This is the best Hokkaido milk tea recipe! It's so easy to make and this Japanese sweet tea has the most rich and creamy flavour. Made with just a few simple ingredients including Hokkaido milk, black tea, and honey, this will soon become your new favourite warm tea drink. It can also easily be made dairy free and vegan too!
What is Hokkaido milk tea?
If you have never heard of Hokkaido milk tea you are in for a treat! This type of tea is also sometimes called Japanese milk tea, royal milk tea, Japan tea or Japanese bubble tea. It is a combination of black tea, a sweetener such as honey, brown sugar, caramel or maple syrup and Hokkaido milk. It can be made with boba or without boba.
Hokkaido milk is a type of milk that comes from the Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido. It is one of the highest quality milks from Japan that has a rich and creamy flavour with vanilla and caramel undertones.
Hokkaido milk tea vs Okinawa milk tea?
These two types of Japanese teas are often confused. Both recipes are made with black tea, but the Okinawa version is served cold and made with kokuto, which is a brown sugar from Okinawa, a southern region of Japan, while the Hokkaido version is usually served warm and made with Hokkaido milk from the northern region of Japan.
Why you will love this recipe:
- It's so easy and simple to make!
- It has the most incredible flavour. This tea is rich and creamy with undertones of caramel and vanilla.
- This Japanese tea is made with just a few ingredients - milk, black tea and a sweetener of your choice.
- It can be served warm, cold or iced.
- This black tea recipe is made in one pot so the clean up is simple and easy.
- You can add boba or tapioca pearls to make this into Japanese Bubble tea or Japanese Boba Tea.
- Because black tea contains caffeine, this drink will give you a nice little boost of energy.
Taste, texture and flavour:
Hokkaido milk tea has a bold and creamy texture and flavour with earthy, nutty undertones. It is slightly sweet and can be given different flavour variations by using different types of black tea or other tea varieties such as oolong tea. If you have ever had a London Fog, I find this tea tastes like that.
Key ingredients and substitutions:
Hokkaido milk - you often can find fresh Hokkaido milk at Asian specialty stores but if you can't find fresh Hokkaido milk, you can either use Hokkaido milk powder (start with about 1 tablespoon for this recipe and add more if you prefer) or any other type of milk that you like such as dairy milk, goat milk, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk or oat milk.
Black tea - you can use any type of black tea that you like to make this recipe. Oolong tea is a popular option. You can either use loose leaf black tea or tea bags, whichever you prefer.
Sweetener - you can use almost any sweetener you wish to make this tea recipe. I used honey but other options include brown sugar, caramel, maple syrup, or date syrup.
- If you can't find Hokkaido milk, you can use any type of milk you prefer for this recipe including dairy free milks such as coconut milk, almond milk and oat milk.
- Use any type of sweetener that you like for this tea including honey, maple syrup, brown sugar or caramel.
- For a stronger tea with more caffeine, steep the tea for longer.
- To turn this into Hokkaido oolong milk tea: use oolong tea instead of black tea.
- To turn this into Japanese Bubble tea or Japanese Boba Tea: add boba or tapioca pearls before serving. To add boba, first cook the tapioca pearls in boiling water until they float. Then, add them to the sweetened tea-milk mixture, and enjoy
How to make:
First, add the water to a medium sized pot and bring it to a boil on the stovetop.
Turn down the heat so the water is simmering and steep the tea (use a tea ball if you have one) in the boiling water for ~6-8 minutes (depending on how strong you like your tea).
Now stir in the milk and simmer the mixture for another 1-2 minutes.
Then turn off the heat and stir in the sweetener. Then serve and enjoy! Note, if you don't have a tea ball you will need to filter out the loose tea leaves before serving.
- If you don't have a tea ball, simply steep the loose leaf tea leaves in the boiling water and then remove them before serving the tea.
- You can also use black tea in tea bags rather than loose leaf tea for making this recipe.
How to serve:
- Serve it hot right after you've finished making it.
- If you prefer cold sweet tea, place the tea in the fridge for an hour before serving. To cool it off even faster, add a couple ice cubes.
- You can turn this into iced Hokkaido milk tea by filling your glass with ice before pouring the hot tea into it.
- Pair this asian tea with your favourite Japanese inspired dessert such as matcha brownies or matcha cookies.
One serving of this tea has approximately 169 calories, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat and 32 grams of sugar. To decrease the sugar content you can decrease the amount of sweetener that you add.
How to store:
If you have any leftover tea, store it in fridge overnight and reheat it when you are ready to serve, or enjoy it cold.
Frequently asked questions:
This tea has approximately 169 calories per serving. The calorie count will vary depending on the type of milk and the type of sweetener you use.
How much caffeine is in this tea recipe will depend on the type of tea you use and how long you steep the tea for. Black tea contains more caffeine than oolong tea for example, and the longer you steep tea the more caffeine it will have.
Both of these tea drinks are sweet tea drinks and can be made as sweet as you like depending on how much sweetener you add. Kokuto, the Okinawa brown sugar which is used to make Okinawa tea is a little less sweet than some of the sweeteners used to make the Hokkaido milk version such as caramel
Other recipes you will love:
- Matcha brownies
- Matcha cookies
- Dairy free hot chocolate
- Dairy free eggnog
- Healthy teriyaki chicken and broccoli
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Hokkaido milk tea
- 2 cups water
- 4 teaspoon black loose leaf tea
- 1 cup Hokkaido milk (sub for any other type of milk)
- 3 tablespoon sweetener - honey, maple syrup, caramel or brown sugar (more or less to taste)
- Add the water to a medium sized pot and bring it to a boil on the stovetop.
- Turn down the heat so the water is simmering and steep the tea (use a tea ball if you have one) in the boiling water for ~6-8 minutes (depending on how strong you like your tea).
- Stir in the milk and simmer the mixture for another 1-2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the sweetener.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Nutritional information will vary depending on the exact ingredients used and the serving size.
- If you can't find Hokkaido milk, you can sub with any other type of milk you prefer.