A most unique character best described as 'premium oolong with sweet milk and light orchid notes peeking out from camellia depths'.
HEALTH PROPERTIES: Very high in anti-oxidants
CAFFEINE LEVELS: Low
TEA SOURCING: China, Fujian Province
ETHICS: Ethical Tea Partnership and GMO free
THE STORY OF MILK OOLONG
The legends of Milk Oolong centre on its creamy flavor, which is the result of a sudden temperature shift during harvest. One of the many legends explains that the moon fell in love with a passing comet. The comet, as all comets are wont to do, passed by, burned out and vanished. The moon in her sorrow caused a great wind to blow through the hills and valleys near Quanzhou, China, bringing about a quick drop in temperature. The next morning, local tea pluckers went out to collect their fresh leaf. To their surprise, when the tea was processed it had developed an amazing milky character, which was attributed to the motherly character of the old moon.
Milk Oolong is considered a semi-oxidized tea meaning it is somewhere between a black and green tea. Over the years, production methods have remained unchanged for although some aspects like withering temperatures have been automated and regulated. 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 oxidation. The tea is rocked, or sifted to sort the prime leaf required, and steamed over hot fire. Finally, the tea is dried then re-sorted to ensure leaf quality and packed. The tea is produced in relatively small quantities from March to December; in fact, only 80,000 kg are produced with about 60,000 kg headed for the export market.
So how to describe a steaming cup of Milk Oolong? Ok, imagine if velvet somehow took liquid form and was blended with a sweet light cream. While drinking it, you find yourself swimming to the bottom of a deep well of orchids. It sounds dream-like doesn't it? Brew a pot and experience its milky dreaminess for yourself - an amazingly profound tea.
BREWING INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOT TEA: Infuse one slightly heaping teaspoon for each 8 ounce cup with water brought to a rolling boil (80 Celcius) for 3-7 minutes. Another method is to brew in the Chinese Gong Fu style. You rinse the tea with 80 degree water pouring it off immediately, then infuse again for as long as it takes to inhale and breathe out slowly, three times. Prepare between 4-9 infusions this way, noting different subtleties in the flavor each time. Yet another method is to prepare two to three infusions of 2-3 minutes each. The bottom line? There is no right, and no wrong way to prepare your tea.
Infuse 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of tea with 1 1/4 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water, and add the infused tea, straining the leaves, to the pitcher. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Add lemon and sweeten to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.
Infuse 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea with 6 ounces of boiling water for 5 minutes. Add the tea to a 12 ounce glass, filled with ice, straining the leaves. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the tea or removing the bags. Add lemon and sweeten to taste.
NUMBER OF CUPS: 15-20 cups from each 50 grams of tea, with a single use of the leaves. Loose leaf tea is traditionally infused 3 times, with a different flavor profile following each infusion. Accordingly, each 50 gram bag can make up to 60 cups of tea.