Milk Oolong, like all Oolongs, is considered a semi-fermented tea meaning it is somewhere between a black and green tea. Over the years, production methods have remained unchanged for the most part although some aspects like withering temperatures have been automated and regulated. This very special Taiwanese Oolong is produced from tea leaves picked at a certain temperature, altitude, soil conditions and time which creates it’s uniquely milky and silky texture. First, the leaf is plucked from gardens situated between 500 – 1200 meters, and is produced between March and December. Next, the plucked leaf is withered in air-conditioned rooms until it is has reached the desired level of fermentation. The tea is rocked, or sifted to sort the prime leaf required, and steamed over hot fire lightly. Finally the tea is dried then re-sorted to ensure leaf quality and packed.
The rolled, blue-green leaves have an intense milk aroma, like milk toffee or hard milk candy, with a slight orchid floral undertone. It smells sweet and lovely. Likewise, the bright yellow brew is incredibly aromatic and flavorful. Its scents of creamy caramel, flavors of cream, milk, coconut milk and vanilla-infused cream fade into a lingering, sweet-green aftertaste. It has finish of gardenias, ripe fruits and warm cream which are remarkably indulgent. Later infusions are greener, more floral and equally complex.
Brewing Guide: The water used to steep this tea should be about 185-195ºF or 85-90ºC. Use about 2 teaspoons (3 grams) of tea leaves for about every 5 ounces (150 milliliters) of water. A steeping time of about 3-5 minutes is recommended with more or less time depending on the desired concentration. As a rough guide, the higher the temperature of the water or the greater the amount of leaves used, the shorter the steeping time should be. The tea leaves should uncurled for full flavor. For the ultimate enjoyment, a traditional Chinese Yixing teapot is recommended for loose oolong tea. The teapot should be half filled with leaves and initially steeped for 45 seconds to 1 minute with the steeping time increased by an additional 15 seconds for each successive steeping. The leaves may be steeped multiple times.
To Enjoy: Place one teaspoon per cup into an infuser, filter or teapot. Switch the kettle off, before it boils, when you hear the water rumbling. Add the hot, but not boiling, water and infuse for 3 minutes. Serve immediately or remove leaves to prevent spoiling.