How to Make Oolong Milk Tea: A Customisable Recipe Guide

I've always been a fan of crafting my own beverages at home, and there's nothing quite like the creamy, aromatic delight of oolong milk tea. It's a perfect blend of robust oolong tea with a smooth, milky finish, and I'm here to share how you can make this exquisite drink right in your kitchen.

No need to queue at your local coffee shop when you can prepare a cup of this comforting tea at home. It's simpler than you might think and the results are absolutely rewarding. Let's dive into how you can bring the rich flavours of oolong milk tea to your mug, making every sip an experience to savour.

Choosing the Right Oolong Tea

When diving into the world of homemade oolong milk tea, the selection of your oolong tea plays a pivotal role in the final taste of your beverage. Oolong tea, with its vast spectrum from green and floral to dark and toasty, can dramatically influence the flavour profile of your milk tea. I've found that medium-bodied oolong varieties tend to strike a perfect balance, offering a robust flavour that harmonises beautifully with the creamy richness of milk.

First off, when scouting for oolong, look for leaves that are partially oxidised. This is the golden middle ground that gives oolong its distinctive character. Oxidation levels among oolong teas can range from about 10% to 70%, affecting both the colour and flavour intensity. For our purpose, teas in the 30-40% oxidation range work wonders, providing that gorgeous amber hue and a taste that's neither too sharp nor too mellow.

Origin Matters

Another aspect to pay attention to is the tea's origin. Taiwanese and Chinese oolong teas are amongst the most revered, each bringing their unique profiles to the table.

Experimenting with different oolongs from these regions can be incredibly rewarding, allowing you to customise the drink precisely to your taste preference. Remember, the quality of your tea significantly affects the outcome, so invest in good-quality leaves. They might be pricier, but the depth of flavour they contribute to your oolong milk tea is unquestionably worth the extra pennies.

Armed with these insights, selecting the right oolong isn't just about the tea; it's about crafting an experience, a moment of pleasure that's uniquely yours. Diving into the nuances of oolong tea, with its rich tapestry of flavours and aromas, elevates the simple act of drinking milk tea into a cultivated delight.

Gathering the Ingredients

As I'm diving into the cosy, comforting world of homemade oolong milk tea, I've realised how crucial it is to have all the right ingredients before I start brewing. It's not just about throwing together tea and milk; it's about choosing components that elevate the entire experience. Here's the simple yet specific list I swear by, ensuring every sip is as delightful as intended.

Once you've got your ingredients laid out, the next step is brewing the tea. Here's a straightforward method that's never let me down:

  1. Boil Water: Start by boiling filtered water. You'll need about 250ml for a single serving.
  2. Brew the Tea: Steep 2 teaspoons of oolong tea leaves in the hot water for 3-5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.
  3. Heat Milk: Meanwhile, gently warm your milk of choice. Avoid boiling to maintain the milk's sweetness.
  4. Combine: Pour the brewed tea into your mug, add sweetener to taste, and top it off with the warm milk. Stir well.
  5. Serve: Enjoy your oolong milk tea as is or with a dash more sweetness. It's perfect for a relaxing afternoon break or a comforting treat any time of the day.

By sticking to these steps and using quality ingredients, I've found it's fairly easy to create a cup of oolong milk tea that rivals those from my favourite café. Plus, there's something incredibly satisfying about making it myself.

Brewing the Oolong Tea

When it comes to making a superb cup of oolong milk tea, the brewing of the oolong tea itself is paramount. I've discovered through trial and error, and heaps of research, that the magic lies in the details. Here's how you can master the art of brewing your oolong tea to perfection.

Choosing the Right Oolong

First off, quality matters. Opt for loose leaf oolong tea, as it generally provides a richer flavour profile compared to tea bags. The type of oolong can vary depending on your taste; some prefer a lighter, more floral variety, while others might lean towards a darker, roasted type.

