Review: Tea Horse Milk Oolong

Oolong Tea, Tea Horse Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The sweetness is mostly underneath a strongly vegetal and mineral base."
Katie’s Teaview: 9/10
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Before even opening it, I am surprised at this tea. Tea Horse suggests using 2 teaspoons per cup, shocking because I would expect them to recommend making this gong-fu style. The second startle comes when I open the bag and take a deep breath in. The leaves smell AMAZING. So creamy, sweet, and bold, it's exactly like sticking my nose into a vat of cream cheese icing. I'm currently lobbying the Surgeon General to make cream cheese its own food group since I firmly believe we'd all be happier individuals if we consumed more carrot cake (take a wild stab at what should be slathered on top), heart attacks be damned.

I throw two teaspoons of the big, beautiful green balls into a 1-cup yixing, rinse, and steep at 185° for 3 minutes. The steeped aroma doesn't have as much punch as the leaves, but it is more complex: Creamy and subtly floral with a mild sweetness snaking throughout.

The flavour is a bit different than I expected. The waited-for sweetness is mostly underneath a strongly vegetal and mineral base. It has a creamy flavour and texture with full mouthfeel and strong body. I was wondering before why they didn't recommend gong fu, but now I understand - it already packs such a wallop that more leaves to water might ruin any of the subtlety that has managed to survive this long. It does mellow somewhat as it cools down, so if you find it a bit intense at the start, you can always wait awhile.

My second steep still has that creamy, beautiful scent. It's not as smooth as before, having picked up some harshness and lost some sweetness. It's still delicious and while it isn't unique, it is easier to drink. My third cup tastes like an average oolong; it't not notably intense or interesting, but it still has a full flavour. It's just that now the higher notes of flavour are mellowed out. And my 5-minute fourth steep is more tea water than anything else.

I like vegetal teas, though it's not exactly what I look for when I drink a milk oolong, but at least that means this cup is both unexpected and unique. And by the end of my generous sample, I'm still as enthusiastic about this leaf as I was at the start, a good sign for a tea I've tagged as "unique." It's also very affordable, so I'd say it's definitely worth a try.

— To purchase Tea Horse Milk Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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One Response to “Review: Tea Horse Milk Oolong”

  1. Ethan Kurland Says:

    A comment: What you got from this tea is what I experience w/ most milk oolongs, though l would like more sweet creaminess, same as you would. I dislike strong vegetal flavor & cannot enjoy tea w/ more than a bit of mineral…
    Anyway, I don’t know why you, an experienced tea-drinker, would ignore her instincts. This tea prefers gongfu preparation: about twice the amount of tea that you used & only a small fraction of the steeping time.

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