Royal Tea Bay Co. Ltd.Edit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Actually this tea review is for this one and Han Xiang Ecological Tea – Rizhao. I’ve got this one in Sept and was not that enthused with it. Since I didn’t have any Rizhao tea around to compare it with, I thought it was possible my taste changed. So I ordered my favourite Rizhao from the Aliexpress seller Han Xiang Ecological Tea (You can check out my initial review of this tea under “Shandong Rizhao Green Tea”).
In comparison of the two teas dry, they both smelled good from the bag. Pretty similar – a nice fresh green scent. Both teas had the same twisted shape but this tea from RTB had bigger leaves. Brewed both up with 8oz , 80C, 1 min.
The both brewed a similar bright yellow colour but the tea from HXET was a lighter brigher yellow. The tea from RTB was a little bit murkier, not so clear. When I took a taste of the HXET it was still as good as it’s been in past years: butter, spinach, nutty, creamy, sweet. So good. Then I took a taste of the RTB tea. It tasted completely flat. No taste at all. I let my palate clear a bit and tried this tea again. After waiting a few minutes and taking a sip , it was a bit better but was a plain green with none of the underlying creamy, spinach taste the other one has. It was non astringent with a very faint nutty flavour to it. When I would take a sip of the tea from HXET it had so much flavour it just overshadowed the RTB tea so much , I couldn’t taste it at all.
I definitely won’t be buying this tea from RTB anymore. In fact I got 3 teas from them in Sept and all 3 are fairly mediocre.
I enjoyed comparing the two and think I will do a comparison of the HXET Rizhao with some Laoshan Greens I have. They are all grown in about the same area and I think they are all very similar.
A sample from Miss B. The leaves of of this one are reminding me of a Butiki green I tried a while back, but I can’t now remember which one. They’re thin and wiry, very twisted (almost curly, really…), and a very dark green. The flavour is also reminding me of something, but I’m finding it hard to pin down exactly what. Roasted chestnuts is as close as I can come, but it’s not quite right…Roasted chestnuts and grass? Mushroom? Mushroom! That’s closer.
It’s a very smooth green, not at all astringent, but with a strong and distinctive flavour. Just the kind of green tea I’ve discovered I like! Thanks again to Miss B for sharing this one with me.
The dry green leaves are very long and spindly and take up lots of space like a white tea. They smell so good from the bag – a rich green bean/chestnut smell.
This tea is very delicate and light. A light sweetness followed by a nutty chestnut flavour and green beans. Everything is very light and subtle about this tea.
Flavors: Chestnut, Green Beans, Nutty, Sweet
I’m spending the weekend going through tea samples I got from the Steepster puer TTB many trips to my house. I am not sure what round this tea was in.
This tastes old, musty, rotting forest floor, super stank pu. It is good and I know people here who love dat musty old rot pu would love this tea! The age has done this tea well.
My first class was canceled today, which means morning teatime! More samples from the generous LiquidProust. This one I was a little dubious about, since I had the ripe version of this Lao Cang toucha in a Portland tea shop last summer, for $24/100g!! Jesus, talk about a markup. Luckily, I only bought one ounce before I realized it wasn’t for me.
Anyway, the first steep of this tea is awesome! Sweet, and delicious rice aroma and flavors coming out the gaiwan and cup. If it stayed like this, it’d be a 100. Sadly, it does fade—later steeps are more musty and less sweet, and betray the less-than-stellar sheng underneath the flavoring. If I were to drink this again, I’d steep it western to distribute that first steep over the entire session.
