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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.

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Sip on a Tropical Iced Tea-ni this Summer

Summer is around the corner, and there’s no better time to start experimenting with a few tasty iced tea recipes that can keep you cool and refreshed in a fun way all season long.

Suppose you love a good old sweet iced tea during the hot summer afternoons, and can appreciate a sneaky glass of dirty martini before your dinner. In that case, you must try out this fabulous iced tea recipe that combines the two to make the most delightful combo of your two favourite beverages. Let’s get down to business.

How to brew iced tea

While you can do it from scratch by brewing your tea from loose-leaf, the most convenient means of making iced tea would be to use teabags.

So how do you make iced tea with tea bags? Check out our simple illustration offering step by step instructions for a homemade iced tea recipe that you can create using six simple ingredients over here.

Flavoured iced tea is one of the easiest and most delicious beverages you can make. It is also the easiest way to make iced tea. Use any one of Zesta’s premium range of flavoured Ceylon Tea to make yourself a quick glass of what might be the best-iced tea you’d ever come across.

How to make iced tea fast?

You love the thought of making an iced-tea-ni, but you don’t want to spend a tonne of time in the kitchen because you have bigger plans for the summer. If that’s the case, not to worry. We have a simple iced tea recipe that allows you to put together a classic iced tea-ni that will hit the spot.

Classic Iced Tea-ni recipe

This incredibly refreshing beverage combines all the flavours of a Martini mixed with iced tea to make a wonderful summer’s eve cocktail.

Preparation time: 2 minutes

No. of servings: 4

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of Zesta Lychee with Rose & Almond brew (Use two tea bags)
  • 6 fl. oz. of gin
  • 2 fl. oz. triple sec liqueur
  • 2 fl. oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Cocktail shaker
  • 4 Martini glasses or tumblers


First, make the tea!

Boil your water. Add in 2 cups of water to a mug with two tea bags of Zesta flavoured tea. Brew it for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the strength of tea you require. For more detailed instructions on brewing the perfect cup of tea, check out our guide over here.

Next, combine the gin, triple sec, vermouth and tea in the cocktail shaker along with your ice cubes and shake. Keep shaking till frost forms outside the shaker. Serve and garnish with a few slices of lemon, and there you have it, an iced tea-ni that James Bond himself would envy.

What is a tropical iced Tea-ni?

For an iced Tea-ni with a tropical twist that is bound to spice up your summer, you can jazz up your classic tea-ni by going an extra step further. Add some coconut water to give it that island feel and team it up with a combination of your favourite tropical fruits.

A fruity flavoured black tea is ideally suited for your iced tea-ni. However, if you prefer iced green tea, you can switch out the black to green as this refreshingly tropical iced tea can be brewed with either.

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A Fruity Iced Tea Recipe for Winter

Fruity Ice Tea

Have you ever heard of people drinking iced tea during winter? It may come as an odd preference for many, but it is quite a popular beverage. There are many iced tea recipes out there that would make your winter days enjoyable, however, we will be taking a popular holiday recipe; an orange pomegranate iced tea. Without further ado, let’s get started with the ingredients and how you can make it at home!

Winter Orange Pomegranate Iced Tea Ingredients (for 6 servings):

  • 3 cups fresh spring water
  • 1 orange (sliced into quarter-inch slices)
  • 3 inches broken cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 teabags from Zesta ORANGE FLAVOURED BLACK TEA – 25 TEABAGS
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons of sugar (or to your liking)
  • 12 orange wedges
  • 6 lime wedges
  • Wooden skewers
  • Ice cubes


  • Combine the water, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and the cloves to one saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  • Remove from heat, add the orange flavoured teabags, and let it steep for around 5 minutes.
  • Remove tea bags and strain the tea mixture into a fine-mesh strainer.
  • Remove the cinnamon, cloves and orange slices from the mixture.
  • Combine the tea mixture with fresh orange juice, pomegranate juice, sugar to your liking, and stir till it dissolves.
  • Cover the mixture and put in fridge for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • When serving, serve the chilled tea mixture in tall glasses with ice cubes in them.
  • Place 2 orange wedges and a lime wedge on skewers for each glass.

Voila! Your orange pomegranate flavoured iced tea is ready to be consumed. The ideal time to have such a great flavourful beverage is when you are having guests over at your place to enjoy the festivities. It is sure to bring joy and happiness to anyone who drinks it.

Best Time for Consumption

This variant of flavoured iced black tea is a great beverage you can have throughout the day, however, the ideal time to have it is during the morning and evening hours. Moreover, this tea is perfect for corporate and private gatherings.

