Royal milk tea is so easy to make at home and you don't have to look too far because you probably have everything you need. We've got the tastiest recipe for this Japanese drink to make your mouth water. It's simple, and after scouring our community for other recipes, we can confidently say it's the best one you'll ever find.
What is Royal Milk Tea?
Royal milk tea is a Japanese drink that is made of Assam or Darjeeling tea, milk and a sweetener. It is a lovely Japanese drink that is also often called Japanese milk tea.
Japanese milk tea may sound old, but it actually hasn’t been around for that long, especially considering the age of other tea recipes. The drink was first made by the tea company Lipton in Japan in 1965. Lipton created a series of tea recipes, and this one was particularly well-received.
Japanese milk tea is a favourite in Japan but is quickly gaining popularity in other parts of the world. You can find it on menus and bottled for sale at convenience stores in Japan.
This Japanese drink became widespread because of the boba. And because bubble tea is so popular, people became interested in trying other drinks with tapioca pearls.
Royal Milk Tea vs Milk Tea
Royal milk tea is made by steeping the tea leaves in both the water and milk, whereas milk tea typically adds milk to brewed tea after you remove the tea leaves. However, milk tea can refer to any type of tea with milk inside it.
If you are craving a specific type of milk tea or ordering one at a cafe, make sure you specify what you want. Simply asking for milk tea might not get you what you’re looking for, and it will definitely not get you Japanese milk tea.
Royal Milk Tea Taste
Japanese milk tea tastes sweet with different notes depending on what leaves you use. If you use Darjeeling, it retains some of its sweetness but is a little earthy. If you use Assam tea leaves, the taste changes slightly and becomes fuller and a little malty.
The taste will also change depending on the type of sweetener you use. For example, honey can add some richness, whereas pure sugar will keep it very sweet.
Another similar drink
Japanese milk tea is quite similar to Indian chai. Indian chai is a drink made by steeping black tea leaves in both the milk and water, as you do with Japanese milk tea.
However, Indian chai may include a variety of herbs and spices, such as ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and pepper. It is a lovely drink that you can easily make from the Japanese milk tea base.
Japanese royal milk tea contains 73 calories. However, this can also change depending on the type of milk and the amount of sugar you use.
Royal Milk Tea Ingredients
You can make this delicious Japanese drink with three specific ingredients, milk, tea leaves and sweetener. Here's what you need to know about each ingredient!
Typically, you will use whole milk for this recipe. Whole milk gives the drink a very rich and full flavour. However, you can use your favourite type of milk.
As noted before, Japanese milk tea is commonly made with Darjeeling or Assam tea leaves. Both are types of teas named for the region in India they come from. You can buy them at any local grocery store or tea and spice shop. Or you can even find them online. We suggest using dried, loose leaves.
This Japanese milk tea typically uses white or brown sugar, but you can use any type of sweetener you have at home.
You can also use royal milk tea powder. The powder is an instant mix that is similar to instant coffee. Instead of steeping your leaves, you just pour boiling water into the mix. It’s pretty simple and a huge timesaver, but the flavour is not as fresh.
You can find this powder online, but you may also be able to find it at a nearby speciality store.
Using tea leaves
This recipe calls for using tea leaves. As noted, the tea leaves should be dry and loose, and they will steep freely in the water and milk.
If possible, use a thermometer to know the water’s exact temperature when boiling your water. If you steep your tea leaves at too high a temperature, you risk ruining the flavour.
Although this drink is made with specific ingredients, there is some wiggle room for substitutes. Note that the substitutions will change the flavour a bit. Here’s how you can alter the recipe a bit to suit your dietary or flavour preferences!
You can use any other type of milk for this recipe, such as skim or any nut milk like almond. However, depending on the milk you use, it may change the silky texture of the tea. Use whatever you prefer or require for your diet.
For the tea leaves, you also can use another type of black tea, too. Earl Grey or Irish breakfast tea will also work but may add a different fragrance.
Like milk, you can use whatever type of sweetener you want. Sugar, honey, or agave all work splendidly, but use what you like. Sugar substitutes like Splenda or Stevia work, too.
If you want to use the powder mix, you can get different tea flavours. For example, you can have royal milk tea peach, strawberry or even cherry blossom. Something a little different to a simple sweet tea. These flavours make the drink a bit like a latte.
You could also use syrup to flavour your tea, just as you would with coffee. You can use pre-made syrups or make your own with sugar, water, and your desired fruit or other flavours.
Royal Milk Tea Boba
As we have mentioned, this Japanese tea drink is also delicious with boba. Boba, or tapioca pearls, is common in Asian tea drinks and best known in bubble tea.
And what is bubble tea? Bubble tea is a type of milk tea that uses boba.
To make royal milk tea boba, you simply add your tapioca pearls to your mix. Check out our tapioca pearls recipe for more information on making this delicious drink.
Royal Milk Tea Recipe
- ½ cup water
- 2 tsps black tea leaves
- ½ cup milk
- Sugar to taste
- Boil water in a small saucepan.
- Add tea leaves. Reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes.
- Add milk and simmer until well combined.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and pour the tea into a cup using a fine-mesh sieve to catch the tea leaves.
- Add sugar to taste.
- If you are making this tea with boba, account for the amount of time it takes to boil tapioca pearls, as they do have to be in the water for several minutes.
- For a different taste, you could combine the tea leaves. Instead of using 2 teaspoons of either one, use 1 teaspoon of both. This will give it a totally new flavour.
- You can also have this drink iced. Chill the brewed tea in the refrigerator for about an hour if you want it iced. You could also brew the tea and leave it in the fridge overnight to enjoy in the morning. And you can add boba to your iced drink, as well.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
Flavor Purveyor on Youtube has a video recipe on how to prepare this delicious beverage at home using loose tea leaves.
Other recipes you’ll love
If you like Japanese royal milk tea, you’ll love these other delicious recipes, too!
- Okinawa milk tea - This sweet and tangy tea uses delicious Okinawa brown sugar. It’s perfect for the summertime as it offers a refreshing flavour and has a unique pattern on the outside when placed in a transparent cup.
- Cheese foam - Cheese tea is another delicious tea made with lovely cheese foam. It’s simple to make and adds a fun texture.
- Thai tea boba - Another sweet recipe for summer is Thai tea boba. It has an enticing orange colour and the signature tapioca pearls you know and love.
Snacks to pair with your tea
There are dozens of snacks to enjoy with royal milk tea and make it taste even better. Here are some of our favourites:
- Banana sushi - This easy yet addictive snack is perfect for pairing with your Japanese tea drink. It’s simple to make, healthy to eat, and enhances the royal milk tea flavour.
- Green tea cookies - Nothing goes better with tea than a cookie, and this pairing is even more spectacular when you have tea-flavoured cookies. Green tea cookies have a unique taste and a lovely texture that feels amazing in your mouth.
- Manju - Manju, also known as red bean cakes, are soft little cakes with Anko red bean paste inside. They have a fluffy texture and tasty filling.
- Raindrop cake - If you’d prefer a traditional Japanese dessert with your tea, have the raindrop cake. Named for its resemblance to a raindrop, the cake is as tasty as it is unique.
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