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What Is Oolong Milk Tea? All You Need To Know

Milk Oolong is a unique type of tea from Taiwan, known for its creamy taste and texture. It’s made from the camellia sinensis plant, which is the same plant used for green and black teas but falls somewhere in between in terms of oxidation, displaying traits of both.

This tea, often referred to as milk oolong, is lightly oxidized and roasted to preserve its delicate floral aroma and creamy flavor.

When we talk about milk oolong, we’re specifically discussing tea made from the Jin Xuan cultivar.

The name “milk oolong” comes from its naturally light and creamy aftertaste and its rich body, not because it’s processed with milk.

The word “dairy” is in the name only, not in the ingredients. If you encounter “Taiwan Milk Oolong” at a bubble tea café, it’s something entirely different.

Milk oolong can also go by other names like Silk Oolong, Jin Xuan, Nai Xiang, and Golden Lily.

Milk Oolong vs. Oolong Milk Tea

Don’t mix them up! milk oolong and oolong milk tea are not the same:

  • Milk Oolong: It’s a type of oolong tea with a milky, buttery taste. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have any actual milk in it.
  • Oolong Milk Tea: This is oolong tea served with milk. You can even use milk oolong to make it. Sound confusing?

milk oolong tea benefits

  1. Antioxidants: Oolong tea is packed with antioxidants, like polyphenols, which may protect against heart issues, eye problems, low immunity, cancer, premature skin aging, and more.
  2. Digestion, Metabolism, and Weight Loss: Oolong tea’s theaflavins and thearubigins boost fat burning and reduce inflammation, aiding weight loss when combined with a healthy lifestyle. Caffeine in tea acts as a diuretic, reducing excess water weight.
  3. Teeth and Skin: Oolong’s antioxidants soothe skin issues and combat sun damage. It also absorbs fluoride from the soil, promoting dental health.
  4. Insulin Sensitivity and Cardiovascular Health: Tea can lower blood sugar levels and enhance insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart problems. Green tea’s EGCG can help prevent artery plaque buildup.
  5. GABA: Oolong tea naturally contains GABA, which improves mood, sleep quality, and reduces anxiety. It’s great for relaxation and meditation.

Consider Adding Tea to Your Diet: (Best Chinese Tea for Diet) Emerging research suggests that tea consumption may lower the risk of liver disease, certain cancers, depression, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure.

Oolong milk tea recipe

For medicinal applications, milk oolong tea is commonly prepared by steeping it in water alone. Nevertheless, many individuals opt for enjoying oolong tea by combining it with dairy for enhanced flavor.

Indulge in the delightful sweetness of Oolong Milk Tea with this quick and easy 10-minute recipe that you can whip up in the comfort of your home.

Oolong milk tea ingredients

  • 2-5 tablespoons of oolong tea leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • ⅓ cup of whole milk
  • Sweetener (adjust to taste)


  1. Begin by brewing your oolong tea. Follow the brewing instructions mentioned earlier in the article or those provided on the tea package. If you have jasmine tea, you can brew it in the same container as the oolong for an extra layer of flavor.
  2. While your tea is steeping, gently heat your milk. Be cautious not to let it boil or scald; a gentle warming is all that’s needed.
  3. Add your choice of sweetener and any desired spices to the warm milk. This is an excellent opportunity to incorporate ingredients like cocoa powder, which dissolves best in hot liquids.
  4. Once your oolong tea is ready, strain it into a cup.
  5. Pour your prepared milk mixture into the oolong tea, adjusting the sweetness to your liking.
  6. Your homemade Oolong Milk Tea is ready to be enjoyed, whether you prefer it hot or cold.


  • Opt for loose-leaf tea for the best flavor. Cloth tea bags can interfere with the delicate oolong flavors.
  • The standard ratio for water to milk is typically 3:1, but you can use more milk if you prefer a creamier tea. Alternatively, you can use condensed milk for a sweeter taste.
  • While white sugar is the most common sweetener, you can elevate your tea by using brown sugar (dark or light), agave, honey, or other sweeteners.
  • For extra flavor dimensions, consider adding jasmine tea leaves or spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, or ginger.
  • A pinch of salt can help balance the sweetness of your tea.

What does oolong milk tea taste like?

Oolong milk tea has a delightful taste that combines the nuanced flavors of oolong tea with the creamy richness of milk.

It can have floral, fruity, or earthy notes from the tea and a sweet, smooth, and comforting quality from the milk.

The level of sweetness can vary based on personal preference. Overall, it offers a well-balanced and enjoyable flavor profile.

How to make oolong milk tea with tea bags

Step 1: Choose the Right Tea

Start by selecting high-quality oolong tea bags. Look for oolong tea labeled for milk tea or one with a smooth, rich flavor profile.

Step 2: Brew the Tea

Boil a cup of water, then pour it over the oolong tea bags in your mug. Let it steep for 3-5 minutes; longer steeping may make it bitter. Remove the tea bags promptly.

Step 3: Sweeten (Optional)

Consider adding sweetener to your liking. Options include honey, brown sugar, agave syrup, or condensed milk. Adjust the sweetness to match your taste.

Step 4: Heat and Froth the Milk (Optional)

Warm your milk gently; you can froth it for a creamy texture using a frother or by whisking vigorously. Non-dairy milk alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk can also be frothed.

Step 5: Combine Tea and Milk

Mix the aromatic oolong tea with the creamy milk, creating a delightful blend of flavors. You can choose traditional dairy or explore plant-based milk options.

