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 mug with saucer.

What is Milk Tea?

  • Milk tea is simply milk with tea. Any kind of tea and any kind of milk together makes milk tea. That’s it!
  • Combinations to make milk tea are endless but the most basic milk tea is made with black tea and regular whole milk.
  • My milk tea recipe is made decadent with half & half (instead of milk) and brown sugar (instead of regular white sugar). It’s smooth, sweet, and creamy, just as milk tea should taste.

What else is milk tea? London Fog (Earl Grey and frothed milk), tea lattes, bubble tea (milk tea with boba), matcha latte, and chai latte (an Indian version of milk tea with spices) are all milk tea.

Ingredient Notes

Milk tea ingredients.
  • Black tea
    I’m using Assam loose black tea but any black tea you have will work. I prefer making tea with loose tea since I can adjust how strong I want my tea, but tea bags and tea sachets are also great to use.
  • Filtered water
    Always use high quality water when making tea.
  • Half & half
    It’s a dairy product that’s half cream and half milk. It’s a bit creamier than milk but not super thick like cream. It’s perfectly in between the two.
  • Brown sugar
    Gives the tea a more richer flavor than just regular sugar since brown sugar is a mix of white sugar and molasses.

Steps to Make Milk Tea

6 photos showing the steps to make milk tea.

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to see the recipe.

  1. Boil water.
    Making tea is so much easier when you use an electric kettle with temperature setting since not all tea should be made in boiling hot water.
  2. Warm up teapot.
    Pour some boiled water into your teapot and swirl the water around to warm up the teapot. Discard the water.
  3. Combine tea and hot water in a teapot. 
  4. Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Strain tea leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup. 
  6. Stir in brown sugar.
  7. Pour in half & half.

Tips for Making the Best Milk Tea

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Use black tea
    I’ve tried making milk tea with oolong but I like it best when it’s made with black tea. Strong, robust black teas like Assam and Ceylon work best.

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.

How many tea bags should I use since I don’t have loose tea?

Use 1 tea sachet or 1 tea bag.

Can I make milk tea with green tea?

Yes, any kind of tea can be used to make milk tea. Make sure your green tea is strong (but not bitter) so that it can hold up to the richness of the half & half.

What’s the difference between bubble tea and milk tea?

Bubble tea is milk tea with boba or tapioca balls in the drink.

More Milk Tea Recipes

Milk Tea Cheat Sheet

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Milk Tea

Author: Jee Choe
A creamy and sweet milk tea recipe.
4.6 from 149 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 since the better the water tastes, the better your tea will taste.
  • Warm up teapot.
    Pour some hot water into a 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.
  • Combine tea and hot water in a teapot.
    Make sure the tea is covered in water, and not just sitting on top, to get a full steep.
  • Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
    Covering the teapot keeps the water hot as the tea steeps.
  • Strain tea leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup. 
  • Stir in brown sugar.
    Add the sugar right after you pour in your tea so that it can dissolve quickly in the hot tea. 
  • Pour in half & half.
    The half & half will swirl around in the dark 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 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 best when it’s made with black tea. Black teas like Assam and Ceylon work best.

NUTRITION

Calories: 94 | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 79mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 214IU | Calcium: 64mg
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31 thoughts on “Decadent Milk Tea with Brown Sugar”

  1. 5 stars
    this is a amazing recipe. I love it so much. it was so creamy and with slight sweet sips at times. thank you for the recipe. (it was also a great to start the day)
    I hope everyone here has an amazing day.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for this recipe Jee – I was always searching for the perfect tea to 1/2 & 1/2 ratio and yours gave me the exact taste I was looking for! Since you mentioned trying to make milk tea with oolong instead, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing some good measurements to use for oolong milk tea? I was recently gifted a bunch of oolong tea and I’m trying to make it into milk tea right now! Any tips/suggestions would be really appreciated – thanks in advance 🙂

    Reply
  3. 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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