Health Benefits of Iced Black Tea

Regardless of the season you consume the beverage, iced black tea such as the one mentioned above has several health benefits. Some of them are:

  • Helps in maintaining a healthy metabolic rate.
  • Prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in the guts, thus enabling a healthy digestive system.
  • Assists the body in maintaining a healthy blood circulatory system, which in turn, helps in maintaining a healthy heart.
  • Tea is known to control blood sugar levels (Only if you consume without sugar).
  • The beverage is also known for having amino acids that can boost the mind and mood of an individual.
  • Tea is also known to aid in weight loss, due to the low calories in the beverage.

In a traditional sense, iced tea may not be a norm during the winter months, however, with its health benefits and flavourful notes that would complement any hearty meal at a gathering

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The Tea Lover’s Daily Guide

Flavoured Teas Cups on Table

Do you know when and why you drink your tea? Is it just one favourite or a few that you like to mix and match? While your mood plays a big role, for sure, your body is a close second. Some teas are perfect to wake you up, some calm you down, some are good for digestion, and some just make your tastebuds happy. So let’s find out which is which!


The Morning Energy Boost

The alarm goes off and you open your eyes. You roll around in your bed for a few minutes until you know you can’t avoid getting up anymore. Suddenly, the idea of your first cup of tea comes to your mind and it gives you enough motivation to stand up, go to the kitchen and put the kettle on. Once the first traces of your morning brew fill the air, you start smiling. A few sips later, you are ready to face the day.

The English Breakfast tea is an all-time favourite. It’s rich and hearty with a strong but soothing aroma. Each morning cuppa makes you feel like the Royal Family (that actually drinks it too!). If you’re one of the health addicts and prefer a softer taste in the morning, Green tea is the one for you. There’s more types than we can count so you’ll always have plenty of options, and it’s just as energising as black tea.

If you’re even more of an adventurer, try and switch for Oolong or White tea in the morning. All known as the energy boosters of the Zesta tea range, will give the perfect kick start for your morning!


All Day, Every Day

They say that a good morning makes the day. But what if we need an extra support to get through the day? Sometimes we forget that tea is all we need. It keeps us warm and awake, relieves stress and gives us a moment to ourselves.

The all-day tea should be your favourite, the one that can make you smile and feel better at any time. Whether it’s the elegant Earl Grey with a rich flavour and a citrus zest. You could also come back to Green tea or Oolong if you liked it in the morning. If you feel like having too much energy already and you’d prefer a caffeine-free break, go red for Rooibos. Not a tea per se but an aroma like no other.

After Dinner & Before Bed

When you get home and the day slowly comes to an end, the only thing on your mind is comfort and rest. What better way to finish your dinner, than following it with a fresh and spicy Ceylon Ginger tea. It recharges your energy, soothes your stomach and, if you need, heals your cold.

Once you start yawning and your eyes feel heavy, there is nothing better than moving to bed with a mug of hot Herbal tea. Choose your favourite, whether it’s ChamomilePeppermint, or something else, and watch it being made. Then cuddle up and sip on your healthy, natural potion. It will help you relax and fall asleep at once.

All the above mentioned teas are available in our Zesta Gift and Connoisseur Collections. The Zesta collections include single-origin, unblended teas carefully selected by our Tea Masters who taste upto 7500 cups of tea in a single week.

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How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Iced Tea

Iced Tea

It’s a hot sunny afternoon and you keep thinking of ways to make it more bearable. You turn the fan on, take off your scarf, drink more water but it’s still not enough. Whether you are at home, relaxing in the sun, or struggling to think clearly at work, a refreshing heat-rescue is at your fingertips.

 Grab two of your favourite tea bags, put them in one cup and make your tea. Pour the strong brew into a glass filled with ice and enjoy the first sip of your cool and flavourful home-made iced tea. If you like, give it an extra zest by adding lemon juice, mint leaves or a pinch of sugar. It’s that simple!

Cheers to the sunny days!

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Herbal Tea Recipes to Boost your Immune System

Herbal Tea

Tea has become one of the most popular beverages in the world, only second to water, and can be traced back to the days of the ancient Chinese Empires where the camellia sinensis plant was used to make green tea or black tea. Fast forward to the present day, and tea has become diverse in many ways, as it has branched out to various varieties, which include different flavours and infusions. One such branch of tea that has become popularised over the years is herbal (tea) infusions. 

