Milk Oolong (奶香烏龍茶, Nǎi Xiāng Wū Lóng Chá, "Milk Fragrance Oolong Tea") comes from a Taiwanese cultivar called Jīn Xuān 金萱 ("Golden Lily"). Legend has it that one year there was a late freeze that caused the plants to get frostbitten and wilt just before the harvest. Thinking their tea was ruined, some farmers decided to pick and process the tea anyway to cut their losses. When they started firing the tea, they were surprised that a distinctly sweet dairy aroma emerged. I inherited the source for this tea many years ago at my first tea-serving job at Jade Leaves Tea House in Austin, TX. I poured at Jade Leaves from 2009-2010, just before I moved to China. Jade Leaves closed in 2010, and when I started selling tea in Austin after returning from China, many of my old tea friends wanted Milk Oolong. The owner of Jade Leaves graciously shared his source with me, and over the years it has perennially been one of the most popular teas at the teahouse, especially for beginners, as it is an incredibly forgiving tea to steep. It has a pronounced buttered-popcorn and condensed milk fragrance with a big stone-fruit finish on the exhale. This tea claims to not be scented and that claim is validated by the FDA and USDA; that said its flavor and fragrance suggest otherwise. Because this tea is not a farm-direct tea that we sourced ourselves, we remain agnostic to the state of its being scented or not. It is the only tea we sell that is not farm- or master-direct, or from a Chinese collector. We have tried several times to discontinue it but it is so endearingly beloved among our customers that we have kept it in the inventory with this particular disclaimer. Although it isn’t the kind of tea we specialize in, it is part of the company’s history and remains a great starter tea for introducing people to Gong Fu Cha.