Five popular milk teas in China


1. Hong Kong-style milk tea

One of the most popular milk teas in China is the Hong Kong-style milk tea.

Stemming from the British practice of adding milk to black tea, the signature drink in Hong Kong is strained through a sackcloth to encourage smoothness, thus also known as "silk stocking milk tea". It's strongly brewed with carefully proportioned blends of up to four types of black tea, mixed with milk.

2. The Yuenyeung tea (milk tea with coffee)

The Yuenyeung tea is a mixture of coffee and milk tea, first consumed in Hong Kong. The name Yuenyeung, referring to mandarin ducks, is a symbol of conjugal love in Chinese culture.

Served hot or cold, the blend is thought to be first created by local dock workers seeking a morning wake-up. It later became a well-received beverage in Hong Kong and beyond.

3. British black tea

Afternoon tea is an indispensable part of the day for Britons.

Anna Russell, duchess of Bedford, is credited with introducing afternoon tea to the country in the 19th century, as a way to fill the gap between lunch and the late formal dinners. The habit gradually became a trend among elite people, which was passed down through the generations, forming the distinguished British tea culture.

A classic British tea is made by adding boiling water to black tea leaves and adding a splash of milk, and sometimes sugar. It's usually served with a selection of savory desserts or cakes.

4. Taiwan-style bubble tea

Originating from Taiwan, bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea, has become a hit among young people.

The most trendy concoctions contain a tea base mixed with milk and fruit, in which chewy tapioca balls and fruit jelly are often added.

5. Salty Mongolian milk tea

There is an old saying in China's Mongolian ethnic group that "one would rather not eat for a day than drink no tea." Such is the craze for milk tea among Mongolians, who mainly inhabit provincial areas including Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Heilongjiang and Hebei.

A typical Mongolian tea is salty, due to the fresh milk, butter and salt used to brew the tea. But the ingredients vary in different cases. Sometimes people add fried millet, or even beef, to make it a simple staple food.

The earliest written record of Mongolian milk tea dates back to the 13th century. Locals usually use compressed black tea or pu'er tea to create the beverage.


(Edited by Stephanie Yang)