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What is "Milk Oolong" Tea?

Updated: Feb 20

A truly special creamy tea that's naturally dairy-free!

It's time to raise a cup and celebrate, for there is a dairy-free, sugar-free, and zero calories tea that tastes as luxurious as ice cream amongst our shelves, and it has us so excited! Nevertheless, we've noticed that as soon as most people hear the phrase, "milk oolong," they automatically believe that it isn't plant-based. Well, this is something we feel needs explaining, as it's far too delicious to be kept all to ourselves...

Underneath is a simple guide to milk oolong and why it’s a tea variety you need on your must-drink list!

Does milk oolong actually contain milk?

Not at all! Milk oolong is actually dairy-free, and yet carries a wonderfully sweet, cream-like aroma and taste.

Why is it called 'milk' then?

In Chinese, milk oolong is known as “Nai Xiang”. This means "milk scent". It tastes smooth and creamy (rather comparably to a confectionary milk bottle). Therefore, its namesake of milk oolong originates from its delicately buttery, aroma.

So, what is 'oolong tea'?

Incredibly, black, white, green and oolong teas all come from the same versatile plant (Camellia sinensis). What makes them so different in taste and appearance is down to the way they’re produced and which oxidisation (or fermentation) process they follow.

Most tea lovers would agree, based on taste and caffeine content, that oolong tea is “between black and green”. Why? Because in order to make black teas, the teas are allowed to fully oxidise (meaning that the air gets to the leaves, turning them dark and deepening the strength and flavour). However, green teas follow a slightly different process. They are gently steamed to stop the oxidisation process (keeping the green tea leaves looking and tasting lighter and fresher). Oolong teas meet somewhere in the middle, as they are part-oxidised. Hence, they have some of the strength and flavour of a black tea whilst still maintaining the fragrant lightness of a green.

Has what you've read made you thirsty? Then explore our indulgent assortment of skin-perfecting oolongs by clicking here and tell us what future flavours you'd love to see in this range - we'd love to know!

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