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What is coffee milk tea? It’s made of a mix of (you guessed it) coffee and milk tea.
This beverage might have originated in Hong Kong, so I sometimes refer to the drink by its Cantonese name, yūn yēung.
In the mood for another variation on this milk tea and coffee mashup? Take a peek at this matcha espresso.
How to Make
My previous problem with non-matcha homemade milk tea was the watery blandness though. I couldn't figure out how to steep the tea strong enough in hot water, and add enough milk or cream to make it creamy without diluting the tea flavor.
However, I recently made brown sugar pearl milk tea using Jun’s tip to use milk to steep the tea, instead of water with milk mixed in later. This has been the biggest gamechanger in leveling up my at-home boba shop game.
I don't have a fancy espresso machine (and tbh wouldn't know how to use one anyways if I did own or have access to one), so my go to method for making espresso is with a Moka pot.
I use a mini 1 cup Moka pot. Regardless of the size of the equipment, you'll fill up the bottom reservoir with hot water, add and tamp down finely ground coffee to the strainer, which has a funnel-like shape, then screw everything together.
Pop it on the stove for a few minutes or until you hear whistling and steam coming out of the little spout, and your espresso is ready!
Of course, you can make espresso using a machine, a French press or a Vietnamese phin instead, depending on what you have available to you.
Once the milk tea and espresso are done, you're almost at the finish line.
Mix them together with a generous helping of brown sugar (your favorite boba shop definitely adds more than the sprinkle you might be using) and a pinch of salt to season, then ice it down as long as you want before serving.
This drink is sweet and creamy, definitely a treat rather than your average morning beverage. The floralness of the milk tea comes through, with a hint of bitterness from the coffee.
(If you're in the mood for flowery creamy coffee vibes, how about this rose coffee?).
Any milk works in this recipe. I like whole milk but soy milk has the true trifecta of flavor, creaminess and convenience for me.
Since the coffee and milk tea are pretty strong flavors, you can get away with using a more flavorful milk (ie coconut or oat or almond) without it detracting too much from the rest of the beverage.
I typically use black tea because the combo with coffee is delicious, and the tea is strong enough to stand up to the coffee. Think Earl grey (which has a tasty hint of orange!), Assam, oolong or hojicha!
That being said, if you're stubbornly against black tea, you can opt for a white or green tea, though the final milk tea might be a little overpowered by the espresso.
My go to sweetener for this recipe is brown sugar, whose caramelly notes pair well with all that tea and coffee.
That being said, maybe you want to use something more mild like granulated white sugar or agave nectar, or something more flavorful like a dark honey or maple syrup, All of those choices are good!
Naturally, a coffee milk tea packs a potent punch of caffeine. The average cup of brewed black tea has 26mg of caffeine, and 1 shot of espresso has 63mg of caffeine.
That means that this recipe with 1 cup of tea and about 2 shots of espresso has 152mg of caffeine, or about 1.5x the amount of caffeine that an average cup of coffee has.
In the morning or even the early afternoon, this might be an acceptable amount of caffeine for you. For anyone who is craving this beverage at night or who naturally can't deal with that much caffeine, you could make the espresso and/or milk tea using decaf coffee grounds and/or tea leaves.
You could also brew some coffee to your personal preference instead of pulling two shots of espresso, though the flavor won't be as potent in the final product.
This recipe is written to be iced, but it's easy to transform it into a hot drink. Skip cooling the espresso and milk tea, don't serve it on the rocks, and voila! Hot coffee milk tea at your service.
This is enough of a treat by itself that it doesn't need any toppings. However, I'm not saying that gilding the lily is a bad idea either.
A big scoop of boba simmered in brown sugar syrup would be a classic choice. That being said, a jiggly pile of coffee jelly or a helping of sippable mochi would also be tasty if you're in the mood for something a little different.
If you're feeling a little frisky and your tolerance of caffeine is higher than my cousin's (whose usual order at a coffee chain I won't name drop here has a quad shot of espresso), you can do a dalgona version!
Whip a bit of instant coffee together with sugar and hot water until thick and creamy, then spoon onto the coffee milk tea! Here are some tricks from My Korean Kitchen if you need further instructions.
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ tablespoon loose black tea leaves or 1 tea bag
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar or to taste
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 ½ tablespoons espresso powder
- ice to serve
Heat the milk and black tea until the milk is steaming. You can do this in the microwave in a microwaveable container, or on the stovetop in a small pot. Stir in the brown sugar and salt until dissolved.
Meanwhile, make 2 shots of espresso, either using the ½ cup water and 1 ½ T espresso that I have listed, or based off of your equipment’s capacity. I use a Moka pot, but this article has some other options in case you don’t have a Moka pot.
Let both the milk tea and coffee cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold. Remove the tea leaves or bag, squeezing out any excess liquid back into your milk tea, and discard the tea leaves/bag. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
In a tall glass, add ice. Pour in the espresso, then the milk tea, and stir to combine. Serve cold.
You can substitute any nut, oat or coconut milk instead of the milk if you'd like to keep this drink dairy-free and vegan!
You can use any tea here, but I'd personally recommend a strong black tea rather than a white or green tea (unless it's hojicha), since it stands up better to the coffee. Think earl grey, assam, oolong and more!