British Style Royal Milk Tea by Lipton
Black Tea / Flavoured
$7.68 for 262.5g (15 x 17.5g sachets)
I dived into the depths of the internet to figure out what was the major differences between a British style milk tea and a Hong Kong style milk tea. The biggest difference that I could find? It all comes down to the type of milk being used in the preparation.
For a Hong Kong style milk tea, a condensed or evaporated milk is typically used. I grew up preparing Hong Kong style milk tea with an unsweetened evaporated milk. While in the preparation of a British style milk tea, one will used milk – the same type of milk that you’d typically find in a grocery store carton or jug or bag – if you happen to be in select parts of Canada.
Fun fact, I grew up drinking milk purchased at the grocery store in bags, and remember carefully cutting the corner off when it came time to opening a new bag of milk. I’m not sure when it was phased out in my province, but I haven’t seen bagged milk in forever. Last I heard, it’s still available in parts of eastern Canada.
British Style Royal Milk Tea comes in individually portioned sachets, with each one containing 17.5g of powder. British Style Royal Milk Tea consists of: sugar, creamer, whole milk powder, black tea powder, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, maltodextrin, and artificial flavour. The powder isn’t particularly fragrant and is a kind of boring shade of beige with speckles of darker brown throughout.
Lipton recommends preparing British Style Royal Milk Tea in 85°C (185°F) water, using 180mL if drinking it hot and 50mL if you intend to pour it over iced. I opted to try British Style Royal Milk Tea as a cup of hot tea, but there is an image on the bag of the packaging to use British Style Royal Milk Tea as a base for what appears to be bubble tea (and I fully support this as an option).
British Style Royal Milk Tea mixes up quite easily into what looks like milk tea. It fully dissolves well with a quick stir of a spoon and I’m left with a cup of milky looking tea. The aroma reminds me of a milk tea, with obvious notes of dairy. The flavour of British Style Royal Milk Tea is interesting. While there is the sweetness from the sugar, I wouldn’t call it overwhelmingly sweet. The black tea base is a touch astringent and even almost bitter. The dairy carries it through with a bit of a creamy aspect to it, but it’s not as rich as I’m used to with a milk tea. British Style Royal Milk Tea almost seems like it’s trying to be like a Hong Kong style milk tea, but missing the marks on smoothness when it comes to the black tea base.
A Second Cup?
As British Style Royal Milk Tea is a powder/drink mix, there are no second steeps with the same powder.
My Overall Impression
I thought that Lipton’s British Style Royal Milk Tea was just okay. There’s something about British Style Royal Milk Tea that I liked when drinking it, but the astringency and bitterness that exist in the cup due to the black tea powder that was used in the creation of this drink mix lends itself to being a bit meh. I think coffee drinkers/lovers might appreciate British Style Royal Milk Tea more than I do because of that bitterness that might remind them of coffee. But for me, I lean towards more traditional teas, and also sweeter options when it comes to my milk tea. So while I will drink it (and finish the contents of the big package), I’m unlikely to reach for it again when I’m at the store. It’s not undrinkable, but it’s not a favourite.