Teakan’s Laoshan Green

Laoshan Green by Teakan
Green Tea / Straight
$25.00 for 70g

Laoshan Green is part of the Teakan’s Spring 2020 Exploration box, which I purchased at the 2020 Vancouver Tea Festival back in March. This Exploration Box consists of 5 teas and Laoshan Green was 15g of the 70g.

First Impressions

Laoshan Green is a green tea that was a 2020 Vancouver Tea Festival purchase. The tea comes in a sealed, resealable kraft paper pouch with the minimalism white and black label on the packaging. I still appreciate the simplicity of the label because it just really allows the tea itself to shine. No fancy packaging, no glitzy illustrations – just simple.

Laoshan Green is a Chinese green tea from Laoshan, Shandong, China. The leaves were harvested in autumn 2019. The leaves are thin and wiry. The colours vary from a light grass green to a deep olive green. Such variation in shades of green! And it has a sweet, grassy aroma – which I find both inviting and tempting because I love a good green tea.

Preparation

Teakan offers two different steeping recommendations. With the gongfu method, Teakan recommends 80°C (176°F) water for 5 seconds and the western method at 80°C (176°F) water for 3o seconds.

Because 5 seconds was just a wee bit too quick for me, I opted to steep Laoshan Green in the western method.

First Taste

Laoshan Green steeps to a beautiful pale yellow-green colour. The aroma is grassy, with hints of honey sweetness in the background. The flavour of the tea has a mix of grass and vegetables – it has a nice crispness to it that reminds me a lot of green beans – which I like. There’s a sweetness to it that reminds me of honey, but it’s not overpowering the other flavours in this green tea.

A Second Cup?

I did four resteeps of Laoshan Green (five steeps total). I added an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. The green bean and grassy notes are most intense in the first resteep, and slowly begin to wane after that. I found that the flavour stayed really nice throughout each steep, and I think I could have gone further if I had wanted to put in more time into steeping it. It’s pleasant and tasty though, so I quite enjoyed it.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teakan’s Laosha Green. I really enjoyed the flavour of the tea, I found the grassy and green bean notes to be delightful and be a treat to steep because of how well the tea resteeped and how much I liked the flavours. The honey sweetness that was present was enjoyable, and didn’t overwhelm the grassy notes. I love the flavour profile found in this straight tea, and found the sweet balanced really nicely against the green bean and grassy notes that I found in Laoshan Green.

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The Chinese Tea Shop’s Vintage Wild Gushu Camphor Loose Leaf Pu’erh

Vintage Wild Gushu Camphor Loose Leaf Pu’erh by The Chinese Tea Shop
Pu’erh / Straight
$41.00 for 20g

First Impressions

Not sure who I am and what have I done with Michelle, but this is another pu’erh review for a tea that I voluntarily purchased. Crazy things happened to my brain during the 2020 Vancouver Tea Festival and this is one of those purchases! This is the Vintage Wild Gushu Camphor Loose Leaf Pu’erh from The Chinese Tea Shop. This pu’erh is from the 1970’s, so even older than the last one I showcased here (from the 1990’s). Vintage Wild Gushu Camphor Loose Leaf Pu’erh comes in a resealable plastic pouch. Clear window in the front so you can see the tea leaves themselves (and don’t worry – I keep my tea away from light!).

Vintage Wild Gushu Camphor Loose Leaf Pu’erh has some amazingly huge leaves in the dried state. There some dark reddish brown colours  that are just lovely. It has a very soft aroma that reminds me of a bit of peaches, like the aroma that you smell when you walk by a pile of fruit at the grocery store. Just the aroma that wafts up at you when you walk by to entice you into purchasing that just ripened fruit. It’s subtle and doesn’t just smack you in the face, but it’s definitely present and enough to draw you in.

Preparation

No steeping instructions on the packaging, but there was plenty of information on The Chinese Tea Shop’s website. The Chinese Tea Shop recommends steeping in 95-100°C (203-212°F) water for short steeps in the gongfu method.

