Hong Kong Milk Tea Recipe


hong kong-style milk tea at a cafe

I love coffee. Ask anyone. Long before I became a barista at the 4th and Market Starbucks downtown, I drank drip coffee in high school and learned to like espresso from my jaunts to Jungle Java in Guam. I drank so much coffee in high school, my middle sister Cherie dubbed me the “Java Queen.” In college, coffee sustained me during school and work. Over the years, I’ve waded from lattes and macchiatos to my current espresso drink of choice, an Americano (or, a double espresso). Luckily, I married someone who loves coffee as much as I do. We drink coffee for fun, as much as we do on weekday mornings.  

And I have my husband, Daniel, to thank for introducing me to a non-coffee beverage that’s equally satisfying, Hong Kong Milk Tea. Hong Kong Milk Tea is brewed black tea with sweetened condensed milk originating from Hong Kong. It is my “go-to” alternative to coffee.  On weekends, when I (we) need an afternoon pick-me-up (after a day of family activities), Hong Kong Milk Tea combines the soothing flavor of tea with the taste of home for him. It’s also a cinch to make, with just three ingredients and taking only a few minutes to make. If you love tea, give this a try or go to your nearest Boba Guys to try one.

The recipe below can easily be doubled for two or just a large mug for you!

Hong Kong Milk Tea

(Serves One)


16 fluid oz water

2–3 tablespoons loose black tea leaves (Ceylon tea or English Breakfast)

Sweetened Condensed milk, to taste

How to Make

  1. Boil 16 oz of water in a small pot (You will only need 12 oz, but I err on having a little more water, as some is lost during boiling).
  2. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the tea leaves. Put a lid on the pot. Turn down heat to low and steep for 4-5 minutes.
  3. While the tea is steeping, place 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk in a mug and set aside.
  4. Strain tea leaves from pot. Pour hot tea into the mug and stir.
  5. Add more sweetened condensed milk to taste.

For an iced beverage,

  1. After steeping and straining, cool tea to room temperature.
  2. Place sweetened condensed milk at the bottom of a glass.
  3. Add a few ice cubes.
  4. Pour tea over ice cubes and stir.
  5. Delicious!


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