The first tea I want to introduce you to is Milk Oolong (or its Chinese and much more difficult to pronounce name Jin Xuan Wu Long). The reason I’ve chosen it – apart from being one of my favourite teas – is that it’s a very popular one with non-adventurous tea drinkers while still being a very different brew to their daily cuppa!
This tea usually originates from Taiwan, though you will find some produced in China too like the one I have, and it takes the name from its natural milky taste. You’ll also find some Milk Oolongs are flavoured by steeping the leaves in milk before the firing stage to intensify the flavour.
How to enjoy Milk Oolong
Dry leaves: small dark green pellets with a potent buttery smell
Water temperature: 80 degrees (or just as the small bubbles are starting to come to surface in the kettle). Always use freshly poured water!
Amount: 2g or about half a teaspoon. Make sure you give it enough space to brew because it unfurls into really big leaves.
Brewing time*: 2-3 minutes
*Asian cultures have a different method of brewing tea. They make many short brews (e.g. 30 seconds), bin the first one and consider the true aroma and taste are only revealed after the third brew. However, in the Western world we don’t really take (or have) time for tea ceremonies all the time so I’ve adopted the Western brewing method in all my reviews.
Wet leaves: unfurled dark green leaves with lengths of 3-5 cm – Yes! Learn more about your wet brew by smelling and touching and studying the wet leaves. It might sounds weird, but trust me! You’ll learn more about the quality of it and what makes a particular blend a good one.
Brew: It’s a pale yellow colour and I like to say it smells like buttery popcorn! You don’t get the grassiness of a green tea, nor the astringency (that feeling that your mouth is dry and bitter). Instead, you get a very smooth drink with mellow tones and a comforting aroma. If hugs would be a drink, they would be a Milk Oolong.
Ready to try it?
If you’re interested in giving it a go, the tea I reviewed above is from Whittard. I have a local Whittard store about 100 metres away from my home so most of my tea comes from there; it will be a name that pops up again and again!
You can buy it on this page or in their store, priced at £6.50 (at the time of writing) for 50g, which should be enough for about 25 cups.