Review: American Tea Room Ruby Black

American Tea Room, Black Tea Add comments
K’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The flavour is decadent."
K’s Teaview: 9.1/10
Other Teaviews: Lynn gave it 10/10, Laura gave it 10/10, Geoff gave it 9/10, Jamie gave it 10/10, Vanessa gave it 10/10, Shaiha gave it 8.9/10, Sophie gave it 8.9/10, Erika gave it 9/10
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americanrubyblackThis tea, grown at Sun Moon Lake in Nantou, Taiwan, is a hybrid of the native Myanmar and Assam trees. It's a relatively new varietal, only in its third year of production. While somewhat difficult to acquire, it was one of the hot new teas this summer that many of the more enthusiastic tea explorers wanted to get their hands on. No surprise that American Tea Room is on the cutting edge of tea acquisition, and I was thrilled to see that they sent samples in to Teaviews. I got one, enthusiastically tried it sometime in early July, then promptly lost my tasting notes until now. The bad news is that I'm writing this based on memory and two pages of barely-legible notes. The good news is that this was a really memorable tea, so said notes are hardly necessary.

Aside from being a new hybrid, this is also exciting in that black teas from Taiwan are somewhat rare. The leaves are huge, twisted black with streaks of copper throughout. I steep a tablespoon in 8 ounces 200 degree water for two minutes. The cup has a beautiful rich amber liquor and smells like a malty molasses.

The flavour is decadent. It coats the mouth, allowing the flavour to linger on. It's hard to compare to other teas because it's not quite like anything else I've tried, but there are individual flavours aplenty coming from this leaf. I get hints of smokiness, brown sugar, berry, malt, molasses, and rhutabega. It's rich, robust, hearty, and somewhat sweet. It's a complex cup with a myriad of flavours that dance across the palate and blend together perfectly. On top of all this, the tea is supremely smooth, lacking both bitterness and astringency.

I resteep the leaves at 195 for four minutes. This cup doesn't have the depth or decadence of the first, but it is still excellent and well worth the re-infusion, which is always a bonus. This is truly a special tea, and I definitely plan on trying it again next year. I imagine it is going to be a new perennial favourite.

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

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