There is a common misconception in herbal infusions, as many would think that the same plant used for manufacturing green tea and black tea is utilised. However, it is really a blend of spices and herbs instead of the traditional camellia plant. Regardless, they are known for its many health benefits, of which strengthening the immune system is one major element. Here are four simple herbal (tea) infusion recipes for you to try out at home and experience its health benefits.

Chamomile Tea 

This particular herbal (tea) infusion is one of the most popular beverages out of the lot, as chamomile flowers are easily obtainable, and is simple to make. Moreover, the benefits of this infusion does not only cover the physical aspects, but also the mental aspects of health. 

How to make Chamomile Tea
  • 200ml of water (per person)
  • Two grams or one teaspoon of Chamomile flowers (per person)
  • One fresh sprig of mint (per person)
  • Two teaspoons of honey (optional)
  • Boil fresh spring water
  • Prepare two grams or one teaspoon of flowers (per person) and a sprig of mint in pot or cup 
  • Pour boiled water onto flowers (200ml per person)
  • Close cup or pot to preserve aroma
  • Stir after 1 minute so it brews well
  • Leave it to brew for another 3-4 minutes
  • Strain into teacup
  • Add in honey (optional) and mix well before consuming

Using Zesta Connoisseur Chamomile tea bags make things easier for you, as it cuts down preparation time. If you want to know about the health benefits of chamomile click here.

Mint Tea

Mint tea is another very easy beverage to prepare, and has a host of health benefits, such as maintaining oral hygiene, good metabolism, and a great immune system overall. Moreover, this herbal (tea) infusion can be tweaked to your liking too.

How to make Mint Tea
  • 10 mint leaves
  • One sprig rosemary
  • Half a lemon (optional)
  • Boil fresh spring water
  • Tear mint leaves into a cup
  • Add in the rosemary sprig while the water is boiling
  • Pour boiled water on the mint leaves
  • Let it steep for around 10 minutes
  • Strain into teacup
  • Add in a splash of lemon to your liking before consuming

It is as easy as that. You also have the opportunity to do something similar with Zesta Connoisseur Peppermint tea bags to cut down preparation time.

Osmanthus Tea

Just like its chamomile counterpart, Osmanthus tea is also derived from a fragrant flower that has many antioxidant properties, and is easy to prepare.

How to make Osmanthus Tea
  • One teaspoon or two grams of Osmanthus flowers
  • 200ml of water (per person)
  • Two teaspoons of honey (optional)
  • Place dried Osmanthus flowers in a cup.
  • Pour boiling water to the cup
  • Cover and let it steep for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in honey and mix well before consuming

The antioxidant properties present in this herbal (tea) infusion detoxes the body, provides vital nutrients to boost the body’s immune system, and many more that you could find here. If you do not have fresh Osmanthus flowers, a good alternative is to use Zesta’s Black Tea Infused with Osmanthus Flowers, as it mixes in the benefits of pure Ceylon black tea as well.

Ginger Tea

Considered to be a great remedy for the common flu, along with alleviating any digestive problems and strengthening the immune system as a whole, ginger tea is an herbal infusion that can be made in numerous ways. But here is a simple recipe to follow

How to make Ginger Tea
  • Fresh spring water
  • One teaspoon ginger root (grated)
  • One and a half teaspoon honey
  • Two cloves
  • One-inch piece cinnamon bark
  • Three-inch strip orange peel
  • Bring a cupful of water to a boil
  • Add in all the ingredients when the temperature in the water has dropped a bit
  • Let it steep for around 15 minutes
  • Strain into teacup before consumption

If you want to cut the preparation time significantly, but still want to have the same benefits and a unique taste, you can use Zesta Ginger Flavoured Black Tea in teabag format instead.

Whether you are a frequent tea drinker or not, these herbal (tea) infusion recipes are sure to not only help boost your immune system, but also allows you to experience a unique side of tea.

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A Guide To Brewing Tea

Pouring Ceylon Tea

Tea is one of the more sought-after beverages in the world, only second to water. The reason for this can be due to its ease in preparing a fresh cuppa and its many health benefits. Moreover, the Ceylon Tea drinking experience has transformed into a diverse range of flavours, herbal infusions and many other mixtures. However, although brewing a cup can be so simple, many often get it wrong in some way or another, which, on the tongue of the avid tea drinker, can change tasteful tea into quite the opposite. Here’s our guide on how to brew tea! 

What You Need To Brew Tea

Before getting into the nitty gritty of actually preparing the beverage, it is important that you have the necessary utensils to prepare it. This may be taken for granted by many; however, it is a very important part of preparing the prefect cuppa. 

