Teakan’s Wuyi Black

Wuyi Black by Teakan
Black Tea / Straight
$25.00 for 70g

Wuyi Black 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 Wuyi Black was 15g of the 70g.

First Impressions

Wuyi Black is part of Teakan’s Spring 2020 Exploration Box and it was one of the teas that I sampled at the Vancouver Tea Festival (which, despite only being 2 months ago, feels like it happened years ago). This black tea is from Tongmu, Fujian, China and harvested in spring 2017. This tea came in a sealed resealable kraft paper pouch with a minimalist white label, I do appreciate the simplicity of the design.

Wuyi Black was harvested at 2000ft elevation (so 2000ft above sea level). The leaves have a strong fruity note, and it actually reminds me of haw flake snacks (which if you grew up eating snacks of Asian origin or taking Traditional Chinese Medicine, you may be familiar with them…). There’s some beautiful dark, wiry leaves with some reddish pieces throughout.

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Preparation

Teakan has two different recommendations for steeping Wuyi Black. If you’re going with the gongfu method, they recommend 95°C (203°F) for 5 seconds. If you’re going to steep western style, they recommend 95°C (203°F) for 30 seconds. I did an initial steep (western style) in 93°C (200°F) for 30 seconds.

First Taste

Wuyi Black steeps to a beautiful orange colour. It has a lovely aroma that I find to be a mix of earthy and fruity. This black tea has a surprisingly light sweetness, which I wasn’t displeased to find. There’s a mild astringency in there as well – I can taste fruity notes that still remind me of haw flakes, and an earthiness that reminds me of portobella mushrooms (surprised? I am!). It’s interestingly a blend of flavours that I don’t find odd, maybe my taste buds are a little weird.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Wuyi Black five times (six steeps total), adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. It steeped quite well, I found the flavour to remain consistent throughout all the steeps. The flavour peaked and was the strongest at the first resteep and gradually lessened after that.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teakan’s Wuyi Black. I found this black tea had an interesting flavour profile and I liked it enough to resteep it – there’s just something weirdly intriguing about the mix of flavours of haw flakes and mushrooms. It makes for a nice cup of tea, and while I didn’t add anything to it, I think that it would take well to cream and sugar if you must – but I think it’s so good on its own and it really doesn’t need anything to let it shine.

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

Teakan’s Li Shan Oolong

Li Shan Oolong by Teakan
Oolong Tea / Straight
$25.00 for 70g

Li Shan Oolong 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 Li Shan Oolong was 15g of the 70g.

First Impressions

Last week I shared my review of the first of five single origin teas from Teakan’s 2020 Spring Exploration Box – Jasmine White. You can find the photo of the outer packaging there as well. This review will be focusing on the second tea I picked out of the kit – Li Shan Oolong.

Li Shan Oolong is an oolong tea harvested in spring 2019 from Li Shan, Nantou, Taiwan and I got 15g of it in the Exploration Box. I love the minimalist vibes from the kraft paper pouch, which is sealed and resealable. The back of the packaging has steeping instructions (more on that later).

This Taiwanese oolong has some beautiful leaves. I love all the variation in colours from warm browns to bright greens to very dark, forest greens. They’re just really fun to look at. The aroma is lightly fruity, it reminds me a lot of peaches.

Preparation

Teakan recommends steeping Li Shan Oolong in 95°C (203°F) water. I opted to use 93°C (200F°) water. For western style steeping, this oolong is meant to be steeped for 1 minute, 30 seconds (90 seconds). With the gongfu method, its 5 seconds. I did the 90 second steep in my teapot.

First Taste

Li Shan Oolong steeps to a light golden yellow for the initial steep. There’s some floral aroma to the tea – with some sweet, honeyed notes in the fragrance as well. The flavour of the tea is a mix of stone fruit (I definitely taste more apricot that I can smell), honey, and floral notes. It’s nicely balanced. I found that the tea was smooth with only a slightly thickened texture to it. It’s a pleasant mouthfeel and was so easy to drink up the whole pot.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Li Shan Oolong six times (seven steeps total), adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. The flavour and colour were strongest in the first and second resteeps. While the flavour and colour weakened by the last steep, the flavour remains consistent and didn’t change too much for it. It was a treat to watch how much the leaves opened up as I steeped this oolong.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teakan’s Li Shan Oolong. I’m a sucker for a good quality oolong, and this one does not disappoint. I loved everything from admiring the dry leaf, steeping (and resteeping) and drinking the tea, to looking at the spent leaves after everything was all said and done. I really enjoyed the flavour of this oolong, and I think a lot of people would like it as well – especially if you have an appreciation for teas with floral notes.

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

Teakan’s Jasmine White

Jasmine White by Teakan
White Tea / Straight
$25.00 for 70g

Jasmine White 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 Jasmine White was 15g of the 70g.

First Impressions

Teakan is a Vancouver-based tea company that I was first introduced to at the 2020 Vancouver Tea Festival. Two lovely tea enthusiasts who came together to produce this: the Spring 2020 Exploration Box – which consists of five single origin teas that they love and packaged together to create an affordable collection of high quality teas. So of course that meant I had to purchase a box for myself (fun fact: they sold out of their boxes at the Vancouver Tea Festival!).

The collection itself comes in a cardboard carton, sealed with string. The teas are individually packaged in kraft paper pouches that are sealed and resealable. The labelling is minimalist – white with black printed text. The front side features the name, origin, type of tea, harvest time and weight. The back has steeping instructions, tasting notes, and a QR code to use that leads you to their website for more information.

Jasmine White comes from Lincang, Yunnan, China. It’s a scented white tea (silver needle, to be exact) and was harvested in spring of 2019. The tea leaves are fuzzy and are heavily scented with jasmine – it just has a nice floral note to it. Quite inviting and I love jasmine, so what’s not to love about a white tea with jasmine?

Preparation

Teakan recommends steeping Jasmine White in 95°C (203°F) water. I opted to use 93°C (200F°) water. For western style steeping, it’s a 25 second steep. For gongfu style, it’s 5 seconds. I opted to do 25 seconds because by the type I filled the teapot and put the kettle back onto its base and checked up on the leaves, it was much longer than 5 seconds.

First Taste

Jasmine White steeps to a very pale yellow after a 25 second steep. The aroma is very sweetly floral with the jasmine. The tea itself is very light – it has some sweet floral notes, something fresh and inviting in the background. Zero bitterness or astringency, which I didn’t expect to have any issues with such a short steep. The flavour is pleasant, and there’s a mild vegetal note that lingers on the tongue.

A Second Cup?

With any single origin tea, you know I’m going to resteep it again and again – Jasmine White is no exception to that. I ended up resteeping this white tea seven times (eight steeps total). I added about 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. The colour of the tea became a nice golden yellow after the initial steep. The flavour stayed consistent and the tea itself was quite flavourful even by the last steep that I did.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teakan’s Jasmine White. I really enjoyed the flavour of the tea, since I do adore jasmine teas. The tea leaves stood up quite nicely to being resteeped, and it just showed off the quality of the leaves themselves in how well they did. I would definitely recommend resteeping this tea as much as humanly possible just to get all of that beautiful flavour out of it. I would pair this honestly with any meal or dessert – it can lend itself to being a contrast with a savoury meal (and adding some lightness to a heavy meal) or just pair well with the sweetness of dessert since this tea is sweet, but it won’t overpower cakes or pastries.

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