INGREDIENTS: Oolong tea
CUP CHARACTERISTICS: A most unique character best described as 'premium oolong with sweet milk and light orchid notes peeking out from camellia depths'.
ANTIOXIDANT LEVEL: High
CAFFEINE LEVEL: Low
Milk Oolong, where to begin? Do we tell you the legends of how it came into existence? Do we tell you how it is actually produced? Do we wax poetic about its luscious flavor? Well, maybe we should do all 3. We'll start with a legend. The stories of this tea naturally centre on its wonderful milky flavor, which interestingly, is the result of a sudden shift in temperature during harvest - a rare occurrence to say the least. One of the many legends explains that the first time this shift occurred was centuries ago when the moon fell in love with a comet passing through the night sky. 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 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.
Next, a little on how it is produced. 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. 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 fermented 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.
Finally, we come to the part where we wax poetic about its outstanding flavor. 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? Well brew a pot and experience its milky dreaminess for yourself - an amazingly profound tea.
IDEAL BREWING TEMPERATURE: 85ºC/185ºF. For Food Safety reasons bring water to 100ºC/212ºF and let it cool down to 85ºC/185ºF.
HOT BREWING METHOD:
Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea for each 7-9oz / 200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Briefly infuse with freshly boiled water and then pour off. Re-infuse the tea and pour after about 1 minute or longer to taste.
ICED TEA BREWING METHOD (Individual Serving):
Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea or 1 tea bag into a teapot for each serving required. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 6-7oz/170-200ml per serving over the tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the leaves or removing the tea bags. Not all of the tea will fit, allowing for approximately an additional ½ serving. 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. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)
ANTIOXIDANT BENEFIT: For a greater antioxidant benefit brew longer and use more tea.