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May 15, 2012 02:57 PM

Type of tea in milk tea? (Wonderful Foods)

Hello all,

I've long been a browser of chowhound, and finally decided to make an account to see if my burning question could be answered. I love milk tea, from bubble/boba tea shops, but the closest to me is a 40 minute drive over the bridge into San Francisco. I have tried recreating it at home but can't get the right flavor. I've tried evaporated milk, regular milk, sweetened condensed milk, and creamer; regular english breakfast tea, Ten Ren tea bags, special "golden milk tea leaves" from a bubble tea supply website; and so on. Nothing is right.

I'm wondering if anyone knows what kind of tea leaves these bubble tea shops use, when they don't use premade mixes? I especially adore the milk tea at Wonderful Foods, and would love to know what kind of tea they use.

I'm fairly certain most bubble tea shops use creamer, but Wonderful Foods might use real milk. I also am considering trying out fructose as a sweetener option.

Thanks for the help

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    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Thanks for the info. I've looked over that thread before, and I believe what I'm looking for is different. My understanding is that bubble tea and Hong Kong milk tea aren't the same, since bubble tea originated in Taiwan. Perhaps the milk tea at Wonderful Foods is Hong Kong style, though, and that might be what I'm missing.

    2. For the Hong Kong Milk Tea at Slanted Door/Out the Door they use a blend from Imperial Tea Company called Asian Paradise ( ) and the instructions on the package calls for 2 tablespoons of tea for 8 oz. of boiling water, steep for 3 minutes and add two tablespoons of "condensed milk." It must mean sweetened condensed milk, as it is definitely sweet when they serve the tea.

      1. Let me know if you have any luck recreating HK milk tea at home. I've tried many times and the trouble is getting the right balance of sweetened condensed milk and tea. Even when I put just a teaspoon of milk, my tea turns pale and white, and not the caramel color I've seen in Hong Kong. I find the Out the Door (Slanted Door's kiosk) the best in town so far, and so far can't recreate it at home. In reading web sites, sounds like the idea is to brew the black tea much longer than suggested, maybe 5-8 minutes so it's nearly bitter, hoping that the condensed milk will counterbalance that. I've also read that Assam tea or Ceylon is a good base.

        1 Reply
        1. re: singleguychef

          What if you make closed can dulce de leche then you have the caramel color?

        2. Just for clarification (and unfortunately I don't have any recipes... but perhaps someone out there does), are you looking for the standard black milk tea from bubble tea shops? It's an entirely different animal from HK style milk tea - probably different tea leaves. Perhaps someone from Taiwan or more familiar with Taiwanese style milk teas can enlighten us. And have you tried using powdered coffee-mate creamer? I've seen lots and lots of bubble tea shops use the powdered stuff as opposed to real cream or milk.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kcchan

            I'm looking for black milk tea from bubble tea shops. I've never had HK style milk tea, though it sounds delicious too.
            I've tried using powdered coffee creamer, and it definitely makes it closer. I think it's possible I should use a type of loose leaf tea instead of tea bags to make it stronger, since adding ice and creamer dilutes the tea flavor.

          2. For a good taste you need to use loose leaf tea as well as creamer and fructose. There is one other secret ingredient. The method of brewing like temperature, time length and where you get ur ingredients from all matters. i use Bossen products at our shops. I like their syrup and tea products.