  • Tea leaves (either in teabags or in loose-leaf form)
  • Fresh spring water
  • Clean kettle
  • Clean tea pot
  • Clean teaspoons
  • Clean cups and saucers

Of course, the key ingredient is the very tea leaves itself, thus making it imperative to use the best of it. Regardless of whether it is Black Tea, Green Tea, Herbal Infusions, Silver Tips, or Golden Tips, choosing Zesta guarantees a tea drinking experience like no other.

How to Prepare Loose Leaf Tea

Preparing Zesta’s loose-leaf teas are very simple and can be done by anyone who craves for a fresh cuppa. 

  • Boil fresh spring water to 100°C
  • Prepare tea leaves in pot or cup (2g or one teaspoon per person)
  • Pour boiled water onto tea leaves (200ml per person)
  • Close cup or pot to preserve aroma
  • Stir after 1 minute so it brews well
  • Leave it to brew for another 3-4 minutes
  • Strain leaves
  • Serve straight or with additives like sugar. 

However, it is important to note that there are few variations in the brewing process, depending on the type of tea. 

How to Brew Black Tea

When at the stage of the brewing, make sure you strain the leaves after 2 minutes, if you are willing to drink it straight. If you wish for a stronger cup, or want to add milk and sweetener, it is highly recommended to strain it after 4 minutes. A slice of lemon also helps in accentuating the drinking experience, should you opt to drink it straight.

One important fact to keep in mind is not to put any additive when brewing rare black teas like Regional Tea, Single Estate Tea, and limited-edition seasonal teas.

How to Brew Green Tea

Before adding the boiled water to the pot, make sure you leave it for around 5 minutes, so it cools down to 80°C. This is done so that the delicate tea leaves are not damaged when the water is poured into the pot. It is always best to drink this straight to get the best out of it.

How to Brew Herbal Infusions, Golden Tips, and Silver Tips

Similar to Green Tea, leave the boiled water to cool until it reaches a temperature of around 80°C. Make sure you stir the pot after 1 minute, and leave the herbs/buds for another 2-4 minutes so the brew turns out well. Do keep in mind that it is recommended to drink these beverages straight.

How to Brew Tea using Teabags

Very similar to loose-leaf tea, preparing a cup of tea with teabags are easy:

  • Boil fresh spring water to 100°C
  • Prepare tea leaves in pot or teacup (one teabag per person)
  • Pour boiled water onto tea leaves (200ml per person)
  • Close cup or pot to preserve aroma
  • Stir after 1 minute so it brews well
  • Leave it to brew for another 3-4 minutes
  • Remove teabags from pot or cup
  • Serve straight or with additives

Keep in mind though that there are slight variations in the brewing process depending on the variant you wish to drink.

How to Brew Black Tea using a Tea Bag

Just like its loose-leaf tea variant, make sure you remove the teabag after 2 minutes, should you wish to drink it straight with a slice of lemon. But, if you wish to drink the beverage with additives such as milk or sweetener, it is recommended that you leave it the teabags for 4 minutes. 

Remember that it is not recommended to serve rare black tea, such as Regional Tea, Single Estate Tea, and limited-edition seasonal teas, with any additives. The reason for this is to make sure that you will be able to experience the unique flavour of the tea. 

How to Brew Green Tea using a Tea Bag

In the case of preparing Green Tea, make sure that you let the boiled water sit for around 5 minutes to let its temperature drop to around 80°C. This is done so that the tea leaves are not burnt when the water is poured into the pot or teacup. This beverage is best served straight without any additives.

How to Brew Herbal Infusions, Golden Tips, and Silver Tips using a Tea Bag

Let the boiled water cool for 80°C before pouring into teacup or pot. Just like the Green Tea variant, this is done so that the herbs and buds are not damaged. Once the water is poured into the pot or teacup, stir it after 1 minute, and let the herbs/buds stay in the water for another 2-4 minutes so that the flavour becomes well spread. Drink straight without any additives.

Important points to consider

  • When you do open a fresh pack of Zesta tea store in an airtight container, and avoid storing it in a place where there is direct sunlight and heat
  • It is always recommended that you use fresh spring water, and never use re-boiled water for brewing, as it does not allow you to taste the true flavour of the tea.
  • Zesta prides itself in producing some of the finest Ceylon Tea in the country, using the methods of old. As a result, it is important that you let the tea steep for at least 3 minutes to extract the full flavour out of the leaves.

If you are that tea connoisseur looking to get the best out of fine Ceylon Tea, follow the guidelines mentioned, and, of course, make the experience even better by choosing products from Zesta to prepare the perfect cup of Ceylon Tea.