If you’re new to brewing tea and looking to add Oolong milk tea to your recipe, you’ve come to the right place. This tea has a balanced flavor that is perfect for a comfy evening on the couch or a morning pick-me-up before you head off to work.
The creaminess and sweetness added from milk and sweeteners give this tea a well-rounded flavor that is perfect for sipping after meals or enjoying on its own. Let’s take a look at how to make it!
How to Make Oolong Milk Tea:
1. Make the Tapioca Pearls
The first thing you’ll need to do is make the tapioca pearls–though this is an optional step. To start, pour the brown sugar in a pot with 1/4 cups of water and place it on medium heat until it becomes thickened.
Cook the tapioca pearls according to the instructions on the package–usually 3-5 minutes. Next, drain the tapioca pearls and mix them with the sugar syrup. Cover the pot with the lid and let it sit for a bit.
2. Brew the Tea
The next step is to actually brew your tea. Start by boiling 4 cups of water in the kettle and adding the tea leaves to the infuser. Allow the tea to steep for between 10 to 45 seconds. Remember, the stronger the flavor, the longer it is brewed. Keep the tea leaves and discard the hot water. You may want to set a timer to avoid over-brewing the leaves. Once it’s brewed, drain the water and toss the leaves.
3. Combine All Ingredients to Make the Tea
Place 1-2 tbsp. of pearls into your coffee containers or plastic glasses. Next, add syrup or other sweeteners as desired. Then take your freshly brewed tea and pour it directly over the tapioca pearls.
If this tea is hot (and you want iced tea), wait until it cools down to perform this step. Fill the cup about 3/4 of the way up. Next, carefully pour the milk over the tea until it almost reaches about an inch or two from the brim. Lastly, add about 3-4 ice cubes as desired. Be sure to consume the tea within 45 minutes to an hour to prevent it from getting watered down.
What Does Oolong Milk Tea Taste Like?
Oolong milk tea has a very mild flavor and it is commonly referred to as floral or earthy. Many die-hard coffee fans rave that the tea tastes very similar to coffee, which is why it is soft and recommended for those looking to cut back on their daily cup of java. The milk and sweetener added to oolong tea give it an almost nutty flavor that can mimic that of a mild cup of coffee.
Oolong tea has a very unique flavor profile which can vary depending on how long the leaves are left to dry out in the sun. The tea is often thought of as an in-between tea, one that is less robust than black tea, but way more robust than green tea.
Some tea varieties can be sweeter and more floral while some taste smokier and have a richer flavor. The mild and sweet flavor of Oolong milk tea can be attributed to its short oxidation process.
The 5 Different Types of Oolong Tea
There are many different styles of Oolong tea to try if you’re looking to explore different varieties. Although Oolong milk tea is the most popular, the other varieties offer a range of different flavors that can be just as exciting.
1. Da Hong Pao
This Oolong tea variety originates in the Wuyi mountains in China. Also known as the “Wuyi Ensemble”, this tasty tea variety has a slightly bold and smoky flavor and is easily identifiable.
The leaves are typically roasted by a high fire, which contributes to its flavor, and it has a mildly fruity aftertaste. It’s perfect with milk, honey, or other sweeteners and can make for the best afternoon treat or morning cup.
2. Iron Goddess of Mercy (Tieguanyin)
This Oolong variety is one of the more popular ones and is known for its smooth flavor profile. It is said to have aromas of dried apricot and roasted buckwheat and also hails from China, in the Fujian province.
The tea leaves are slow-roasted, a process that can take up to 50 to 60 hours. Surprisingly many traditional Chinese tea makers continue to do it by hand. And it seems to be worth the effort, as this tea is littered with subtle hints of orchid and other floral notes.
3. Phoenix Tea
Phoenix Tea hails from the Phoenix Mountains of Guangdong, a small Province in China. It has an interesting flavor, with bold woody undertones and hints of ripened fruit. This tea variety will go perfectly with fruit for breakfast, or it can stand alone on a stormy night.
The taste of each tea batch may vary, depending on the plan in which the leaves were grown and harvested. But, if you’re looking for a lone variety that has a hearty taste with intense aromas, here’s one to note.
4. Wuyi Oolong Tea
Wuyi Oolong tea is also grown in the Wuyi mountains, and its dark brown open leaves are a bit astringent giving a light and smooth flavor. Many believe that this tea gives off aromas of mushrooms, while others note that it has a more earthy aroma.
It’s a lighter roast and has a slight floral taste, which definitely shines through after brewing. This also makes it a perfect tea to use for iced tea and the dark roast is excellent for accompanying desserts.
5. Fushoushan Oolong Tea
This Oolong tea variety like all other Oolong varieties is grown at high altitudes of 2,500 ft. and more. The environment is warm and cool, which allows them to produce fragrant and robust flavors.
This particular variety has a buttery aroma with a slightly floral aftertaste. It’s packed with intense flavor, but it’s also perfect for infusing with other varieties and goes great with breakfast or dessert. The creamy flavor of this tea makes it one of the most popular varieties amongst Oolong tea fans.
Simple Oolong Milk Tea Recipe
- Tea Kettle or Pot with Infuser
- Small whisk
- Bubble tea straws
- Coffee or Tea Cup
- 8 cups Water
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- ¾ cup Cup of Tapioca Pearls
- ¼ cup Creamer or Milk (Almond, Rice, Soy)
- Loose-Leaf Oolong Tea
- ½ tsp Vanilla optional
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon optional
- To start, pour the brown sugar into a pot with 1/4 cup of water and place it on medium heat until it becomes thickened.
- Cook the tapioca pearls according to the instructions on the package--usually 3-5 minutes.
- Next, drain the tapioca pearls and mix them with the sugar syrup.
- Cover the pot with the lid and let it sit for a bit.
- Now it's time to make the tea. Start by boiling 4 cups of water in the kettle and adding the tea leaves to the infuser. Allow the tea to steep between 10 to 45 seconds, depending on how strong you like it. Keep the tea leaves and discard the hot water. Once it's brewed, drain the water and toss the leaves.
- For the tapioca pearls, place 1-2 tbsp. of pearls into your coffee containers or plastic glasses.
- Then add syrup or other sweetener as desired.
- Next, take your freshly brewed tea and pour it directly over the tapioca pearls and fill the cup about 3/4 of the way up.
- Carefully pour the milk over the tea until it almost reaches about an inch or two from the brim.
- Add 3-4 ice cubes as desired.
So, hopefully this recipe is one that you will come back to on your tea journey. Oolong milk tea is perfect for any occasion and its mild flavor seems to go perfectly with any sweetener or creamer substitute. Overall, you’ll find that this tea goes great for any occasion.
Featured Image Credit: Sittipong Sirichamnan, Shutterstock
Table of Contents
- How to Make Oolong Milk Tea:
- What Does Oolong Milk Tea Taste Like?
- The 5 Different Types of Oolong Tea
- Simple Oolong Milk Tea Recipe