremost, I recommend checking out the American Tea Room site for the bio on this tea. It has a rich and colorful history. Cultivation is also a fairly new occurrence. This is only its third year in production. Claims made on the site also state that it rivals even the heartiest of Assams or Darjeelings because of a lack of astringency. A pretty bold claim indeed.

I will confess that I'm new to Formosan (Taiwanese) teas. What I've tried have garnered a favorable reaction, but nothing particularly stuck out as awesomeness personified. I certainly haven't tried any that rivaled the best Darjeelings. Of course, that's from the oolong end. No Formosa black tea has hit my cup until this sitting.

The dry leaves looked quite similar to a roasted oolong; long, twisty and charred. It looked like American Tea Room's Big Red Robe offering. The aroma was the opposite; shades of earth, flower, and smoky sweetness. It actually smelled a bit like a Darjeeling of a lighter type, betraying its robust color.

Brewing instructions were on the cautious side - infuse for two minutes in 200F water. I went with a lighter temp of about 190F for two-minutes-thirty, 1 tablespoon-worth. No idea why, I guess because it was a hot summer night.

The liquor infused to a bold amber. Like "the-kind-that-would-trap-a-prehistoric-mosquito", amber. I went in to take a sniff, and it was like being punched with a pair of brass knuckles in the nose - said knuckles spelling out the word "MALT" in brandished gold. American Tea Room were also right about there being no astringency. I could find no tannic taste to it at all.

Black tea is many things, but "refreshing" is not one of 'em. At least not to me. I love it now. Granted, it took a few years, but I still rarely find it thirst quenching. Usually, I have a glass of water right after. This Taiwanese tea sated me. It also went straight to my head. Along with the malt punch, this also packs a caffeinated wallop. Looks are deceiving. I'm not sure it tops the best Darjeelings, but it's a great cup.

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One Response to “Review: American Tea Room Ruby Black”

  1. David Says:

    a divine black if there ever was one

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