Hong Kong milk tea is amazing. It is one of those things you have to experience in your life, like espresso in Italy or coq au vin in France. Milk tea has a creamy texture with a sweet and rich flavor.
The problem with milk tea is that it is difficult to find a good version outside of Hong Kong. I think that because it takes so long to make and the secrets are so closely guarded, people take a lot of shortcuts. This leaves a weak, runny overly sweet tea that pretty much sucks.
To make a truly great milk tea, you need about an hour, a special strainer that looks like panty hose, and a secret recipe that no one will give out. The good news is my family is from Hong Kong and they are milk tea junkies. They are also pretty lazy, so they have a quick way to make milk tea at home that won’t take an hour and destroy your kitchen.
What you need
- Carnation Evaporated milk (important to get this exact product)
- English Breakfast Tea (sorry, I had to include the shameless self promoting link)
- 1 eggshell
How to Make it
- Put about 3 teaspoons of tea, the eggshell and a cup of water in a small pot
- Bring to a boil and let boil for about 6 minutes. This will over-steep the tea which is intentional
- Take the tea off the heat and let cool for 3 minutes
- Fill your tea cup 1/3 of the way with evaporated milk
- Bring the tea back to a boil
- Pour the tea through a strainer into a teacup
- Add sugar to taste and serve
Why are you steeping it so long?
Milk tea needs to be steeped for a very long time because it needs to hold up to the evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is very thick and strong tasting, so the astringency in the over-steeped tea needs to be able to fight through it.
While it won’t be the life changing experience of having a true milk tea in Hong Kong, it is still pretty darn good. That is about as good as you are going to get without actually going to Hong Kong