Review: American Tea Room Milk Oolong

American Tea Room, Oolong Tea Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Do yourself a favour and buy a sample of this tea."
Katie’s Teaview: 9.6/10
Other Teaviews: Lynn gave it 10/10, Laura gave it 9.5/10, Geoff gave it 9.5/10
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americanmilkoolongI have high expectations for this high-elevation Chinese Ti Kwan Yin. I've waited for months to try it because I wanted to be able to block out an entire afternoon; that's how excited I am about this tea. The dry leaves smell spectacularly rich and creamy.

I decide to steep this in a glazed kyusu. I know, I know. A Chinese tea in Japanese teaware, but for some reason I decide it's a brilliant idea to do 7 ounce steeps of this, and my gaiwan is only 3.5 ounces. I come to regret 7-ounce steeps of this tea, but more on this later... 10g of leaf per 7 ounces for water, 180°, 30 seconds.

Wow. Holymotherofpearl. I believe the only word that's going to work to describe this first steep is mouthgasmic. I happen to love those Chinese milk candies (White Rabbits), and this tastes exactly like them. It's like drinking sweetened heavy cream, except that it doesn't settle heavily in the stomach. It's sweet and creamy and completely smooth with no bitterness or astringency. It's flavourful and rich, yet light and airy and not cloying. There's a hint of mineral aftertaste with notes of evaporated milk, vanilla, cream. There's also a touch of what I would call faint white cheddar cheese on the back of the tongue in the finish. All in all, a brilliant cup.

Steep two is 45 seconds. It's less milky but still very sweet with a milky aroma. It's somewhat less smooth with a more mineral flavour, but there is no bitterness. Steep 3: 50 seconds. Creamy and floral aroma. Mineral aftertaste, but it still has the lingering milky sweetness. Steep one has been my favourite so far, which is definitely a change for an oolong.

Steep 4: 70 seconds. Still very full flavour. Very sweet and milky. Mineral with a hint of floral taste. Such a bold flavour, yet a light texture and airy feel. It has a full body but isn't heavy.

Steep 5: 90 seconds. It's mellow not, but still has a satisfying flavour. The remaining steeps do not change much. They are consistently good, and steep times are as follows:

6 - 1:45
7 - 2:00
8 - 2:30
9 - 3:00
10 - 4:00
11 - 5:00
12 - 6:00
13 - 7:00
14 - 8:00
15 - 9:00
16 - 10:00
17 - 15:00

It's about now that I realise I have consumed 17 cups of this tea in around 6 hours. I am seriously regretting the large steeps now as I'm home alone and trying to refuse giving up before the tea does. I probably could have pulled out a couple more cups before the leaves died, but by this point I am so thoroughly teadrunk that I no longer resemble a functioning human being. I honestly just didn't think the leaves would last this long

Now for the part of the review that everybody hates: The cost. It's hard to ignore that at the time of writing this review, this is ~$20/ounce, depending on the amount you buy. I realise that's probably well out of the budget of the average consumer, but it's worth it. Let's say you get 12 teaspoons from an ounce. I used three teaspoons to brew up my tea (though I probably could have used slightly less). That's four servings for $20. I got 17 cups of tea from one serving, so 17*4 = 68 cups. $20 / 68 cups = $0.29/cup. Of course these numbers will vary slightly depending on your brew method and other factors, but that's around 29¢ a cup for an excellent tea.

You may be thinking that's still steep for a tea, and while you can get some other great teas for much less, it's still a low cost for a great luxury. Besides, sometimes you've just got to live a little. If you're still in doubt, American Tea Room has surprisingly generous samples. If you like milk oolongs or are wondering if you would, do yourself a favour and buy a sample of this tea.

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Teaviews Member: Katie Katie Reviewer
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One Response to “Review: American Tea Room Milk Oolong”

  1. Shaiha Says:

    This tea is so worth any cost. I picked up the sample size and feel totally in love. I will picking up some more as soon as my budget loosens esp as I also need to pick up some more Dong Ding.

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