I opted to do an initial steep of Vintage Wild Gushu Camphor Loose Leaf Pu’erh at 100°C (212°F) water for 60 seconds.

First Taste

Vintage Wild Gushu Camphor Loose Leaf Pu’erh steeps to a deep burnt orange colour. The aroma is mostly earthy, with hints of sweetness in the background. The flavour of the tea is earthy and sweet, with some deep peach/stone fruit notes. It’s not quite as fresh peach aroma as the dry leaf, but still quite inviting. The texture of the tea is smooth, bold, with a slightly thickened mouthfeel. No bitterness, no astringency, and just the right amount of sweet to balance against the earthiness.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Vintage Wild Gushu Camphor Loose Leaf Pu’erh four times (five steeps total with the same leaves). I added an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep, and found the the flavour stayed very consistent throughout. It did wane in intensity, but the flavour profile stayed pretty similar to the initial steep with that earthiness, sweet, and peach/stone fruit notes.

My Overall Impression

I loved The Chinese Tea Shop’s Vintage Wild Gushu Camphor Loose Leaf Pu’erh. Is anyone else surprised? Maybe I do like pu’erh after all? This one has some great flavours – I loved the thickened texture that the pu’erh has, with the earthiness, peach notes, and just the right amount of sweetness that just makes it quite inviting. I think if this had been one of the earlier pu’erh teas that I tried, I would have liked it a lot better (who knows though, maybe not!). It’s just pleasant and enjoyable, and I like the depth of flavour in this aged tea.

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Gold Kili’s Double Shot White Milk Tea

Double Shot White Milk Tea by Gold Kili
Black Tea / Flavoured
$6.95 for 280g (eight 35g sachets)

First Impressions

I picked up Double Shot White Milk Tea on a whim while grocery shopping a little while ago – that’s the funny thing about going grocery shopping now with the arrows that dictate what direction you’re meant to go down each aisle, you sometimes start wandering down an aisle that you didn’t need anything but end up picking up something anyways.

In a bright orange cardstock box, Double Shot White Milk Tea intrigued me enough to pick it up. There’s a nice photo of latte art in the front. This box contains eight portions of the instant tea mix. Double Shot White Milk Tea consists of: sugar, refined fully hydrogenated vegetable oil, skimmed milk powder, instant tea, dipotassium phosphate, sodium caseinate, mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids, silicon dioxide, and caratene. Potential allergens listed are: sesame, soy, wheat and gluten. There’s basically no smell to the powder at all.

Preparation

Gold Kili recommends mixing one pouch with 180ml hot water and to stir to mix. For iced, they recommend using 90ml hot water, and then adding ice. I opted to prepare it hot. With no water temperature suggestion, I opted to heat my water to 100°C (212°F).

First Taste

Double Shot White Milk Tea easily dissolves, and has a light brown colour. Obviously the latte art doesn’t magically appear, but it’s a nice colour. Once the powder is mixed, it does smell like milk tea. The flavour is interesting – I can taste black tea, and there’s a nice milk flavour to it. However, it’s not as creamy as I would prefer in a milk tea, and there’s actually a slight bitterness to it like an oversteeped black tea. It’s not as sweet as I expected, given that sugar is the first listed ingredient and each 35g pouch has 16g of sugar.

A Second Cup?

No second cup as everything dissolves in the water, much like a matcha or drink mix.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Gold Kili’s Double Shot White Milk Tea was just okay. The flavour wasn’t quite what I was expecting, maybe because I’m a bit particular about milk tea in general (proof) – I like mine a bit sweeter, with a heavier milk presence (which is why I use evaporated milk). The nice thing about that I do like about the Double Shot White Milk Tea is the convenience of having milk tea on-the-go, and how easily it dissolves in water. I will definitely be having this iced this summer since it’s so easy to make, and having a packet or two with my lunch for work since it’s just more convenient than heating up a kettle and carrying around evaporated milk with me.

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