Still, that first steep kind of makes the whole session worth it! Mm, sticky rice…
This tea was sent to me accidentally instead of the tea I originally ordered. When I reached out to Royal Tea Bay they were apologetic and quickly, actually very quickly, sent out the correct tea. Now I have a kilogram of this tea. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about it but after some experimentation I am really beginning to appreciate it. For me it is best brewed in my gaiwan. It has a pronounced smokiness to it that reminds me of the gunpowder green I used to drink, reminds me of hot rocks around a campfire. After a couple of quick rinses the smokiness moves to the back and leaves a thick smooth broth. It tastes like incense burning on a rainy day with the windows open, of wet rocks on a forest floor. The aroma is reminicent of a candle burning on a cold night. It has has both a sweetness and a richness to it and just a touch of astringency that leaves a bright taste at the end. I brewed 8g for 10s, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40 ,50. I may just keep going.
I am thinking of attempting to age a portion of this bundled in cloth. I have no idea what effect this might have on it but it might be interesting.
Flavors: Ash, Mineral, Smoke, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks
This is an interesting one. this comes to me from MissB and is tightly compacted. I let is sit for a while after a 10 sec steep. almost all the water was absorbed in to the cake. My first couple of steeps of this one, i was getting an almost menthol like taste…bordering on mint…but really faintly. it was a weird experience. the aroma of the tea however, was much more earthy/leathery like. Later steeps the tea was much more cedar and wood with almost an aftertaste of smoke but not strong.
this was an interesting tea and one i might consider purchasing in the future.
an amazing tea! (one of the best shou puerhs ive ever tried!)
when i smell the leaves dry, i smell a tad bit of mustyness.
when i smell the leaves wet, i smell earth.
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell earth and sweetness.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste mild earth and lots of sweetness.
the color of the brewed tea is a chocolaty brown.
i rate this a 100 because the tea is just perfect!
many thanks to liquidproust for this amazing sample.
Flavors: Earth, Musty, Sweet
ive grown to enjoy this tea a lot since its the only sheng left i like that i have. (the other sheng i have tried and still have i don’t like as its too weak for me. so i did not review it).
i also took a nice chunk out of the strainer and sucked on it like a candy for a little while. quite bitter. but it got enjoyable after a while.
this tea is lovely!
new score: 80
a decent tea :)
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell musty.
when i smell the leaves wet, they smell green and like honey.
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell somewhat strong honey aromas.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste somewhat strong honey and mild spices. also i taste a tad bit of fruityness.
when brewed, this tea is a dark orange and somewhat amber color.
i rate this a 80 because the flavors/aromas are a little below perfect, but there is no smokeyness. (im not sure if liquidproust said there was any or not).
many thanks for this tuo liquidproust.
Flavors: Fruity, Honey, Musty, Spices
Thanks so much for this one, MissB! If this is what Jin Jun Mei is usually like, I’m in love. Right away, the scent of the dry leaves is like a baked bready dessert covered in cocoa powder. I think this tea singlehandedly invented that dessert in my mind. The flavor is similar to the scent in this deep amber brew. Cocoa powder! It’s kind of like a keemun with the flavor profile and hints of smoke mixed with a tea like Laoshan Black (which makes sense if they’re both Fujian). Caramel, chocolate, and something special to this tea, some unique flavor I can’t figure out. I love it though. Both steeps were the same. I have a few more teaspoons to enjoy!
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 12 minutes after boiling // 2- 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // ?? min
Royal Tea Bay is one of my favourite eBay tea stores, so I was poking around and noticed the persimmon leaf tea. It intrigued me, because I’ve had goji leaf tea before and really like it. I wondered if it was similar. Since I drink so much tea, I’m always looking for caffeine-free teas and if they are beneficial to health, then all the better. The persimmon leaf tea has huge leaves and I had to break them up to get them into my infuser. The dry leaves didn’t have a very strong smell, so I steeped for five minutes to try and get as much taste and aroma as possible. The brewed tea has a mild aroma and light colour. It had a slight peppery taste to it and was vegetal. I found the tea mild, but I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t use enough of the leaves for steeping. I’ll try using more next time.
For once, a black tea that is not offensively chocolatey, salty, smokey, or strong! What a pleasant experience! This makes me look forward to testing out my fresh Jin Jun Mei that Liquid Proust bought directly from the source in China.
