What is royal milk tea?
In Japan, royal milk tea is a popular drink usually made with Assam or Darjeeling tea leaves. Although the name comes from the English word for tea, it is very different to tea that is commonly drank in the UK. Compared to a typical English breakfast tea with milk, royal milk tea has a much higher milk ratio and sweeter taste.
Japanese royal milk tea gained its name back in the 1960s when Lipton first began selling it in tearooms across Japan. Today you can find royal milk tea in cafes, convenience stores, and vending machines across Japan, and it can be consumed hot or cold.
This powdered tea is special because not only is it a delicious beverage, but it can be used as an ingredient in many types of desserts too.
What does royal milk tea taste like?
Royal milk tea is a rich and creamy tasting drink and is sweeter in taste then drinking a regular cup of black tea with milk.
What’s the difference between Japanese royal milk tea, British tea with milk, and Hong Kong milk tea?
Japanese milk tea is different to milk tea from the UK and Hong Kong. In the UK, tea is usually made with boiling water and a splash of unsweetened, fresh milk is then added, whilst in Hong Kong milk tea is usually made with sweet, condensed milk instead of fresh milk.
Japanese royal milk tea is more like Indian Chai, because instead of a teapot, it is made using a saucepan. The ratio of milk is much higher in royal milk tea, and it tastes sweeter than tea served in the UK. However, unlike Indian Chai, Japanese royal milk tea doesn’t contain any spices such as cinnamon and cardamom.
What are the best royal milk tea brands in Japan?
Below are some of the most popular royal milk tea brands we recommend trying:
Blendy Stick are famous in Japan for their wide range of instant coffee and teas which are packaged in boxes of convenient single-serving sticks. This royal milk tea is made from 100% Assam tea leaves, and each stick provides a generous mug sized serving, creating an easy to enjoy, mellow tasting every day black tea. This powdered Royal Milk Tea is also popular because it’s very easy to transport and prepare, it simply needs dissolving in hot water before drinking.
AGF Blendy Stick Instant Royal Milk Tea Powder 8 Sticks
This instant powdered Royal Milk Tea from Wakodo comes in a large bag that can be sealed to preserve freshness and contains enough powder for approximately 26 servings. It has a rich black tea scent and a mellow taste. This powdered tea also uses creaming powder containing Hokkaido cream. This sweet and satisfying drink is ideal for when you have a craving for a milky beverage.
Wakodo Royal Milk Tea Powder 340g
One of Japan’s leading tea brands, and the first Japanese company to sell domestic black tea, this royal milk tea from Nittoh is available to purchase in 280g bags which counts for approximately 20 servings in total. This powdered tea is made using fragrant black tea leaves from Japan and whole milk powder made from Hokkaido milk. Nittoh’s royal milk tea range of products also includes a low-sugar version with 50% less sugar, and other flavors like peach royal milk tea as well as a version made with powdered strawberry juice.
Nittoh Kocha Instant Royal Milk Tea Powder 280g
Where can I buy royal milk tea?
Outside of Japan, you can buy royal milk tea from the Japanese Taste website who will ship it directly to you. All the brands mentioned above are available to purchase.
How to make the perfect cup of royal milk tea at home
If you prefer trying to make your own version of royal milk tea at home instead of buying the instant powder, here are a few tips:
Hot royal milk tea – boil three quarters of a cup of water in a small saucepan or milk pan and once the water has boiled, add tea leaves, turn down the heat, and leave for around 2 minutes. We recommend using a full-bodied black tea like Assam or Ceylon. Add half a cup of milk and simmer slowly and when the tea is about boil, remove the pan from the heat and pour the tea through a strainer directly into your teacup. Add sugar to sweeten to your preferred taste.
Iced royal milk tea - to make iced royal milk tea repeat the steps above then transfer the tea to a glass and refrigerate until cool enough. Add ice cubes when ready to drink. If you like you can also add some tapioca pearls to make your own bubble tea!
Other ways to enjoy Royal Milk Tea
You can also add a taste of royal milk tea to your favorite desserts by putting some powder into ice-cream, yogurt or baking mixes. Some examples of popular recipes you can try include royal milk tea pancakes, royal milk tea sorbet, and royal milk tea cookies. You can also try making a tasty banana and royal tea milkshake by mixing one banana, one serving of royal milk tea (14g), and 150-180ml of milk in a food processor and serving in a glass over ice.