Tea of the Week: Mandala Tea’s Milk Oolong

What’s your favorite tea? Among all the packets, tins, and boxes of tea floating around in my stash, Mandala Tea’s Milk Oolong stands out as one of my favorites. The tea gets its name from its sweet, milky finish and is almost desert-like in taste. Just so you know, there isn’t a smidge of milk or cream in this tea, nor is there ever a reason to add any!It’s this brew’s balance between light and rich, pure and complex that makes it such an amazing sip. The tea is grown in altitudes between 1,600 and 3,200 feet above sea level where sunny days and cool nights help the leaves to develop such exceptional flavor. This milk oolong is a favorite of many tea enthusiasts and bloggers, yet another delicious selection from Mandala Teas. Tasting Notes for Mandala Tea’s Milk Oolong:

BREWING TIPS:  Brew at 190 degrees F for 20 seconds for the first few infusions, then for 10-20 additional seconds for later infusions. You should be able to get many steeps out of this tea. I like to take these leftover steeped leaves and place them in my ice water to extract every last trace of flavor from the them…yes, the tea is that great!
THE TEA:  Tightly rolled, dark green balls that unravel into large leaves as they steep.
THE SCENT:  Floral and fragrant, like tropical orchids, lilacs, or gardenias. This brew reminds me of my favorite place in the world, Hawaii. A whiff of this tea brewing is like getting a hit of sweet island air.
THE STEEP:  Brews to a pale, golden-yellow. Lightly sweet yet rich and buttery. Hints of coconut, cream, honey, and caramel that are distinct but subtle. To be clear, this milk oolong has nothing to do with milk tea or bubble (boba) milk tea. There are absolutely no sweeteners or dairy additives here.
GET IT:  At Mandala Tea’s site.
FOOD PAIRING:  This would be perfect with a tropical fruit salad with pineapple or mangos. Also lovely with light coconut milk-based desserts, like dairy-free panna cotta or Chinese coconut jello. For a savory change, serve this with spring rolls or sushi. Also great with white-fleshed fish like rock cod, tilapia, or mahi-mahi served Asian-style, with plenty of scallions and ginger.