I grew up drinking tea. Milk tea. And through my travels around the world, I\’ve found it as teh tarik in southeast asia, dai pai dong milk tea in Hong Kong to Hong Kong style milk tea out here in the United States of America – a comforting reminder of those boyhood days. However, getting my milk tea fix hasn\’t been cheap. Most places will charge you $2-$4 a pop. To compound the issue some places make the tea out of a powdered concoction that tastes god-awful! So, knowing how truly easy it is to make I\’ve shifted towards making it myself at home. In this post, I share provide an easy to follow step by step guide to making your own cup of this delicious drink at home.
Step 1 – Gather the Ingredients
The most important step of making Hong Kong style milk tea is making sure the correct ingredients are used. You will need two primary ingredients:
- Black Tea – I prefer to work with loose black tea and the grade of tea that works for me is Broken Orange Pekoe. While my personal favorite is TeaTang\’s \”Royal Tea BOP\”, even tea bags containing black tea (like Lipton\’s Black Pearl which can be acquired for as low as 17 cents a bag at Amazon) should work fine.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – Its really up to your taste preference, but avoid the super healthy versions that are brownish in color. The close to white, the more \”right\” the end product will feel. I prefer Carnation brand, but really anything should work (like the La Lechera Sweetened Condensed milk which can be acquired at as low as 22 cents an ounce at Amazon).
Step 2 – Get the equipment ready
You will need:
- A kettle (or some other mechanism to boil water)
- A tea-infuser (if you\’re using loose tea)
- A teaspoon
- A mug (to brew the tea and server the final product in)
Step 3 – Boil water
Self explanatory. Make sure the water is really boiling and be very careful when handling it.
Step 4 – Brew Tea
- Fill tea-infuser with black tea.
- Put tea-infuser in mug.
- Pour hot water into mug till its filled to almost the top.
- Let the tea steep for a few minutes (longer than you would with other teas). You\’ll know its ready when the tea is closer to the color of coca-cola than the color of tea you see in chinese restaurants. However, be careful not to let it get all the way to the coca-cola like state.
The product you get here will usually be too strong to consume on its own. The next step will rectify that.
Step 5 – Add condensed milk
Once the tea is brewed, add a teaspoon of condensed milk into the tea. If you prefer your tea sweeter, you can add a second teaspoon of condensed milk. Mix it in and you should smell the familiar aroma and see the liquid reach the familiar color and consistency of what you purchase at the store.
Step 6 – Enjoy!
You can now enjoy the fruits of your labor. A point worth noting is that the whole exercise would have cost you less than 50 cents (and taken less than 10 minutes). So, now you can both enjoy this drink whenever you please, but also do so without burning a hole through your wallet!
Step 7 – For Advanced Tea Makers…
To take your tea preparation to the next level, try to emulate these guys!