Step 6: Adjust to Taste

Customize the taste by tweaking the sweetness. Add honey or sugar for a sweeter tea or reduce the sweetener for a milder flavor. You can also experiment with different tea brands to discover your favorite flavor profile.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy!

Pour your oolong milk tea over ice for a refreshing iced version or enjoy it hot in a cozy mug. Get creative with garnishes like cinnamon, honey, whipped cream, or cocoa powder to enhance the presentation and flavor.

Sip and savor your personalized oolong milk tea creation, ready to experiment with additional flavors if desired.

What is roasted oolong tea?

Roasted oolong tea is a type of oolong tea that undergoes a roasting process during its production. This roasting process involves heating the tea leaves, often in an oven or over open flames, which imparts a distinct roasted flavor and aroma to the tea.

Roasted oolong tea typically has a darker color and a rich, earthy taste with notes of smokiness. The level of roast can vary, with some roasted oolong teas being lightly roasted, while others are heavily roasted, each offering its unique flavor profile. Roasted oolong tea is known for its complexity and depth of flavor, making it a popular choice among tea enthusiasts.

What is the difference between roasted and unroasted oolong tea?

AspectUn-roasted Oolong TeaRoasted Oolong Tea
Flavor ProfileLight and RefreshingRoasted and Earthy
Brew ColorLight Yellow/GreenDarker and Richer
AromaFresh and FloralNatural Roasted Scent
Taste ExperienceLight and DelicateBold and Robust
FragranceSubtle Floral NotesLong-lasting Earthy

In summary, un-roasted oolong tea is light, with a pale brew, subtle floral notes, and a delicate flavor.

In contrast, roasted oolong tea offers a bolder, richer brew with a natural roasted aroma that lingers, creating a long-lasting and earthy fragrance.

The choice depends on personal taste preferences and the desired tea-drinking experience.

Does oolong milk tea have caffeine?

Oolong milk tea does contain caffeine, with an approximate caffeine content ranging between that of green and black tea, averaging at about 37-55 milligrams per eight ounces.

Oolong milk tea vs black milk tea

AspectOolong Milk TeaBlack Milk Tea
Tea BaseOolong TeaBlack Tea
Flavor ProfileDelicate and NuancedRobust and Bold
AromaFloral or Fruity NotesRich and Malty
Caffeine ContentModerateHigher
ColorLight to Medium AmberRich Reddish-Brown
Popular VariationsHoney, Roasted, etc.Classic, Boba, Flavored
Regional PreferencesProminent in AsiaGlobal Presence
Taste CharacteristicsVaries (Roasted, Sweet, Fresh)Mild Sour with Deep Aftertaste

In summary, Oolong Milk Tea and Black Milk Tea offer distinct tea-drinking experiences. Oolong Milk Tea features a delicate and nuanced flavor with variations such as roasted, sweet, or fresh with floral notes.

Black Milk Tea, with its mild sour taste and deep aftertaste, provides a robust and bold tea experience.

The choice between the two depends on individual preferences, with Oolong Milk Tea often associated with Asian tea culture and Black Milk Tea having a broader international presence.

Oolong Milk Tea Vs Milk Tea

The former is a highly specialized variation of milk tea, distinguished by its exclusive use of a single type of tea leaf. This sets it apart from other milk teas, such as chai or matcha.

Authentic Milk Oolong: How to Spot the Real Deal

1. Beware of Misleading Labels:

  • Tea labeled as ‘milk oolong,’ ‘milky oolong,’ or even ‘Jin Xuan’ may not necessarily originate from the Jin Xuan cultivar.
  • Due to high demand and limited supply, some milk oolong teas are created by adding milk flavoring to lower-grade green oolongs.
  • Emphasize the importance of product awareness, quality, and vendor transparency when making a purchase.

2. The Dairy-Free Fact:

  • Authentic Taiwanese Jin Xuan oolongs are entirely dairy-free in their production.
  • Any mention of ‘milk’ during the tea’s processing or growth stages should raise a red flag.
  • Look for teas that are not ‘scented,’ as this typically indicates they are not genuine Jin Xuan oolongs.
  • Identifying authenticity involves knowing the tea’s origin, preferably grown in the Taiwanese mountains, and understanding its specific processing methods.

3. Taste Test for Authenticity:

  • The ultimate proof of a milk oolong’s authenticity lies in its taste.
  • Artificially flavored varieties often exhibit an overpowering creamy aroma and flavor.
  • A true milk oolong offers a well-balanced, delicate taste.
  • Assess the tea’s performance during multiple steepings in a small vessel like a gaiwan (Choosing the best gaiwan for Oolong brewing HERE) If the creamy texture and flavor diminish after the first few steeps, it’s likely artificially flavored. In contrast, a genuine milk oolong maintains its delicate creaminess throughout several infusions.


Why is milk oolong tea expensive?

Milk oolong teas can be pricier. This is because you’re paying for good quality, the real thing, and all the effort put in by the producers and farmers who grow these fantastic teas.

Is oolong milk tea strong?

The strength of oolong milk tea can vary depending on how it’s prepared. Generally, oolong milk tea has a moderate level of strength in terms of both tea flavor and caffeine content.

However, you can adjust the strength to your liking by controlling factors such as the amount of tea leaves used, steeping time, and the quantity of milk and sweeteners added. If you prefer a stronger oolong milk tea, you can use more tea leaves or steep it for a longer time.

Conversely, if you prefer a milder taste, you can reduce the tea leaves and adjust the milk and sweeteners accordingly.

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