A rare black tea from Taiwan, Yuchi Hong Yun (魚池紅韻紅茶) ‘Scarlet Melody’. This tea is hand made from the unusual Hong Yun TRES #21 cultivar. This tea comes from Yuchi Township on the shores of the picturesque Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County of Taiwan. A complex tea with a thick mouthfeel and savoury character. January 2020 harvest and is sourced by us via our Taiwanese tea master direct from the farmer.
Hong Yun (紅韻) TRES #21 cultivar tends to produce particularly strongly flavoured teas, so a cooler winter picking present is preferred as it provides a more balanced and nuanced cup. This cultivar (also known as Taicha 21) is part of a hybrid development program by the Taiwan Research and Extension Station. It was only released around 2008 and is the result of crossing a Burmese large leaf strand Kyang with the cultivar used to produce the famous Keemun black teas in China. Not to be confused with the similarly named Hong Yu ‘Red Jade’ (紅玉) TRES #18 cultivar used in making our Yuchi Red Jade, Red Jade GABA and Red Jade White teas.
Hong Yun (紅韻) TRES #21 is sometimes known as Red Rhythm in English. This is a literal translation of the Chinese characters 紅韻, however some consider the name Red Rhythm to be incorrect. The character 韻 in this case refers to the lingering impression that this tea leaves in your mouth. According to our tea master, this follows the same for good Tie Gun Yin, as a good tea would leave a lingering taste in one’s mouth, something that is referred to as Guan Yin Yun in Chinese. So a proper translation should be more along the lines of ‘Lingering Red’. However since that doesn’t have a particularly good ring to it, we decided to give this name a more poetic name – Scarlet Melody – in reference to the lingering melody of taste found in this tea.
This Hong Yun TRES #21 tea has dark, thin, twisted leaves. It produces a deep, richly coloured liquor with a savoury, fruity aroma that is reminiscent of spiced plum tomatoes. The flavours are bold and strong, complimented by a thick mouthfeel and an undercurrent of complex tannins. The notes that are dominant are those of bittersweet fruits, with further highlights of savoury and bitter padron peppers, fruity and sweet dried tomatoes, tart cherries. It has a very long, lasting clean aftertaste that gives off aromatic spices at the top of the palate. This is a beautiful and bold tea that is to be savoured.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste, brewing multiple times. As this is a boldly flavoured tea some may prefer shorter steeping time.