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A Guide to Brewing the Perfect Cup of Milk Tea

Is there anything more comforting than a cup of milk tea? We think not. Milk tea is a staple in many Sri Lankan households, and it is very common to stop at a kade (roadside shop) to enjoy a cup of sweetened milk tea as you travel around the island.

Read on to find out what it takes to brew the perfect cup of milk tea and get a milk tea recipe so that you can brew this comforting beverage at home!


What is Milk Tea?

In its most basic form, milk tea is made of two ingredients: milk and tea. However, there are a few factors you must consider when making a cup of milk tea and these include the type of tea to use, choosing loose tea or tea bags, and the type of milk to use.

Interestingly, countries all across the world have different variations of milk tea. Bubble milk tea (also known as Boba milk tea) from Taiwan; London Fog which is a British milk tea made from Earl Grey tea; and the famous Matcha latte from Japan.


What Type of Tea to Use?

The perfect cup of milk tea differs from person to person, so it can be made with any tea to suit your preference. However, opt for a strong brew such as black tea or black tea-based tea flavours to ensure that the milk does not overpower the flavour of the tea.

Here are some great black tea options:

If you like trying different milk tea flavours, here are some wonderful flavoured black tea options you can use:


Loose Tea Leaves or Tea Bags?

This is the age-old battle of flavour vs convenience. There’s no denying that tea bags are great to use when you’re in a rush and just want to enjoy your cuppa. At Zesta, we have some excellent, flavourful black teas that come in tea bags, however, as any tea connoisseur knows – the flavour of loose leaf tea is indisputable.

Our tip: If you want to savour your cuppa, opt for loose leaf tea, but if you’re in a rush, tea bags are the perfect option!


What Type of Milk to Use?

Although there are only two main ingredients in milk tea, you can be as creative as you like! Today with so many milk options available, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a milk to use. Some popular milk options include:

  • Fresh dairy milk
  • Cream
  • Condensed milk
  • Milk powder

You could also use soy, almond and cashew milks for a dairy-free option, almond milk tea is exceptionally good! You can also elevate your milk tea game by using hot, foam milk and making a milk tea latte or add chill it and enjoy an iced milk tea.


Milk Tea Recipe

Making a cup of milk tea is incredibly easy and is very similar to brewing a cup of Ceylon Tea. Here’s how you can brew the perfect cup of milk tea at home.

  1. Add one teaspoon (2g) of the loose leaf tea of your choice, into your teapot. Alternatively, use one tea bag.
  2. Boil water and pour over the tea and let it steep for 3 – 5 minutes until the tea is a deep amber colour. If you’re using a tea bag, it may take a shorter amount of time.
  3. Strain the steeped tea into your glass of choice and add a sweetener if you like.
  4. Finally, add some milk, it’s entirely up to you to choose how milky you like your tea, and watch as your tea turns a murky reddish-brown.
  5. Sit back and enjoy!


Milk tea is the perfect comforting drink on a cold day or if you just need to pick me up. It allows you to let your creativity run wild as you can experiment with different tea flavours. Make your perfect cup of milk tea with Zesta.