Milk tea is the liquid blend of East and West, and if you happen to be in Hong Kong, you will find yourself among a populace that covets this sweet, aromatic drink just as much as Americans crave their daily coffee. Milk tea is the equivalent fast and convenient to-go drink in Hong Kong, and the city gulps down about 2.5 million cups a day. The drink is a a local institution that has a a yearly Hong Kong milk tea contest and this year’s competition was steep, to put it mildly.
Milk tea is a blend of black teas, combined with a high proportion of either evaporated milk and sugar, or simply sweetened condensed milk. The use of concentrated milk products gives milk tea a very thick, creamy consistency, and a high sugar content makes the beverage a harder, stiffer, bolder drink than many Americans would associate with tea.
The specific methods and materials are closely kept secrets of individual diner-like cha chaang tengs, the primary drinking establishments for milk tea, but some of the basics remain the same.