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Here at Loose Leaf, we try to stay on top of the latest tea trends and right now, Milk Tea is really popular. But just what is it, and how easy is it to make at home?
Milk Tea: what it is
The simplest form of Milk Tea is any tea with milk added to it. Black tea, green tea, even rooibos and herbal teas like chamomile, can all be called Milk Tea if you add milk to it. Milk tea can be enjoyed with or without sweetener.
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Why do people put milk in tea?
All over the world, you will find variations of tea with milk. In Great Britain, milk is added to black tea to mellow out any harsh bitter flavors. Milk binds to the bitter compounds in tea, giving it a smooth sweetness. In India, milk is often considered to be a medicinal substance, and is sometimes added to Ayurvedic healing recipes. (In case you were curious, Ayurveda is the traditional system of medicine in India.) Tea in China is traditionally served without milk, but in Hong Kong, they add evaporated milk to it.
What is Bubble Tea?
Bubble tea, also called Boba tea, is Milk Tea with pearls made of tapioca and other sweet ingredients like fruit syrups or other sweeteners. People drink the tea then eat the bubbles afterward. Bubble tea is more of a dessert than a healthy drink, due to the added sugars, and the fact that a cup of tapioca pearls adds around 400 calories.
Can Milk Tea be made for vegans?
Although most milk teas are made with dairy milk, you can definitely use plant-based milks. Thicker non-dairy milks like coconut milk or cashew milk will be creamier than rice milk, which tends to be thinner than nut options. For recipes to make your own nut milks, click here for the book DIY Nut Milks, Nut Butters, And More.
Milk Tea Recipe
Here is a simple Milk Tea recipe that you can use with any kind of tea.
You will need:
- 1 cup of hot water
- 2 teaspoons tea of choice
- ½ to ½ cup milk of choice
- optional: 1 teaspoon of your favorite sweetener, or to taste
Steep your tea for approximately 3 minutes (steep times will vary, depending on the type of tea you use) and strain out the tea leaves. Stir in the milk and sweetener, and enjoy hot or pour over ice. If you're serving to three or more people, click here for a beautiful glass carafe. If you want to be able to use the carafe for both hot and cold drinks, click here for a classy glass pitcher made with borosilicate glass.
Some tasty milk tea combos:
- Black tea and a pinch of cinnamon, with choice of milk, sweetened with maple syrup
- Matcha with coconut milk, sweetened with agave syrup
- Chamomile and choice of milk, with a little honey
- Chai tea with milk and coconut sugar
- Rooibos tea with banana milk
Something to bear in mind: if you’re using dairy milk, don’t add lemon, or the milk will curdle!
Have you ever tried Milk Tea? Tell us about it in the comments, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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