Mountain Stream Teas’ Ruby 18 White Tea (Winter 2019) | Tea Review

by Tea in Spoons

After listening to David Campbell talk at the Toronto Tea Festival, I recall I had a Ruby 18 tea! So, I wanted to give it a taste.

Description: “A truly unique, subtle and deep tea made from the Ruby 18 cultivar. If you like Ruby 18 black, this is a must try. Sweet notes give way to a clear and pleasant mid mouth before finishing with a blast of that menthol-licorice-mint so unique to this cultivar.”

Instructions: 3-5g per 100ml | 90°C water | 20, 30, 30 then add 5-10 seconds steeps in gaiwan. Lasts 8-12 steeps.   

Review: From my understanding, Ruby 18 is normally processed into a black tea, so I was excited when I saw this on the Mountain Stream Tea website! It is a hand picked tea that is processed in small batches. The website specifically mentioned it was not recommended to brew this using western style brewing, so I used my gaiwan.

The dry leaves were large and chocolate brown and a woody licorice smell. After a 30 second wash, there was a nice floral aroma from the wet leaves.


Steep 1 (20 seconds): The liquor was a tan colour with a floral, sweet honey taste and hints of vegetal. There was a mild cooling sensation

Steep 2 (30 seconds): The liquor had more of a yellow hue. Tastewise, it was very similar to steep 1 but the vegetal note was the dominant flavour, followed by some woody and nutty flavour. The liquor was drying at the tail end

Steep 3 (30 seconds): The liquor was a darker yellow with a smell earthy. It had a much more pronounced floral taste. So far, I enjoyed this infusion the best. There was a metallic linger for a second and drying at the back of the throat

Steep 4 (35 seconds): The liquor was much more mineral and grassy and still drying

Steep 5 (40 seconds): This infusion had much more of the classic hay notes that are more common for white teas with a floral undertone

Steep 6 (45 seconds): There was a very strong floral aroma from liquor. Similar to Steep 5 with hay and floral notes that linger in the mouth

Steep 7 (50 seconds): The liquor was more of reddish-orange with stronger vegetal notes and some bitterness

Steep 8 (55 seconds): The liquor was faint

Steep 9 (60 seconds): The leaves are spent and I stopped infusing

I found this tea overall very enjoyable due to the range of flavours. I am finding over the years I am learning to enjoy the delicate nature of white teas. That being said, I would like to compare this to a Ruby 18 black tea and see how they differ (3.5/5 rating)!

  • Type: White tea
  • Origin: Taiwan, Pinglin, New Taipei City
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: White tea
  • Company: Mountain Stream Teas

The question of the post: Have you ever had Ruby 18 before?

Edit: Nicole from Tea for me Please, kindly added me to her Weekly Roundup of February 23rd – February 29th! Check out all the other neat posts from the week ranging what the colour of your liquor says about your tea and Japanese hand-rolling!

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Friday Roundup: February 23rd - February 29th - Tea for Me Please February 29, 2020 - 10:06 am

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Tea in Spoons is where I share my love of teas through tea reviews, tea travel, tea tips, information, and more. New tea adventure every Thursday!