Reviews

Teabento Big Raccoon

Country of Origin:  South Korea
Leaf Appearance: small, dark and fairly uniform
Steep time: 40 seconds
Water Temperature: 185 degrees
Preparation Method: glass gaiwan
Liquor: bright yellowish green

It was one of my tea resolutions for 2019 to explore Korean teas more so I am excited to share a daejak from Teabento. The time of year that they harvested determines the grade of Korean teas. Daejak, or sparrow’s large beak, is the fourth harvest of the year and consists of more mature leaves. A small garden on Jiri Mountain produced this tea. The tea trees are planted from seed and then left to grow on their own without much human interference.

As always, I absolutely adore the naming scheme and photography style that Teabento uses for their teas. Each of their offerings is assigned an animal namesake and the leaves are lined up inside of an adorable drawing. There are so many tea companies out there but I think this is something that really makes them stand out. I also have yet to taste a tea from them that I did not like.

Leaf

The dry leaf looked a bit like a larger leafed version of Japanese tamaryokucha. They were twisty and wild in shape but mostly uniform in color. I noticed a sweet, roasty and slightly grassy aroma apparent as soon as I added to them to my preheated gaiwan. There were no buds since this is a late harvest tea.

Liquor

Big Raccoon brewed up a bright yellowish shade of green. Notes of sweet corn transitioned into a floral finish with hints of honeysuckle. It definitely had a roasty quality but it wasn’t quite as intense as the dry leaves would lead you to believe. There was a subtle savory quality to it that snuck in a bit of umami. It withstood multiple infusions in a gaiwan but also performed equally well when brewed western style.

Do you have a favorite Korean Daejak? Let me know about it in the comments below!

Big Raccoon sample provided for review by Teabento.

South Korean Daejak
Korean green tea leaves in a gaiwan

Nicole has been writing about her love of the leaf since 2008. Her work has been featured on World Tea News, The Daily Tea, Tea Journey, and other publications. She is the winner of the 2018 World Tea Award for Best Tea Blog.