The Brewing Process

Follow these simple steps for an aromatic cup of oolong tea:

  1. Heat Water to the Right Temperature: Around 85-95°C (185-203°F) is ideal for oolong tea. If the water is too hot, it might scorch the leaves, affecting the taste.
  2. Measure Your Tea: Generally, 1-2 teaspoons of loose leaf tea per cup is recommended.
  3. Steep Time: Let the tea steep for 3-5 minutes. Shorter steeping times yield a milder flavour, while longer durations allow the full depth of the tea's flavour to emerge.
  4. Strain: Use a fine mesh strainer to capture the leaves as you pour the tea into a cup.

Adjusting for Taste

Remember, the brewing process isn't carved in stone. Feel free to adjust the amount of tea or steeping time to match your taste preferences. What I find perfectly balanced might be too strong or too mild for you, so experimenting is key.

With your freshly brewed oolong tea ready, it's only a matter of combining it with the warm, creamy milk and your chosen sweetener to create that dreamy cup of oolong milk tea. The depth and complexity of oolong tea, paired with the sweet creaminess of milk, makes for a beverage that's both comforting and invigorating.

Adding the Milk and Sweetener

After brewing the perfect cup of oolong tea, the next step in crafting a delicious oolong milk tea is adding the milk and sweetener. This stage is where the magic really happens, transforming the robust flavours of oolong into a creamy delight that's both comforting and invigorating.

Choosing the Right Milk: The type of milk you choose can significantly influence the overall taste and texture of your oolong milk tea. I've found that whole milk provides a rich, creamy texture, but for a lighter version, almond or oat milk are excellent dairy-free options. Remember, the goal is to complement the natural flavours of the oolong without overpowering them.

Sweetening to Taste: As for sweeteners, there's a broad spectrum to choose from. Traditional sugar works fine, but honey or agave syrup can offer a more nuanced sweetness that pairs beautifully with the complex notes of oolong tea.

Here's a simple guide on how to add milk and sweetener to your oolong tea:

  1. Measure Your Milk: Start with about 1/4 cup of milk for every cup of brewed tea. This ratio is adjustable based on how creamy you like your tea.
  2. Warm the Milk: Gently heat your milk to the same temperature as your brewed tea to ensure a smooth blend.
  3. Sweeten Your Tea: Add your preferred sweetener to the tea before the milk. This helps the sweetener dissolve more effectively. A good starting point is a teaspoon per cup, but feel free to adjust according to taste.
  4. Combine and Stir: Slowly pour the warmed milk into your tea, stirring gently to combine. Watch as the colours swirl together, creating a visually stunning cup.

Experiment with Ratios: I encourage you to experiment with different milk and sweetener ratios to find your perfect blend. The beauty of making oolong milk tea at home is the freedom to tailor every cup to your liking.

By following these steps and tips, you'll not only elevate your oolong milk tea experience but also gain a deeper appreciation for the art of tea making.

Final Touches and Enjoying Your Oolong Milk Tea

After perfecting the art of brewing oolong and mixing in the right amount of milk and sweetener, it's time to add those final touches that make your oolong milk tea uniquely yours. Believe me, it's these little tweaks that elevate a good cup of tea to a great one.

First off, let's talk about ice. If you're in the mood for a chilled, refreshing drink, adding ice is a game changer. Here’s how I do it:

For those who love a bit of texture and fun in their tea, toppings are where it’s at. Tapioca pearls are the classic go-to, but don't be afraid to experiment with:

And to serve, make sure you’ve got a glass that shows off your creation. I personally love a tall, clear glass that displays the layers of tea, milk, and toppings. It’s not just a treat for the taste buds but for the eyes too.

Finally, the most important part - enjoying your oolong milk tea. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy it, but I find it best when:

Remember, making oolong milk tea is as much about the process as it is about the final drink. Each step, from selecting your tea leaves to adding the final topping, is a chance to customise and create something that’s perfectly suited to your taste. So don't rush through it. Take your time, experiment, and most importantly, enjoy the journey.


Crafting the perfect oolong milk tea is more than just a recipe; it's an art form that's deeply personal and endlessly adaptable. By embracing the journey of customisation, I've found joy in experimenting with different toppings and serving styles. Remember, the key is to enjoy the process, from the aromatic brew to the final sip alongside your favourite snack. So, go ahead, make your oolong milk tea your own, and let every cup be a new adventure. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

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