Taiwanese style milk tea

I am so obsessed with milk tea. It is the best drink in the world! I have to have milk tea every single day. My coworkers all know that I drink a lot of tea at office, and bubble tea after work. They think I was silly that I drove all the way in Seattle traffic to the tea place more than 20 miles a way just to get a cup of the “right tea”.

Unfortunately, I am a very picky tea drinker. I don’t drink anything fake. My definition of fake is, artificially flavored with added color and refined sugar. For me, they just don’t taste right 😦

I know many tea places are using creamers and lower end of tea leaves to make tea. Even though the tea is real in my definition, I am worried about the ingredients in creamer. So I decided, I will cook team myself.

It was a tough journey for me to explore and brew a tea with healthy ingredients but commercialized milk tea pungent and flavor. I explored a plethora methods but I can not reproduce the flavor I enjoyed in tea shops in Taiwan. I was so frustrated and almost give up trying.

Somehow, I desired a special pungent flavor in the special brand commercial milk tea in Taiwan. I want to reproduce the flavor, but somehow I could not.

The very basic ingredients of Taiwanese milk tea are black tea with milk. But there must be something missing in between. I missed the layered flavor between the black tea leaves and milk. The flavor and smell that can transform the kinda boring black tea leave smell and unfold its true flavor in time.

One day, on Youtube autoplay, one video revealed the secret, and I finally learned the secrets of making the tea I dreamed about! This is the video: Hank茶饗來開嗑03:鍋煮奶茶!教你煮出正港厚奶茶

The secret is to add Tienguanyin tea (鐵觀音) into the black tea of your choice.

The problem is that, in the video, the chef did not mention how much Tieguanyin tea you have to add. So I have to experiment it myself. After several months of trying, I finally found the best ratio of black tea to Tieguanyin tea!

The golden ratio is 1 part of Tieguanyin tea leaves with 2 parts of Black tea of your choice.

Here is an example:

  • 36 ounce of water (4 cups)
  • 3 Tieguanyin tea bags (about 6g)
  • 12g of black tea.

Please note, if the Tieguanyin leaves you use is strong in flavor, please adjust the ratio to 1:3 instead.

You can replace black tea with other tea of your choice. When I feel like Puer milk tea, I replace black tea leaves with Puer tea leaves.

My favorite black tea leaves and Tieguanyin tea bags!

Steps on how to make it:

Step 1

Heat up the water until it is boiled. Then please turn down the boiler switch to low settings. You don’t want to add tea leaves to dance in rumbling tumbling boiling water. They will turn bitter very soon.

Step 2

Add Tieguanyin tea leaves (or bags) into the water, and let it boil in low heat for about 2 minutes. The water turns amber in color with the tea bags and you can smell Tienguanyin.

Step 3

Add black tea of your choice, and boil in low heat for about 2 minutes.

Step 4

Add milk of your choice, then cook in low heat for about 2 minutes. Please keeps stirring when cooking. Please adjust the time to avoid boiling the milk.

Usually I use goat milk, which I found works great! I would not recommend non-fat milk since the taste is boring for me ;P

Step 5

Turn off the heat and let the pot sit for about a minute. Then filter the tea leaves out and enjoy!

A cup of perfect milk tea

If you want to produce the kind of milk tea with some foam on the top of your tea, simply put the cooled milk tea (not hot or warm tea please! The bottle could explode when you shake it, which unfortunately happened to me before) with ice if you want into a water bottle. Then vigorously shake it like how the old school barista used to do long time ago in bubble tea shops. You shake it till you see the foam shows up on the top to your satisfaction then enjoy it!

My cold milk tea with foam. I used the water bobble to make the foam.

Please note, if you use low fat or non-fat milk, then the foam will not form since the fat is the secret to create the foam. I understand the pain of trying to make delicious food while reducing fat from food. Trying to lose weight, I am in the same dilemma all the time; but this time, I strongly suggest you not to even think about reduced fat milk.

Also I found the best way to cook boba after trials and fails…I will post it later in my blog!

Hope this blog helps milk tea lovers like me!

A cup of milk tea and a cookie
Delicious afternoon tea with a delicious cookie, what can be better than that?

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