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What is milk oolong?

Posted by Arden on 10th May 2018

What is milk oolong?

Tea lovers rejoice! A special edition milk oolong has just joined the teapigs family. Not to be confused with the “milk teas” from Boba shops, milk oolong is (shockingly!) dairy free, sugar free, and zero calories...say what?! We’ve encountered a lot of confused faces in the office since milk oolong found its way on to the tea shelf – so, if you’re wondering why on earth it’s called milk oolong, keep reading. Here’s a quick guide to milk oolong and why it’s one of the most delicious and unexpected variations of oolong teas going.  

Does milk oolong actually contain milk? 

Nope! Milk oolong is dairy free, but has a sweet, cream like aroma and taste. 

why 'milk' then?

Milk oolong in Chinese is “Nai Xiang” which means milk scent, so the namesake of milk oolong comes from its beautifully buttery, aroma. It tastes smooth and creamy – cast your mind back to those white milk bottle sweets you’d get in pick n mix – but is totally dairy free.

what is oolong tea?

Fun fact for you – black, white, green and oolong teas all come from the same mighty plant (Camellia sinensis). It’s the way they’re produced that makes them different and the most crucial difference is oxidisation (or fermentation).

We like to say oolong is “between black and green.” To make black teas, teas are allowed to fully oxidise – this just means the air gets to the leaves and turns them dark, deepening the strength and flavour. Green teas are gently steamed to stop the oxidisation process – this keeps green tea leaves looking and tasting lighter and fresher. Oolong teas are part-oxidised, so they have some of the strength and flavour of black tea whilst maintaining the fragrant lightness of green tea – it would be Goldilocks’ favourite for sure.

You can get many types of oolong tea from our traditional tung ting oolong tea-- named after the ‘Frozen Summits’ of Nantou, Taiwan where the tea plants are harvested—to milk oolong, the process is the same.

Shop milk oolong here