I happened to be in Chinatown one day, and came across a nice looking tea shop called My Cup of Tea. My interest piqued, I decided to go in, and encountered a thoughtfully laid out space: a rectangular room lined with shelves showcasing different varieties of tea, most of which were packaged in cute little chinese takeout container-shaped boxes.
There were some samples of the different teas next to their boxes on the shelves, but due to their increased exposure to air, the samples were not that fresh, and thus, not very fragrant, so they did not provide much assistance when selecting a variety of tea to purchase. The young man working there, however, was very helpful and was clearly passionate about tea.
The company has its own tea farm in China, which allows them greater control over the quality of their product. The leaves are also hand-picked, and hand-rolled. The tea is grown ‘chemical free’, so I guess it is organic (or almost so), though it is not certified as such in Canada, nor does the word appear anywhere on their packaging.
Oolong teas are semi-fermented, and are processed almost like black teas. The difference lies in the degree of oxidation of the tea leaves. Black teas are fully oxidized, while white teas are barely oxidized at all. Oolong teas are closer to black teas than any other type of tea in this respect, and are a lovely yellow colour when brewed. I had tried oolong tea before walking into My Cup of Tea, but their milky oolong really blew me away.
Some fascinating information on Milky Oolongs can be found on the Tea Trekker website. The tea comes from a particular tea cultivar, called Jin Xuan. Although this cultivar is relatively new (it has only been around since the 1980s!) it has become very popular, and is now one of Taiwan’s four main tea cultivars. It has a creamy, sweet flavour like that of no tea I have ever tasted before. I’m not sure it has an ‘orchid aftertaste’ as is claimed on the box, but it can be infused multiple times, which is pretty cool (and economical)!
I recommend passing by one of their two locations, if you can, but you can also purchase tea from My Cup of Tea online. ‘Till next time, enjoy your cuppa!