Barrel Aged Chiang Rai

Barrel Aged Chiang RaiGarden Direct Black Tea


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Harvest Date: May 2018
Elevation: 1,200m
Cultivar: Ruby 18

Our Garden Direct whiskey barrel aged teas are a unique expression of Rishi's core values: Selector, Importer and Maker. We chose two regions in Thailand to be the source for this innovative project: areas surrounding both Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. We harvested the tea in spring and after traditional processing sent them to our close partners in Japan to begin the whiskey barrel aging process. The result is a fascinating journey through how terroir, unique heirloom genetics and careful handling can bring about unique and brilliant flavor nuances.

The tea garden in Doi Mae Salong in the Chiang Rai province was established in the 1950s by pioneering Taiwanese entrepreneurs who brought with them the cherished Ruby 18 cultivar. Due to lack of demand and the local skills necessary to cultivate this special tea the production output was devastated. We discovered these extraordinary gardens two years ago and with our local partners began the process of rehabilitation. After harvesting and processing we age the tea in Japanese whiskey barrels. Flavors of lively fig and berry jam notes begin to develop with a solid tannin structure but without the char or peat present in the Chiang Mai varietal.


Doi Mae Salong, Chiang Rai

Tasting Notes

Flavors of lively fig and berry jam, with a solid tannin structure.


Black tea.

Traditional Preparation

Add 6g tea leaves to a Gaiwan or Gongfu Teapot (per 150ml).
Use 200°F water. The leaves can be given a quick rinse or brewed without for a fuller tilt whiskey profile.
Start with a 45 second infusion. The tea can be brewed many times up to your taste and is excellent for making tea infused cocktails and ice cubes.

Gaiwan Brewing from Rishi Tea on YouTube.