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Acala Tea Co.

"Ruby Empress" Bug-Bitten Red

"Ruby Empress" Bug-Bitten Red

Regular price $18.50 USD
Regular price Sale price $18.50 USD
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Ruby Empress comes from feral trees in Pinklin, Taiwan.  It is an aged red tea that grew in a biodiverse ecosystem in a mountainous landscape.  The trees were allowed to naturally spread throughout the area and self-propagated by natural means.  Katydids nibble the leaves freely and the trees respond with a sweet tasting, natural pesticide to protect itself.  This is the same response that gives Eastern Beauty its unique flavor and fragrance.  

Due to Ruby Empress's thirteen year aging process, the bug-bitten leaves create a sweet, malty, floral flavor and brews up to 8-10 times. 

This tea is not only delicious as a hot tea, but also as a cold brew.  Add 4g of Ruby Empress to a strainer pitcher with 450ml of cold water and refrigerate overnight.  In lieu of a strainer pitcher, add the leaves to a tea sachet and put into a regular pitcher before refrigerating.  See Brewing Recommendations for more details.  

Tea Specifics

Harvest: 2009

Pinglin, Taiwan

Elevation: Mountainous

Tree: Feral

Cultivar: Camellia sinensis var. Assamica

Loose leaf

Red (black) tea contains 40-60mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup. As the tea ages, the caffeine levels decline over time because light and leaf oxidation reduce caffeine. Thus, an aged red tea that is decades old may not contain much caffeine at all. If you have the willpower to resist drinking this tea and to instead store and age the tea, the taste profile will only deepen.

Tasting Notes

Honey, Spice, Floral, Malty, Musky, Punchy, Amber Liquor, Capable of Multiple Infusions

Brewing Recommendations

Serving Size: 4-6g of tea per 100ml purified water

Ideal brewing vessel: Porcelain teapot or gaiwan; or low profile clay teapot reserved for your red teas only.

Awaken: Pour 212F water over dry leaves to allow them to awaken for 10 seconds before discarding wash.

Gong Fu Style Brewing: Boil water to 212F and then wait for the water to stop bubbling before pouring the water into the gaiwan or tea pot. Brew for 30 seconds, then replace the lid and pour the liquor into a gong dao bei (fairness pitcher) before apportioning into tea cups.  Remove lid between steepings to prevent the leaves from overheating. Flash brewing in this manner ensures this tea can be brewed up to 6+ times and brewed again the following morning if left overnight.

Western Style brewing: Steep for 1-2 minutes each brew.

Grandpa Style Brewing: Put 3g (1tsp) tea in the bottom of a tall cup. Pour 180F water over the top and allow tea to steep continually in the water, topping off the cup with 180F water throughout the day.

Cold Brew: 4g per 450ml of cold water. Please tea in a sachet or a strainer pitcher. Refrigerate overnight.

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