Teakan’s Long Jing

Long Jing (Dragon Well) by Teakan
Green Tea / Straight
70g for $30.00

Long Jing (Dragon Well) is one of five teas from Teakan’s Tea Exploration Kit (Volume 2) and makes up 15g of the 70g of looseleaf tea in this curated collection.

First Impressions

I’ve just been really excited about the Tea Exploration Kit from Teakan’s second curated collection, so let’s just dive right in! This is the second tea that I’ve decided to try from the kit and it’s Long Jing (Dragon Well). This is a traditional Chinese green tea and I’ve reviewed multiple dragon wells before in the past and it’s definitely a favourite in my household (…. by me). This particular Long Jing comes from Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China and was harvested in spring 2020 – so just a couple seasons ago!

The leaves of this tea are long, flat, and a lovely bright shade of green. The dry leaf has a sweet, grassy aroma to it, and it’s honestly just really pretty to look at. You can definitely tell that it’s been pressed during the manufacturing process with how flatten the leaves are, but it’s nice to see such intact leaves as well! It’s quite pretty.

Preparation

Teakan recommends steeping Long Jing in 80°C (176°F) water for 2 minutes (for western style steeping) or 30 seconds (for gongfu style steeping). I opted to do an initial steep for 2 minutes with 79°C (175°F) water.

First Taste

Long Jing steeps to a fairly pale yellow on the initial steep. The aroma is a light grassy, vegetal aroma. The flavour has a hint of sweetness but lots of vegetal notes and a light background of grassy flavours. I would liken it to the flavour of bok choy, almost, with that heartier flavour of gai lan (Chinese broccoli). It has a nice sweetness that lingers though, so it kind of just ties it all together into a pleasant cup of tea. The texture makes for a slightly thickened mouthfeel, which is enjoyable as well.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Long Jing three times, adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the flavour was enjoyable. The colour definitely deepened and became more of a golden yellow colour, with stronger vegetal notes over the initial grassy flavours.

 

My Overall Impression

I loved Teakan’s Long Jing (Dragon Well). I found it to be quite pleasant, and just steeped quite nicely – as well as resteeping. The flavour profile is nicely balanced between the vegetal and grassy flavours, and all ties in together well with the sweet notes. It’s definitely a nice sweetness to it that just really makes for a nice cup of tea, and I think this is the type of green tea that would be a great introduction to someone who’s not familiar with green teas – it has a nice crispness to it, and doesn’t have any extra flavourings or scents to it. Simply a pure green tea – just don’t slack on resteeping it.

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Teakan’s Bai Mu Dan

Bai Mu Dan (White Peony) by Teakan
White Tea / Straight
70g for $30.00

Bai Mu Dan is one of five teas from Teakan’s Tea Exploration Kit (Volume 2) and makes up 10g of the 70g of looseleaf tea in this curated collection.

First Impressions

I had such a great experience with Teakan’s premiere collection (previously reviewed, it was sold at the 2020 Vancouver Tea Festival), I basically jumped at the opportunity to try the second curated collection from Teakan. The packaging for the kit is printed cardstock, with Teakan tape over the opening and each tea comes in a kraft paper pouch with similar minimalism labeling as the original collection. The packaging includes a tasting wheel, which Teakan has generous offered as an online download from their website, so you can get another copy if you’ve misplaced your box. I’ve opted to review each tea individually because each tea is single origin, and I did the same for the Spring Exploration Kit.

Bai Mu Dan (White Peony) is a white tea. The leaves themselves are fuzzy and green, with a light floral aroma to it that also has that scent of fresh cut grass and just smells really fresh and new. Bai Mu Dan is from Fuding, Fujian, China and was harvested in spring 2020 (so brand new for the year!). The tiny hairs on the leaves are so delicate.

Preparation

Teakan recommends steeping Bai Mu Dan in 80°C (176°F) water if you’re doing a western steeping method for 1 minute. For those doing gongfu method, it’s 90°C (194°F) water for 5-10 seconds.

I opted to use the western style of steeping because that’s my general preferred method of making tea.

First Taste

Bai Mu Dan steeps to a very pale yellow for the initial steep. The aroma is lightly floral and fruity, it’s pleasant. The tea is a bit sweet, but not sickeningly so, just a hint that goes well with the fruity and floral flavours. At the recommended water temperature and steeping time, Bai Mu Dan is smooth with a lightly thickened mouthfeel and zero bitterness or astringency.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Bai Mu Dan five times, adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. The colour became deeper and more of a golden yellow. I found that the flavour became stronger as the colour deepened, but skewed more floral than fruity, which I enjoyed.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teakan’s Bai Mu Dan. It was a lovely way to begin my journey through the Exploration Kit. This is definitely a white tea that I recommend resteeping, to truly get the full experience of this young white tea that was just harvested and processed this year. It’s a nice little treat to get to experience such a recent harvest, as well as enjoying a tea that has been so minimally processed. The flavour is enjoyable and this tea is easy to drink with a really nice smoothness. This would be a great ‘starter’ white tea for someone who’s new to them.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Teakan’s Milan Xiang, Phoenix Dancong

Milan Xiang, Phoenix Dancong by Teakan
Oolong Tea / Straight
$25.00 for 70g

Milan Xiang, Phoenix Dancong 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 Milan Xiang, Phoenix Dancong was 10g of the 70g.

First Impressions

Milan Xiang, Phoenix Dancong comes in a sealed, resealable kraft paper pouch. Like the other teas that came in the Spring 2020 Exploration box, Milan Xiang has a minimalist white and black label on the packaging that provides all the information that I need about the tea. This oolong tea comes from Wudong, Guangdong, China and was harvested in spring 2019.

The leaves themselves are long and wiry, in dark brown and reddish brown colours. There is a beautiful fragrance from the leaves – it reminds me of floral and buttery aromas. It’s so inviting and smells sweet, which is nice. And look at those beautiful leaves! So gorgeous and just makes me want to dive right in.

Preparation

Teakan recommends steeping Milan Xiang in 95°C (203°F) water for 2 minutes (western steeping style) or 5 seconds (gongfu method). 5 seconds was much too quick for me, so I opted to use 93°C (200°F) water and do an initial steep for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Milan Xiang steeps to a light golden yellow colour. The flavour of Milan Xiang is primarily that of buttery cream and floral sweetness. It’s really nice, and has a thickened texture for the mouthfeel, which is nice. It reminds me a lot of a milk oolong, and just has those buttery cream qualities that I enjoy in an oolong. There just the perfect level of sweetness in the tea that makes it really delicious and would likely go well with a lot of dishes.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Milan Xiang a total of five times (six steeps total), adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the flavour to be strongest for the first and second resteeps, while slowly waning for the steeps after that. I do think I could have gotten a few more steeps out of these leaves, as it was still quite flavourful by the end of the sixth steep of these leaves. The buttery cream flavour was just so tasty and made me want to drink more and more.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teakan’s Milan Xiang, Phoenix Dancong. I really enjoyed the whole process of drinking this tea – from admiring the dry leaf, to the fragrance of the steeped tea, to just resteeping it over and over again. Definitely resteep these leaves to get all the flavour out of them – it’s just so good! The buttery cream flavours would balance well against a savoury meal, or just add a little something something to a dessert.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.