Janine wrote:Thanks for all the info! To be fair, Roy just told me it was from an assam brought in during the Japanese occupation. i assumed it was from India but of course Burma makes more sense.
Roy is actually referring to a different tea! He may not be familiar with Taiwan cultivar #18 (fyi - this is how it is referred to in Chinese - "Tai bi 18"). There are Assam plants in India that were brought in by the Japanese as Roy states. This Assam tea is also sold in the Sun-Moon Lake area and probably elsewhere in Taiwan. Here is more info on the Indian Assam and Tai bi 18.
http://www.culture.tw/index.php?option= ... Itemid=235
Here are some key items from that site:
"In early 1920s Taiwan began to plant black tea tress when the Japanese government imported Assam saplings from India to Taiwan. In the 1920's Japanese tea company Nitton ran in fierce competition with British brand Lipton in the global black tea market. The locally produced Formosa Black Tea was sold by Nitton in London and New York, and was very well received by the market."
"In addition to the Assam tea trees, the Council of Agriculture's Tea Research and Extension Station (TRES) has also introduced a new species of tea tree, named TTC-TTES No.18 or Ruby, to Seshui farmers. The Ruby tea tree is a new breed derived from the hybridization of a Burmese tea tree and Taiwan's wild tea trees after years of research by TRES. Ruby black tea has a natural fragrance of cinnamon with a slight hint of mint, and local farmers are hoping the distinguishing qualities of Ruby can help them to build up their reputation."
As you can see, I talked to several people about it while at Sun-Moon Lake and then researched it further upon returning. I find it interesting. Hope you do too! For awhile Hou De tea was selling some black tea from the wild Taiwan tea plants which sounded interesting. Honestly, it was just ok - very mild. Tai bi 18 is quite good though. However to me it still has a very noticeable oolong taste to it, like an Oriental Beauty.