If you have never tried milk tea, you really need to rethink what you order when you go to a café. As amazing as coffee is, sometimes the same order with cream and a dash of sugar gets redundant. Milk tea often replaces coffee in many countries considering it still has just about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee depending on what you get, and you can dress it up to be something extravagant like a chai milk tea (it tastes like Christmas), bubble tea, or just simple breakfast tea with a splash of milk and honey.
Options are endless. Vending machines are VERY important all over Asia, especially in Japan. You can literally get anything in these vending machines, and of course you have the option to select hundreds of different types of canned milk tea. It’s good both hot and cold.
What exactly is milk tea?
Milk tea has been a common staple in many countries, and if you ask for ‘tea’ pretty much anywhere in Asia and many other countries it’ll come served with milk. Milk tea is simply what it sounds like- tea with milk added. This combination creates a smoothness and slight sweetness to normal bitter teas such as black tea. Milk tea can be made into anything, such as bubble tea or masala chai tea.
Where did it come from?
Milk tea dates back centuries, being a popular choice in places such as Hong Kong back when the British still had colonial rule. It became a normal all-day drink all over Asia and the United Kingdom. Bubble tea (a type of milk tea) comes from Taiwan, and is said to be as normal there as coffee is to Americans. This hype is now hitting cities all over the U.S. and has become very popular. Bubble tea was invented in the 1980’s and is traditionally served chilled and uses a shaker machine to create bubbles on the top of it.
Not JUST delicious-
We can all agree that milk tea is amazing. Some people don’t like it at first, but then grow a taste for it after trying it in different recipes. Some of these recipes include:
- Boba or ‘bubble’ tea originates from Taiwan and is popular all over the world.
- Masala chai is an Indian spiced milk tea that can now be found in many areas.
- English Breakfast tea is a classic black tea served with or without milk.
- Yuan yang is different from the others as it is coffee mixed with milk and topped with foam, popularized in Hong Kong.
So, as you can see, milk tea comes in many different delicious forms but there are also positive health benefits to drinking it regularly. Milk tea is packed with powerful vitamins and antioxidants, and studies have found that it helps control blood sugar levels, improve the immune system, and even prevent heart disease.
Enjoy milk tea on your own terms- there are so many different variables and styles to savor it in.
Mike is an avid tea connoisseur and the founder of BubbleTeaology which supplies Bubble Tea Machines and Supplies to drink shops around the world.
Images provided by contributor.
I tried bubble tea and it was gelatinous. It was years ago in New York City, over 10 years ago, so maybe it has morphed into something else. Also, I don’t find that properly brewed tea, green or black is bitter. I confess to being a purist so I suspect I’m biased toward tea additives. It is interesting how popular this type of tea has become throughout Asia. Perhaps we’ll follow suite as we’ve done with tea.