Floating Leaves Tea Home ---Shiuwen's Blog!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jin Xuan - Milk Oolong

Many people have asked me about Milk Oolong (AKA Jin Xuan oolong). The Jin Xuan varietal of tea plants has been said to carry a natural milk flavor. At least 15 years ago (or longer), I had my first taste of Milk Oolong in Taiwan. I remember it was special and that I liked it.

A tea friend told me that there was one year that Milk Oolong won a very special and highly-regarded prize in a Taiwanese tea competition, after which, more and more people asked for this kind of tea. Some dishonest merchants and farmers saw that they could make a lot of money by blending some milk flavoring with the tea. Newspapers and the TV news reported on the many fake Milk Oolong teas and over time, people forgot about this tea.

Nowadays in Taiwan, I rarely hear people talking about Milk Oolong, and when I do, it is usually not a local resident that is looking for this tea. I have asked many tea farmers and tea people why Jin Xuan can't produce the natural milk flavor anymore. No one seems to know the answer to this question.

In the past two years, some customers have brought over various Milk Oolongs for me to try. It has been very disappointing to find such strong milk additives in those tea samples. I am not trying to prove that all Milk Oolong is bad, since I did have some good experiences with it in the past. Before you purchase one, you might want to ask the tea merchant if it's a blended one, and if she is honest, she will tell also teach you how to tell the difference between a genuine Milk Oolong and a fake one with milk flavoring.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Iced Teas

Finally, summer has arrived in Seattle! I can't tell you how excited I am! I just learned that the east coast has been baking for many days now. Many Chinese people believe that drinking hot tea can cool a person down. If you disagree, how about having some nice cold teas on a hot summer day?

I am addicted to my Aged Baozhong, especially when it's cold brewed. I put some leaves in a glass jar, put some room temperature water in it and waited until the liquid turned brown. That's when I know it's ready. It's fruity, sweet, and refreshing. Throughout the day, I will keep adding water as I drink the cold-brewed tea and it tastes very good this way.

Lots of green teas are also suitable for cold brew, or you can quickly brew up some hot tea and pour it over a cup of ice cubes. They are all very thirst-quenching and refreshing.