Recipe: Hong Kong-Style Milk Tea

Hong Kong-Style Milk Tea is something that I’ve grown up drinking. If you’ve ever popped into a Hong Kong cafe, you’ll be able to find it on the menu and everyone has their own way of making it up – but the general idea remains the same: black tea, milk, and sugar. And don’t be skimping on the fat content, because the richer the milk, the better! Hong Kong-Style Milk Tea is also frequently referred to as “pantyhose tea” or “silk stocking tea” because of the material traditionally used to filter the tea – but that’s just too much effort (and to much of a mess!) to do at home.

I grew up drinking Hong Kong-Style Milk Tea at home, where the tea used was bagged Orange Pekoe (Red Rose brand, if you’re curious). Any black tea will do, but I keep Red Rose on hand for making milk tea. When I was younger and I drank this, I’m pretty sure it was more milk than tea with a lot of sugar. I’ve since adjusted my ratios to become more tea, less milk, and a bit less sweet – but the condensed milk is still a must (or else I just use evaporated milk and white sugar…).

Hong Kong-Style Milk Tea (Hot) Recipe

1 black tea bag
300mL boiling hot water
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk or 1½ tablespoons evaporated milk
Sweetener of your choice*

Steep the tea – I usually do 3 minutes.
Stir in sweetened condense milk or evaporated milk.
Add sweetener of your choice (if using evaporated milk).
Enjoy!

Hong Kong-Style Iced Milk Tea Recipe

2 black tea bags
300mL boiling hot water
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk or 1½ tablespoons evaporated milk
Sweetener of your choice*
Ice cubes

Steep the tea – I usually do 3 minutes.
Stir in sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk.
Add sweetener of your choice (if using evaporated milk).
Pour over ice, and give it a stir.
Enjoy!

* If not using sweetened condensed milk.

Hong Kong-Style Milk Tea is a nice treat to have, and I’m pretty sure I’ve had it every single meal at this point in my life – and after dinner! It goes great with breakfast (sweet or savoury), and it’s just a nice little treat. If you’re watching your sugar intake, I’d recommend going with the evaporated milk. You still want it to have a full-bodied richness in terms of the creaminess, so don’t use regular milk (it’s too thin).

Lemon Lily’s London Fog

London Fog by Lemon Lily
Black Tea / Flavoured
$9.00 for 50g

Lemon Lily’s London Fog came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s April themed subscription box.

First Impressions

Lemon Lily’s London Fog came to me via The Sugared Tea Cup’s April themed subscription box (late spoilers: it was all things British in preparation for the Royal Wedding last month!). I can definitely smell the bergamot, it’s very strong and overwhelms the vanilla. I can see the pieces of vanilla bean, but smelling it is a whole other story. The black tea has some long, wiry leaves in it which is nice to see – I can’t smell them though since the bergamot is a force to be reckoned with.

London Fog consists of: black tea, vanilla bean, and natural bergamot – all organic ingredients.

Preparation

Lemon Lily recommends steeping London Fog in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 6 minutes. My initial steep of London Fog was for 5 minutes.

First Taste

London Fog steeps to a deep reddish-brown colour. There’s a very mild vanilla aroma to it, with the bergamot being very much present (much like it was in the dry leaf). There’s a mild astringency to London Fog when I drink it, causing a little bit of a mouth pucker. I found there was a light vanilla flavour, with a slight creaminess behind each sip. The bergamot flavour is very present, with a bright citrus flavour throughout.

Given its name, I did try London Fog with a bit of sweetener (I used locally harvested honey) and evaporated milk. I found that the vanilla flavour to be more present once the bergamot had been tempered down.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped London Fog twice, adding an extra 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the first resteep was very much like the initial steep, while the second had no vanilla flavour that I could find. I would say that London Fog is good for a least one more steep.

My Overall Impression

I liked Lemon Lily’s London Fog. I think it’s really great with some extra sweetener and milk. I found, for me, the bergamot was quite powerful and it was overwhelming the more gentler flavour of the vanilla bean and I would have liked for the vanilla to be more present. I think if the flavours had been a bit better balanced, I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

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Metropolitan Tea Company’s Organic Earl Grey

Organic Earl Grey by Metropolitan Tea Company
Black Tea / Flavoured
$15.00 for 100g

Mint and Honey has provided me with Metropolitan Tea Company’s Organic Earl Grey the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I was tickled to see Organic Earl Grey in the package that I received from Mint and Honey, if only because I’m a huge fan of this classic black tea. It came to me in a sample packet, a resealable kraft bag with a little window to see the tea. When I opened it, I could smell the bergamot oil. I’m always a fan of bergamot because I find it to be rather inviting. Since I’ve been drinking Earl Grey for so long, I find it to be like a familiar hug in the form of a tea.

Metropolitan Tea Company’s Earl Grey does not disappoint in that department. With the familiar aroma of bergamot that just overpowers everything, it’s pretty much what I look for in any Earl Grey. Organic Earl Grey consists of high-grown Ceylon tea (at 4000-8000m above sea level) with bergamot oil.

Preparation

I wasn’t able to find any recommended preparation instructions. I steeped Organic Earl Grey in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 minutes for the initial steep.

First Taste

Organic Earl Grey steeps to a lovely orange colour. The aroma that comes from my cup is primarily that of the bergamot (so inviting!), with the hint of something that I had difficult identifying just from smell. On first sip, I mostly taste the bergamot flavouring, and then the black tea base makes itself known. There’s a bit of a smoked wood quality to it, a touch of earthiness that mingles well with the citrus brightness of the bergamot. I was a bit surprised by the strength behind the black tea base, especially considering I couldn’t really smell it from the dry leaf or when I was just smelling the steeped tea. At a 4 minute steep, there was no astringency noted.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Organic Earl Grey three times (four steeps total), adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the bergamot oil was noticeably present for the first resteep, and began to weaken after that. In contrast, the black tea base became more and more bolder, perhaps because the bergamot wasn’t as strong.

My Overall Impression

I loved Metropolitan Tea Company’s Organic Earl Grey. It had everything I wanted (and look for) in an Earl Grey – strong bergamot presence and a bold black tea base. I really enjoyed how well this classic black tea steeped up, and the smokey woodsy earthiness was a pleasant quality from the Ceylon tea. I think this tea would do great plain, which is how I drank it, or with the addition of a sweetener and cream.

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