Let’s celebrate our unique and diverse backgrounds through tea for AAPI month. Here you will find all the information on the 3 single-origin teas, from different regions of Asia, specially curated for your private tasting session.Genmaicha
Wild Indian White
Here's a map to give you an idea of this tea journey. Locations are approximate and intended to serve as a visual guide only.
Uji, Kyoto, Japan
Even if you have not heard of Genmaicha, you might have tasted it when you dine at a Japanese restaurant. Genmaicha (玄米茶) or “brown rice tea” is a Japanese green tea consisting of green tea mixed with roasted brown rice. Occasionally, the rice pops during roasting, making them look like popcorn, so the tea has a nickname called “popcorn tea”.
Notes: Sweet, Toasty
5g | 150ml | 95C | 15-30 secs
Traditionally, Genmaicha is made with bancha, a low-grade green tea that is more affordable as it’s made from a later harvest than the higher-grade Sencha or Gyokuro. Nowadays, it’s common to find Genmaicha that is made with Sencha or has matcha added to the blend, in which case, it’s called Matcha-iri Genmaicha. Our Genmaicha is made with a Kabusecha mixed with roasted brown rice and mochi rice. Kabusecha is a Sencha that has been shaded for a short period of time. The tea leaves are darker in colour than non-shaded teas. It also brews up a sweeter-tasting tea with a beautiful jade green liquor.
The Story of Genmaicha
While there do not seem to be any definitive records of how Genmaicha came about, three interesting legends have talked about the creation of this tea. The first legend dated back to 15th century Japan, when a servant accidentally dropped grains of rice hidden up his sleeve into his master’s cup of tea.
Another story mentioned housewives who mixed brown rice into small amounts of green tea, which were too expensive for most commoners at the time, so everyone could enjoy it. And finally, the last and sound most probable is that Genmaicha came about in the 1900s when rice was added to make tea more available during times of hardship.
Regardless of how Genmaicha came about, we love its buttery and toasty flavours that goes well with sweet or savoury dishes!
Honey Orchid, Phoenix Dancong
Wudong, Guangdong, China
Honey Orchid, translated from Milan Xiang, meaning honey orchid fragrance, never fails to leave impressions with its addictive aromatic quality. As suggested by its name, it has the sweet scent of honey, with a hint of orchid and sweet potato. Dubbed as “drinkable perfume”, the Honey Orchid is often the entry in the Phoenix Dancong tea genre. Once you taste it, you will understand why.
Notes: Floral, Sweet
5g | 100ml | 95c | 5 secs
3g | 250ml | 95c | 2 mins
This Honey Orchid is handcrafted by a family farm situated in Wudong Village. This tea producer has been producing Pheonix Dancong for 80 years and is proud to process their tea that follows the labour intensive traditions. This tea is lightly oxidized then light roasted four times with charcoal to enhance its unique floral and sweet quality.
The story of Phoenix Dancong
Phoenix tea has been around for more than 900 years, dated back to the Song Dynasty in the 12th century, and said to be the origins of Oolong tea. In the 16th century, records showed that it became an imperial tribute tea, which led to continuous refinement by tea producers. By the late 19th century, Phoenix tea producers began to select distinctive cultivars and developed the concept of single bush (Dancong) processing – Tea was picked and processed individually from a single tea bush to preserve the unique flavour notes and characteristics of that particular cultivar. This is how Phoenix Dancong got its name and claimed its fame.
In modern days, Phoenix Dancong is classified with a systematic categorization according to the type of flavour note, such as floral, honey, fruity, almond etc. How many would you like to savour?
Wild Indian White
Pherzawl, Manipur, India
White teas have captured the hearts of many in the past decade with their subtle but sweet flavour and this Wild Indian White is no exception. In fact, the sundried tea leaves add a surprise layer of earthiness.
Notes: Stone Fruit, Floral
3g | 100ml | 80c | 15 secs
2g | 250ml | 75c | 1 min
This white tea was harvested this year in Pherzawl located in the southern part of Manipur, India. Consisting of one bud and two leaves from untamed tea trees grown in the forest, the leaves were handpicked, withered by hand, and allowed to dry in the sun.
More Than Just Black Tea
As one of the top 5 tea exporters in the world, 80% of the teas produced and exported from India are black teas. But beyond the well-known Indian black teas such as Darjeeling, Assam and Nilgiri, there are other teas produced from lesser-known regions that deserve the spotlight.
Located in Northeast India and bordering Assam, Manipur is home to wild tea tree forests that have been around for decades. While local villages have been using these Camellia Sinensis var. Assamica as tribal healing ingredients, tea producers are using them to create orthodox teas to share the richness of the Manipur forests in recent years.
We hope this wild white tea will put Manipur on your radar and serve as an entry point to explore other tea types from India.
Interested for more tea exploration? Check out our Tea Exploration Kit - a tea kit curated with a collection of 5 single origin loose leaf teas, along with their provenance, back stories and brewing guide. Special virtual tea tasting sessions are made available exclusively for our customers with the kits, to deep dive into the world of tea.
Stay tuned as our Vol 8 tea kit will be coming out in a month time. Meanwhile, have a look at the past volumes to see the kind of tea journey we've been on.
If you have any questions, get in touch. We love to talk all things tea.
Teakan was created with the intention to (re)discovering the world of fine tea. By curating a small collection of quality single origins tea in a compact format, you can have fun enjoying a variety of tea from different regions, one batch at a time.