This was a more pleasantly balanced Ruby 18 than what I have had in the past. The menthol and bitterness was not as intense as the more common Ruby 18s that I have found, which allowed the more subtle flavors a chance to be enjoyed. The flavor was something that reminded me of very dark chocolate and cranberry, with a touch of mint.
this ruby 18 gives a relatively gentle rounded taste, while keeping the distinct menthol-licorice notes.
I've only had another, that at first seemed "higher quality" because it had strong aroma and taste, but it came with pronounced bitterness and astringency..
as stressed in the info- ONLY make this with gong-fu brewing.. otherwise it's brutal
The distinct Ruby 18 cultivar flavors are more rounded in this tea than others I've had. I found the dry leaf to be super fragrant with a honey like sweetness. The infused leaves yielded a deep orange/red liquor with smells of tobacco and leather. The taste was a cool mint, sweet syrup juiciness!