The tea, though, is from the lovely MissB. It is malty and thicker feeling without being cloying or bitter. It’s dark and a little sweet without making my stomach upset. It smells quite sweet, but is not so sweet on the sip. Maybe a little woody or minerally, but melding with the maltiness; it reminds me of sweet potato skins, if that’s not too weird!
Thanks for the sample, MissB! I’m having fun playing sample roulette by dipping my hand in my sample box and coming up with something random!
Flavors: Malt, Sweet Potatoes
My sip down of the day, this tuocha came from Sil and although the label didn’t say
‘sticky rice’ on it, as soon as I unwrapped it, I could smell it, and even more so after the rinse. My kitchen smelled like sticky rice, making me think of that awesome sticky rice, mango, & coconut milk dessert. I can’t eat most grains, although I confess that I do occasionally eat some rice. It’s a little rough on my digestions, but sometimes I get tired of the cauliflower rice alternative and just want to chew something starchy. Especially when eating curry.
So…the tea…meh. It’s ok, but not something I’d want in my collection. It doesn’t taste bad, but I’m just not really enamored with having my tea taste like rice. Still, a change of pace, and it’s always good to drink something novel from time to time.
This is really outside my comfort zone, but that’s what I like about TTBs, getting to try things I would never buy or swap for. :)
This isn’t as rose/floral as I thought it would be. It’s actally pretty interesting. Nice woody, mineraly, dark oolong with just a hint of rose. Those flavors actually work pretty well together. I still don’t think I would buy this, but I’m glad I tried it. I’m putting the rest back in the box for someone else to try.
Our final tea of the evening (for by then it was evening, and I was learning the mesh knitting pattern of my new shawl project!) with Dinosara was a tea sample I got from MissB. I don’t know how to describe this tea other than extremely unique with an indescribably good smell that reminds me of… something… I just can’t place it but it was so good! I think this may have to be the first tea of all my samplers lately that I’m going to have to buy a goodly amount of! On the the steep records:
10 seconds: Creamy sweet, almost vanilla flavor, which is just fantastic! There is a bit of crushed green something on the sip that contributes a freshness to it.
20 seconds: Indescribably good smell in my aroma cup that would continue through the rest of the steeps. Maybe fruity, maybe floral? Light astringency, but a vanilla and butter aftertaste that is fabulous.
30 seconds: A bit beany now, but that wonderful smell continues.
35 seconds: Mildly green beany, but good almost-vanilla still on the sip and aftertaste.
45 seconds: losing the smell, and the astringency is up. Reminds me of buttered collards.
Flavors: Creamy, Green Beans, Vanilla
Equusfell brought this one and it was quite delicious. I honestly was not expecting much, not because I have experience with these type of teas, but because most green teas are just ok to me. This had a lot going on though. The early steeps were sweet and had an almost vanilla-like creamy note to them. The later steeps were more floral and also buttery, almost like a nice TGY, but with different florals. Quite tasty overall; I’m curious how this would perform as a western steep as well.
This is the most difficult tea I’ve ever tried to brew. I know it’s a yellow pu’erh cake which means I shouldn’t use too hot of water, but dang… I ended up brewing this 7 times until I got it to about what might be considered ideal. 190f is too hot and 30s is too long. I ended up brewing 180f for 10s and it came out rather smooth. I am going to try again at 170f for 10s next time because these leaves seem to be delicate. The tea smells stronger than it taste which is nice and the taste is not something I can describe. I will say that they is no bitterness like many shengs have. The taste is a bit funky, which I expected after reading reviews online. I’ve drank quite few cups of this which should account for something, then again I had to tinker a lot with it. I can tell that the taste isn’t as appealing as say a shou would be for many, or even a sheng at that, but I find it interesting in a calming way as I try to figure out what I’m tasting.
This came from the cake that has a piece of hay in it :) https://instagram.com/p/3AIuZMRYBb/?taken-by=liquidproust
I don’t expect anything bad to come from that though since it’s dried hay and not something like, say, packing tape :p