Review: SerendipiTea Milk Oolong

Oolong Tea, SerendipiTea Add comments
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Creaminess wasn't at the forefront and the flavors were very much more like a green oolong or even a green tea than I'd expected from the Serendipitea website description"
Jamie’s Teaview: 6/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 6.5/10, Lynn gave it 4/10, Shaiha gave it 9.1/10, Katie gave it 6.9/10, Laura gave it 6.75/10
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serendipteamilkoolongThe dry leaf of this tea is tightly balled and carries a scent reminiscent of sweet milk mingled with pronounced floral/vegetal notes. I suppose that sounds odd, but the resulting aroma is really pleasing.

I followed Serendipitea's steeping suggestions and started with a 30 second first infusion, ramping up my infusion times from there on. I prepared the tea in two ways. First, I used a couple of teaspoons of the leaf per 8 ounces of 195 degree water. I also repeated this preparation using guywans for preparation and a series of steeps increasing in 30 second and then one minute increases in terms of infusion time. I actually preferred the guywan preparation, using more leaf in a smaller (4 ounce) cup. I'll begin by commenting on the first method of preparation, using 8 ounces of hot water per 2 tsp.

The first infusion of 30 seconds results in a cup of pale golden liquor tinged with green. Sweet and vegetal notes are present, but the tea is a little weak in terms of fullness. At the outset (at its hottest temperature wise) there are no creamy notes standing out. As the tea cools a bit in the cup, however, the flavors are more noticeably floral and vegetal (pretty evenly matched in terms of expression) and a faint creaminess is beginning to appear, mainly I note it at the start and middle of each sip. So far, the tea is not knocking me out in terms of milkiness.

For my second infusion, I use 195 degree water again and steep for 2 minutes. The liquor is darker and the tea expresses bittersweet qualities (which I love in a tea) with more vegetal tones than floral and a buttery sort of fullness has developed in the cup that I find very much more impressive than the first infusion. The aftertaste is clean and fresh. This milk oolong is not overtly milky, to be sure. It lacks sweetness and has a very green feel to it. There's not a great deal of sweet creaminess to it but there is a definite buttery sort of quality and this lends a pleasant fullness to the liquor.

I brew a third infusion using a four minute steep time. I also added a couple of drops of stevia to this infusion which is essentially anathema to my treatments of oolongs these days. However, this proved to be the best infusion in terms of creaminess. The sweetener obviously had a great deal to do with a sweeter overall flavor to the tea, but there also seemed to be a gently sweet creaminess to this infusion, though it really remained more a hint or a nuance than anything very distinct.

Overall, I found this tea a little disappointing in terms of a milk oolong. Creaminess wasn't at the forefront and the flavors were very much more like a green oolong or even a green tea than I'd expected from the Serendipitea website description.

I preferred guywan preparation of this tea, using more leaf in a smaller vessel and using a series of shorter steeps (30, 30, 60, 60, 90 seconds). This tea does steep wonderfully for many infusions. Guywan treatment yielded dependably floral, vegetal tasting oolong tending toward green in its flavors. A creamy quality and certainly a "milky" quality was not really something that stood out to me regardless of how I prepared the tea.

I thought this was a decent tasting and enjoyable oolong, but nothing about it really stood out to me as very unique or appealing. Considering what a curiosity the milk oolong is in terms of taste and conditions surrounding its propagation and harvest, this tea seemed a little too run of the mill to really make it one I would seek out or recommend to others. I say that with some caution, but I mean to say that there are a lot of good tasting oolongs out there. This is a good tasting oolong but not spectacular or unique. Among milk oolongs, I think uniqueness is a pretty important attribute.

— To purchase SerendipiTea 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.

Teaviews Member: Jamie Jamie
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