Red Jade White (紅玉白茶) is a rare Taiwanese white tea handcrafted from the Hong Yu TRES #18 cultivar. Expertly withered and very lightly naturally oxidised it produces a light cup that is supremely complex. This tea is grown to organic standards in Mingjian Township of Nantou Province and was picked in January 2019.
The picking time for this Red Jade White is slightly unusual as it was picked and processed outside the normal seasons for low-grown Taiwanese teas. This particular lot was harvested in the middle of January 2019 when the tea plants are normally dormant. However a spell of warm weather stimulated new plant growth so the farmer on this occasion decided to pluck the tea plants at this unusual time. After picking, the leaves were withered and lightly rolled, stimulating minimal oxidation and producing an unusual Taiwanese white tea!
Red Jade White tea is produced from a Hong Yu TRES #18 cultivar that is usually reserved for black tea, like our Red Jade GABA or Yuchi Red Jade. Hong Yu translates as Red Jade or Ruby, hence the name chosen for this tea. The Hong Yu cultivar was developed in Taiwan in a recent attempt to reinvigorate black tea production in the country. It was developed from an Assamica strain from Burma and the local wild tea from Taiwan.
The Hong Yu cultivar has a unique flavour profile that is very distinctive; it produces complex black teas with a smooth savoury character and pronounced menthol and eucalyptus notes that make for a pleasantly medicinal edge. This Red Jade White tea draws on the characteristics of the cultivar, producing a complex liquor with interesting flavour references to the black counterparts of this white tea.
The twisted leaves of this Red Jade Taiwanese White tea are dark in appearance. The produced cup is light, pale yellow in colour with woody and eucalyptus aromatics. The taste is particularly smooth and light. The sweetly spicy profile has floral and creamy notes. The flavours start on the woody, spicy eucalyptus and menthol side, developing into lightly floral notes and exotic fruit flavours. There are some pleasantly mineral top notes that complete the intriguing taste profile. This is a supremely crafted tea with a wide complexity of flavours.
Red Jade White tea is best brewed at 80°C for 2-3 minutes according to your taste and should be brewed multiple times to savour the flavours of each infusion.