If you are interested in trying different Asian teas but are not really sure where to start, you may want to take a look at the selection of milky oolong tea. You will often hear this tea referred to as milk oolong tea, milky oolong tea, or simply milky oolong. However, it is important to realize that there are definitely differences in the quality of the milk oolongs that are sold these days. Some are grown from the Jin Xuan varietal of tea plant; they are organically grown and naturally processed. Others are flavored teas that are also labeled as milky oolongs.
What Is Oolong Milk Tea ?
Even though the name implies that there is milk in this tea that is not the case at all. It is a pure oolong Jin Xuan tea, that when organically grown and processed simply has a subtle milk flavor. This flavor can be enhanced if the tea is lightly roasted or if the tea is given a longer oxidation period. Changes in temperature can also sometimes affect the flavor as can the actual altitude at which the Jin Xuan tea plants are grown. In other words, the milky characteristic is due to the varietal of tea plants used to make the tea.
Because of the initial popularity of this type of tea, some tea merchants and even some farmers hoping to replicate the aroma and taste of the tea actually began adding milk flavor to the teas. These days it is still possible to find blended teas that have this flavor added, however if you want the best type of milk oolong go for the organically grown Xin Xuan non-blended milky oolong tea.
What Does It Taste Like?
An organically grown Milky Oolong tea will not have an over-powering milky aroma or taste. A high quality tea will have an almost buttery taste which actually complements the regular oolong tea taste nicely. It is also naturally slightly sweet. This aroma of milk and slight sweetness make it a great tea for regular black-tea-with-milk-and-sugar drinkers to begin their journey into the discovery of Chinese teas. It also blends well with other flavored teas.
How Can You Be Sure You Are Buying The Natural Milky Oolong Tea?
An honest retailer or merchant should state whether the tea is a blended tea or a natural and organically grown Jin Xuan Milk Oolong. The leaves of the Jin Xuan plant are different to other trees, they are light green and are oval shaped although it is hard to tell that when buying tea that is already dried and processed. Generally, the aroma from an organic milky oolong tea is fresh without much hint of a milky aroma. On the other hand, one that has been flavored will have more of a milk aroma.
Some people actually prefer the flavored teas and according to my husband, who sells both types, they sell well. The main thing is to buy from a reputable source that specifically states whether the tea is blended or flavored, or not.