Teakan’s Ya Shi Xiang, Phoenix Dancong

Ya Shi Xiang, Phoenix Dancong by Teakan
Oolong Tea / Straight
$30.00 for 60g

Ya Shi Xiang, Phoenix Dancong is part of Teakan’s Volume 4 Exploration Kit, a collection of five single origin teas. Ya Shi Xiang, Phoenix Dancong makes up 10g of the 60g kit.

First Impressions

Ya Shi Xiang directly translates to duck shit – and is surprisingly not smelling of poop if you know what the name translates to. Phoenix Dancong is a bit of a more forgiving name, that is for sure! This particular Ya Shi Xiang comes in a sealed, resealable kraft paper pouch with a white and black label across the front and back. To be specific, this oolong was harvested in spring of 2021 from Wudong, Guangdong, China.

The dry leaves are long, slightly wiry with a light twist. The colour of the leaves are a deep brown, with light pops of tan and lighter brown throughout. The aroma of the leaves is floral and sweet, nothing at all like the name suggests, with hints of what reminds me of the smell right after a rainfall.

Preparation

Teakan recommends steeping Ya Shi Xiang in 95°C (203°F) for 2 minutes (western style) or 98°C (208°F) for 5 seconds (gongfu style). I opted to steep western style, due to ease on my part.

First Taste

Ya Shi Xiang steeps to a clear light golden yellow after the 2 minute steep. The aroma of the steeped tea is mostly floral with hints of fresh rain and wet moss like you get when going for a walk through the forest, and it’s pleasant to the nose to be sure. The tea itself has a smooth texture, sweet, floral with very light nuttiness at the tail end of each sip. It has a thickened mouth texture but pleasantly smooth and easy to drink.

A Second Cup?

Ya Shi Xiang resteeps nicely – I did six resteeps of the same leaves (seven steeps total) – and added an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. The leaves open beautifully – look at those lovely green leaves! The flavour gets a bit deeper for the first two resteeps, and then slowly begins to wane in flavour intensity, but I do enjoy each resteep thoroughly.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teakan’s Ya Shi Xiang, Phoenix Dancong. The tea resteeps beautifully, and has a lovely floral flavour with each steep. The flavour remains fairly consistent with each steep, and lends itself to a really tasty cup of tea – despite of what the name of the tea is! I even had a cup of it cold (due to leaving it too long), and really enjoyed it as well – so there’s that.

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Masters Teas’ Rohini Gold Wire

Rohini Gold Wire by Masters Teas
Oolong Tea / Straight
$19.00USD for 2oz

Masters Teas has provided me with Rohini Gold Wire for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

One of my favourite types of tea is oolong – and I’m not shy about sharing that. It’s not one that I drank a lot growing up (mostly black and green), but it was one that was had on occasion. So when someone asks if I want the opportunity to try out a single origin oolong tea, I’m not about to say no. Rohini Gold Wire is a single origin oolong from Darjeeling, India. Single origin is an interest term that’s been used a lot lately in the tea industry (and probably other industries as well). Basically what it means that the tea is only from one area, or farm. When you get a grocery store tea, it’ll be (for example) a black tea, but you don’t necessarily know where it came from. Sometimes it’s from multiple farm sources and they get blended together. But a single origin tea is basically as labelled – single origin.

Rohini Gold Wire comes in a sealed, resealable pouch with some information on it from Masters Teas. As it came in sample packaging, I did have to go to the product page on their website to find out more information about it. This is the February 2021 harvest, and is said to be similar to oolongs from China – which makes me really curious and excited to give it a try. The aroma of it is sweet, fruity, and nutty. The leaves are really quite pretty with a nice range in colours that I get to enjoy. There’s that nice pop of spring green in there that is nice to see among the darker shades of green-brown in there.

Preparation

Masters Teas recommends steeping Rohini Gold Wire in 100°C (212°F) water for 3 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions for my initial steep of Rohini Gold Wire.

First Taste

Rohini Gold Wire steeps to a very inviting and friendly shade of yellow. The aroma of this tea is fruity – it reminds me of grapes and peaches – and it has a nice sweetness to it. There’s a slightly thickened texture to the tea, but it’s really quite smooth and I find no bitterness or astringency to it. It’s a nice tea to sip and has a really full-bodied flavour that that can be found throughout each sip and it just is easy to drink. I found the sweetness to remind me of honey and that there was a slight toasted note at the tail end of each sip, but I can’t really place what it reminds me of.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Rohini Gold wire a total of five times (six steeps total), adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. The tea itself became a more darker, golden colour. The flavour turned more fruity and less sweet, but nonetheless easy to drink and tasty.

My Overall Impression

I loved Masters Teas’ Rohini Gold Wire. There was just something really pleasant about this tea to drink. It had a great flavour from start to finish, and I found that the flavour stayed fairly consistent, despite getting less sweet. The leaves themselves performed beautifully and did a great job with resteeping, so I would highly recommend going that route so you can get your money’s worth with this tea. This would be a lovely tea to share with friends or family over some nice bites of something sweet to tea because I think it could compliment both sweets and savouries quite well (but I would reach for the sweets).

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Teakan’s Qi Lan

Qi Lan by Teakan
Oolong Tea / Straight
$30.00 for 66g

Qi Lan is part of Teakan’s Volume 3 Exploration Kit, a collection of five single origin teas. Qi Lan makes up 10g of the 66g kit.

First Impressions

Oolong is the type of tea that sort of intrigues me the most. There’s such a wide variety, and they typically resteep really, really well. To the point where it almost doesn’t matter what the price is set at because a good quality oolong means that you can get at least 7-8 steeps out of the same leaves at the bare minimum. Qi Lan is a spring harvested tea from 2020 and came to me via Teakan from Wuyishan, Fujian, China. The leaves came in a sealed, resealable kraft paper pouch with a familiar minimalism label on the front and the back of the pouch.

The leaves themselves are dark – ranging from a green and grey, with slight twists along the leaves. They’re pretty big, and not bunched up too much. There’s a nice aroma to it – it has floral aroma to it that reminds me a bit of jasmine, with an earthy aroma in the background that reminds me of that fresh, after rain smell. It’s a pretty tea to look at.

Preparation

Teakan recommends steeping Qi Lan in 98°C (208°F) water for 2-3 minutes for western steeping and 10-15 seconds for the gongfu steeping method. I opted to do the western style steeping and followed the steeping instructions with slightly cooled down boiled water (100°C/212°F).

First Taste

Qi Lan steeps to a beautiful golden yellow – just look at it! Pure sunshine in a cup. It has a lovely floral aroma to it, and that earthiness that I found earlier has changed a bit – it’s less noticeable. Taste wise, I do taste floral notes, some earthiness that reminds me of raw mushrooms and moss, with a slight mineral-water aftertaste at the tail end of each sip. It’s quite tasty, and it has a very pleasant mouthfeel to it.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Qi Lan a total of nine times (ten steeps total with the same leaves). The tea became less mineral and earthy in flavour and became more buttery and floral. The colour stays a pretty golden yellow and just has a nice flavour to it throughout all the steeps.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teakan’s Qi Lan. From the lovely low twisted leaves to the flavour from the first cup, this oolong delivers on taste. I think it performs beautifully and love that it steeps so well repeatedly – a good ten steeps with the same leaves is nothing to sneeze at. This is definitely a tea for a long tea steeping session throughout the day, and one to share with friends over a good laugh (when appropriate to do so).

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