One pleasant surprise for visitors to Japan is discovering the amazing selection of drinks you can find. Even vending machines are not like the lame ones we have here. They have a huge variety of high quality, tasty beverages. One of my favourites was always Japanese royal milk tea.
So creamy and rich in flavour – it was almost always my choice. On a hot day, chilled milk tea is so delightfully refreshing. Drinking it hot is wonderful as well! I will show you how to make both versions.
how to make Japanese royal milk tea
There are a few different kinds of black tea that can be used for Japanese royal milk tea.
- Darjeeling (India) – light coloured with a floral aroma.
- Assam (India) – dark, bold, and malty.
- Ceylon Uva (Sri Lanka) – amber and full bodied.
I use a blend of 75% Darjeeling for the light colour and delicate floral scent, and 25% Assam for a bit of depth and robustness.
To get the most flavour out of your tea, we want to open it up first. Do this by putting it into a small bowl and add just enough boiling water to evenly coat the tea leaves. In the meantime, heat the milk and water in a small pot.
Just before the milk/water begins to boil, add in the moistened tea leaves and turn off the heat. Stir them with a spoon to mix them in. Cover the pot and let it sit for four minutes (five if you intend to drink the tea iced). Prepare your teacups by filling them with hot water to warm them.
After the steeping is finished, give it another stir, then strain the milk tea into a bowl or measuring cup with a pour spout. Now sweeten it to your taste preference. In Japan they often use liquid sugar called gum syrup. You can use sugar if you’d like, but I used honey.
Remove the water from the teacups and pour in your tea. It is ready to enjoy hot.
However, my favourite way to enjoy Japanese royal milk tea is iced. It is so delicious and refreshing. If you want to try it this way, pop the bowl in the fridge to cool for a bit before serving it on ice.