Decadent Milk Tea with Brown Sugar

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Make your tea time creamy and sweet with milk tea. Super simple and delicious, my milk tea recipe is made special with half-and-half and brown sugar.

Milk tea in cup

Milk Tea

What is milk tea? In its most basic form, it’s tea with milk. That’s it. 

  • Easy to make.
  • Usually made with black tea but any type of tea can be used.
  • Made decadent with half & half and brown sugar.
  • Smooth, sweet, and creamy, just as milk tea should taste.

Milk Tea Variations

  • London Fog, an Earl Grey-based drink.
  • Tea latte is milk tea.
  • Bubble tea is milk tea with boba.
  • Chai is an Indian version of milk tea.
  • Hong Kong-style milk tea is made with evaporated or condensed milk.

Tips for Making the Best Milk Tea

TIP #1: Brew a strong cup of tea
Since we’re adding half & half and sugar, you want to make sure the tea is strong and brewed properly with boiling water and steeped for the right amount of time. Weak tea isn’t great for milk tea.

TIP #2: Adjust sweetness
Everyone has a different level of sweet they like in their tea. Start with a teaspoon of sugar first and add more if needed.

TIP #3: Warm your teapot
It’s a good idea to warm up your teapot with hot water before brewing any kind of tea to keep the water hot during the steeping process.

TIP #4: Use black tea
I’ve tried making milk tea with oolong but it’s never as good as when it’s made with black tea. Black teas like Assam and Ceylon work best.

My black tea pick:

Questions You May Have

Can I make this iced?

Yes! See the step-by-step iced milk tea recipe.

Can I add honey instead of brown sugar?

Add any kind of sweetener that you like. I just prefer brown sugar. You can also try date syrup or maple syrup.

What is half & half?

It’s a dairy that’s half cream and half milk.

Milk Tea Cheat Sheet

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Milk tea ingredients

What You’ll Need

How to Make Milk Tea

STEP 1: Boil water.

Boil 1.5 cups of water on the stovetop or use an electric kettle with a temperature setting, setting the water temperature to 208°F.

Use filtered water for the best tasting tea. The better the water tastes, the better your tea will taste.

STEP 2: Warm up teapot.

Pour half a cup of boiled water into your teapot and swirl the water around to warm up the teapot. Discard the water. Now, your teapot is nice and warm to steep tea in.

STEP 3: Combine tea and hot water in a teapot. 

Brew a strong cup of tea with 2 teaspoons of black tea and a cup of hot water.

I’m using loose tea but you can use 1 tea sachet or 2 tea bags instead.

STEP 4: Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.

What we want is a strong cup of tea with a deep, dark color.

STEP 5: Strain tea leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup. 

I’m using this glass teapot which has a strainer built into the lid to filter out the tea leaves.

STEP 6: Stir in brown sugar.

Add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar right after you pour in your tea so that it can dissolve quickly in the hot tea. 

STEP 7: Pour in half & half.

Now is the fun part. Pour in the half & half and watch it swirl around in the black tea.

I’m using a generous amount of half & half (1/4 cup) but feel free to add as little or as much as you like.

Stir a bit and it’s ready to drink!

Related

Milk Tea

Author: Jee Choe
A creamy and sweet milk tea recipe.
4.6 from 124 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Steep Time 5 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving

INGREDIENTS
 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Boil water.
    Boil water on the stovetop or use an electric kettle with a temperature setting, setting the water temperature to 208°F. Boil a little more water than needed so that it can be used to warm up the teapot. Filtered water is best.
  • Warm up teapot.
    Pour some hot water into a teapot and swirl the water around to warm up the teapot. Discard the water.
  • Combine tea and hot water in a teapot.
  • Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain tea leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup. 
  • Stir in brown sugar.
  • Pour in half & half.
    I'm using a generous amount of half & half (1/4 cup) but feel free to add as little or as much as you like. Stir before drinking.

NOTES

TIP #1: Brew a strong cup of tea
Since we’re adding half & half and sugar, you want to make sure the tea is strong and brewed properly with boiling water and steeped for the right amount of time. Weak tea isn’t great for milk tea.
TIP #2: Adjust sweetness
Everyone has a different level of sweet they like in their tea. Start with a teaspoon of sugar first and add more if needed.
TIP #3: Warm your teapot
It’s a good idea to warm up the teapot with hot water before brewing any kind of tea to keep the water hot during the steeping process.
TIP #4: Use black tea
I’ve tried making milk tea with oolong but it’s never as good as when it’s made with black tea. Black teas like Assam and Ceylon work best.
Keyword black tea, easy, milk tea, tea with milk
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ohhowcivilized and use hashtag #ohhowcivilized!

29 thoughts on “Decadent Milk Tea with Brown Sugar”

  1. This is absolutely mouth watering and extremely gorgeous.
    I drink probably million tea a day but this is something else.
    Thank you for sharing such amazing pictures and thank you for inspiration.

    Reply
  2. You should be using white sugar not brown and use semi skimmed or whole milk. Cream should not go in tea at all.
    Also you only need one tea bag per cup but you do need a decent brand of tea to get a good strong cup of tea.

    Reply
  3. I am a huge fan of a lovely hot cup of tea, and enjoy seeing how others make theirs. Gives me new ideas. I follow this, almost to a um.., T. Lol. But I like honey in mine. Something my Nana always did. I’ll try the brown sugar, and the boba when I find them. Thanks for the fun read!

    Reply
    • I love milk tea, I too drink a lot of it while I’m sick, but then I have my addicted choice which is either chia or matcha. Hubby was in Taiwan and fell in love with the ritual of tea making, we’ve been trying to decide which tea table to purchase, so many are so beautiful and functions are different too. Thank you for this recipe, can’t wait to try this. I’ve saved it to Pinterest and shared with my hubby. You’ve inspired me to play around a bit with tea. Have a beautiful evening.

      Reply
  4. A nice Irish version is to use mint tea. To sort like a tea version of a McDonalds Irish ☘️ shake around St. Patrick’s Day.

    Reply
  5. Hi i am a coffee drinker ready for a change. Thank God for you. (its a coffee look alike) i be ale to trick my eyes. Looking for loose tea leafs.

    Reply
  6. I tried this recipe last night and it was delicious. I didn’t have half and half so I just used whole milk. I made a teapot full (about 4 cups) using 4 tea bags and enough brown sugar to my tastes. I put my teapot with it in the fridge overnight. By morning the tastes were all blended and much stronger than when it was fresh and hot. I really prefer it after it was refrigerated overnight and served cold. It reminded me of a cup of chilled coffee with how creamy it was and the flavor of the brown sugar gave the tea a unique flavor I’d never had in tea before. I live in the south and love cold iced sweet tea so this recipe was a really great discovery for me. I did try ice in it like I would sweet iced tea but it watered down the flavor too much. I’ll try half and half or heavy whipping cream in it next time. I don’t normally have either on hand so they require a special trip to the store. Thanks for the great recipe! I also plan to try this recipe with a little cinnamon in it or some cocoa powder to make a chocolatey milk tea.

    Reply
  7. Wanted to clarify the amount of water to use for steeping the tea. From the description in the steps it seems like you boil 1.5 cups but use 1/2 cup of that to heat the teapot. But the ingredients list says “1.5 cups water + more to warm teapot”. Do you use 1 cup or 1.5 cups to steep the tea? Thanks!

    Reply
  8. 5 stars
    I tried milk tea yesterday morning and it was tasty! ♥️ While the tea was very hot, I poured the cold half and half. After I did that, the tea turned to warm as a temperature which it is the way I like to drink. Thank you so much for this pin! Have an awesome day!

    Reply

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