Santikhiri Milk Oolong is a characterfully smooth, lightly oxidised oolong that is produced from a Taiwanese Jin Xuan TRES #12 cultivar. This oolong comes from around Santikhiri village (formerly Mae Salong) located in Mae Fa Luang District around the highlands of Doi Mae Salong mountain, close to the border with Burma and Laos. Santikhiri Milk Oolong is an organic tea grown at an altitude of around 1,200-1,600 metres and this particular lot was plucked in April 2021. We source this tea directly from the owner of the plantation in Doi Mae Salong. You may also be interested in trying our Milk Ruby Oolong, a heavily oxidised version of this tea.
This Milk Oolong tea is made from a Taiwanese cultivar called Jin Xuan ‘Golden Daylily’ (金萱) or TRES #12, the number given to it by the Taiwan Research and Extension Station. Milk Oolong is also sometimes known as Nai Xiang (奶香) ‘Milk Fragrance’ in Chinese. The Jin Xuan cultivar is very popular with farmers since the plants are more hardy and produce a higher yield. From a tea lover’s point of view, Jin Xuan is an attractive aromatic drink with a lovely sweet and creamy character.
Unfortunately there are plenty of Milk Oolong teas (whether from Jin Xuan cultivar or others) that are flavoured either with milk or vanilla in order to imitate or enhance the natural taste that the leaves of Jin Xuan develop. Any genuine Milk Oolong, such as this one, is always produced from the Jin Xuan cultivar and should not be flavoured or enhanced with additional flavours in any way.
Santikhiri Milk Oolong comes in tightly rolled dark green leaves that produce a brisk yellow-green clear liquor with a lightly verdant and creamy aroma. This tea produces a light cup that is smooth and refreshing. The taste is vegetal, lightly ‘green’ tasting, with a tangy edge. There is distinctive creaminess that this type of tea is famous for, which mostly comes in at the very top notes and on the aftertaste. The creaminess and milkiness is manifested mostly in a mouthfeel rather than a distinctive milky taste. The aftertaste is long-lasting and has a lovely nutty top note. When compared to other Milk Oolong teas that have a more pronounced milky and creamy flavour and mouthfeel, especially our award-winning Organic Milk Oolong, this tea has a more lightly-oxidised fresh green flavour with a light, characteristic Jin Xuan creamy mouthfeel.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste. It can be brewed 3+ times.
This Santikhiri Milk Oolong was first featured in our November 2021 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.