Red Jade #18 is described as a mix between indigenous Taiwanese tea and Burmese Assam. The dark leaves are long and thin, with a very distinct fruity fragrance. The tasting notes describe it as being similar to berries, and this seems to be accurate.
Brewing Red Jade #18 from Jade Leaf
I decided to brew Red Jade #18 in a side handle teapot, rather than in a yixing teapot. I’m sure I could have brewed this in a gaiwan as well. I think this is a tea that should brewed in a relaxed manner and enjoyed, rather than focusing on trying to squeeze its full potential through a brewing method.
In a side handle pot that handles about 120ml of liquid, I brewed roughly 3 grams. I gave Red Jade #18 a 10 second rinse with water that is about 90 degrees celcius. The first infusion was 20 seconds, with subsequent infusions being 5-10 seconds of additional time. The additional time I added to infusion times depended on how the previous infusions were.
The liquour came out a nice rich, darker red color. The tea has a nice mouthfeel, coating the entire palate. The fruity smell of the dry leaves transforms into a nice sweetness. The tasting notes of the tea compare it to cinnamon. I found it closer to molasses because of the darkness of the tea, its viscosity, and its sweetness.
After the 4th infusion, I started noticing the aftertaste took on a sweet, grape like appearance. In terms of the qi, this tea is more yang. Its a steady, uplifting feel. The ramp up is quite gentle, but it sustains itself quite well. I did 8 infusions, but could have done more. Even though I didn’t brew this with a yixing teapot, I thought that this tea is quite patient.
This is a tea I could enjoy drinking in the morning because of the uplifting feel and the pleasant, dark and sweet notes. I could also imagine pairing this with a dessert. Red teas are generally good year long, but I think this would be a good tea to drink on an overcast day.
As I mentioned, I found that this tea is one that should be brewed and drunken leisurely. I would recommend brewing this with a side handle teapot if one is available, or even drinking it as simply leaves in a bowl of water. Though I could understand if someone would want to brew this with a yixing due to its higher price point. I’m sure it would also work well to brew this tea in a side handle pot with fewer leaves.