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How to Make Royal Milk Tea

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If you’re getting tired of your good old cuppa of black tea with milk, but you’re trying to stay faithful, then we’ve got just the thing to spice up your tea-drinking afternoons and keep that relationship alive – royal milk tea. 

This Japanese beverage will bring a whole new flavor to your cup while still using your two beloved ingredients – milk and black tea.

What is Royal Milk Tea?

Royal milk tea, despite its fancy name, is simply a black tea with loads of milk. It was invented in 1965 by the tea company Lipton and was a part of their then-popular “royal” tea series. The tea quickly gained incredible popularity, and so the term “royal” kind of stuck.

But despite it being black tea with milk, the royal kind is quite different than your regular milky tea. First of all, it contains a much higher ratio of milk. And secondly, the method is much more delicate.

Royal milk tea is made in a saucepan on the stove, where tea is gently simmered with sugar and milk, until a creamy, malty, and irresistibly rich beverage is made.

In Japan, you can find many pre-packaged varieties of this goodness in a cup. It is also sold hot and cold.

Best Teas for Royal Tea

To make an absolutely satisfying royal milk tea, you need to use the right kind of tea. The tea may be black, but you cannot exactly dump your English Breakfast Tea to steep and drown it with milk. Besides, doesn’t the name royal hint that it deserves the absolute best?

There are three types of tea that are the most suitable matches for your royal milk tea cup:

Darjeeling Tea –  Coming straight from the Darjeeling region, this Indian tea is light and enriched with subtle floral notes. The tea produces black, green, oolong, and white tea, and it is harvested in five different flushes. The leaves take on the robust black taste when they are fully fermented. The tea blends perfectly with milk, which is why it is the top choice for this royal beverage.

Assam Tea – Another Indian tea that originates from the Assam region. The tea is harvested in two flushes. The second flush is the more prized tea, known as the “tippy tea” thanks to the gold tips that are found on the leaves. Assam is malty, dark, robust, and much bolder. There are many different variations available, but the one that has hints of Vanilla is our absolute favorite for royal milk tea.

Ceylon Tea Ceylon comes from Sri Lanka and it produces black, green, or white leaves. Its brown leaves and lush buds allow for sweet and almost-nutty infusion. Black Ceylon tea is amber, full-bodied, and it accommodates milk just perfectly.

Although all three types bring a rich taste and lingering finish, you can also go for a tea blend for a more playful and vibrant twist.

Making Royal Milk Tea

Making royal milk tea feels nothing like steeping your regular morning cuppa. It is actual art. But worry not, because we’re about to share the simplest and creamiest recipe.

For the ultimate royal milk tea, you will need:

  • ½ tsp of Assam Tea Leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp Darjeeling Tea Leaves
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 ½ cups Milk
  • Sugar or Honey, to taste

And here is how you can make it:

  1. Start by placing the tea leaves in a small bowl.
  2. Pour just a little bit of the water over the leaves, enough to coat them completely. Let them soak.
  3. Meanwhile, place the remaining water in a saucepan.
  4. Add the milk, give the mixture a stir, and place over medium heat.
  5. Make sure to keep a constant eye over the milk and water mixture, making sure not to bring it to a full boil. If using granulated sugar, I’d suggest adding it at this point so it will dissolve completely.
  6. Just before the boiling starts, turn off the heat, and add the soaked tea leaves inside. You may need to stir with a spoon to simply mix them into the milk.
  7. Cover the saucepan and let sit off the heat for about 4 minutes.
  8. Uncover, and give the mixture another good stir.
  9. Strain the tea into a teapot. If using honey, add it at this point. Enjoy!

Although the taste will not be as rich, royal milk tea can be made with regular black tea as well. Instead of the Assam and Darjeeling tea, just add 2 teaspoons of black tea of your choice.

Dishes to Serve with Royal Milk Tea

Every tea party requires some decadent bites to be considered decent. And if you serve these yummy treats with your royal milk tea, rest assured that you will be hosting one heck of an afternoon tea party.

Matcha Crepes – Take your regular crepe recipe up a notch by adding matcha powder to the batter. Matcha is an absolute staple in Japan, so serving your green-colored crepes with the royal milk tea will be quite the hit.

Matcha Mousse – Not exactly a crepe fan? Don’t fret! We’ve got a soft, smooth, melt-in-the-mouth treat for you – mousse. And it doesn’t have to be anything complicated either. Find the simplest mousse recipe and just add a few teaspoons of matcha powder to it to completely transform your tea party.

Almond scones – Okay, we’re not adding matcha here, but seriously, who can resist flushing down delightful almond bites with creamy milk tea? It’s a combo made in heaven and an absolute must-try for your tea get-together.


See? You don’t exactly have to be royal or host a fancy party to allow yourself such creamy indulgence! Anyone who is a fan of black coffee and has some milk in the fridge can give this recipe a try. Be cautious, though, as it might just become your new favorite thing in the world. It is that addictive!

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