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Milk tea is extremely popular in Japan. Both cafes and vending machines carry it, and there are even pastries and other snacks that are flavored like Japanese milk tea. Have you ever wondered how to make Japanese milk tea?
Speaking of which, yesterday I had an extremely delicious milk tea baumkuchen (a Germany pastry super popular in Japan) from the store MUJI (a store that’s like IKEA, but with more Celtic music and, sadly, less lox).
Since perfecting my Pungency milk tea recipe, I’ve been wanting to try to replicate more Japanese milk tea brands and make some recipes. Unfortunately, I’ve acquired a sensitivity to caffeine. I’m sure that has nothing to do with the ten-plus cups of tea I had while trying to make Japanese milk tea Pungency. In any case, I’ve been cutting back on tea. Still, I had some milk tea wrappers sitting around, which I had collected to look at the ingredients, so I decided to list the ingredients here.
Like I said in my Pungency milk tea article, the biggest factor in making good milk tea is having the right kind of tea. After that, you can choose your preferred milk and sugar. Then, you’re ready to make Japanese milk tea.
So, in the next section I will list some of the most popular milk tea brands in Japan along with all of their ingredients for your reference. Good luck making your own perfect milk tea!
See after the jump for the ingredients lists.
Make Japanese Milk Tea: Ingredients of Four Brands
1. Gogo no Kocha Milk Tea
This is one of the most popular milk teas in Japan. The Japanese brand name, Gogo no Koucha [affiliate link], literally means “Afternoon Tea.” This was probably the first milk tea I tried in Japan, so it has ended up being my default milk tea choice. Gogo no Kocha is produced by Kirin.
Gogo no Koucha Milk Tea // Photo by mrvacbob
Now on to the ingredient list for Gogo no Koucha:
- Black Tea (Ceylon Tea: 80% from Kandy, Sri Lanka)
- Powdered whole milk
- Powdered skim milk powder
- Vitamin C
This particular milk tea makes a point of letting it be known that their tea is made with Ceylon tea from Kandy, saying that Kandy’s tea leaves produce a tea that is flavorful at the same time that it has a round subtleness. So to make Japanese milk tea like Gogo no Koucha’s, be sure to use Celyon.
Purchasing Ingredients (or Bottled Gogo no Kocha!)
Here are a few ideas for purchasing ingredients. It also turns out you can actually purchase Kirin Gogo no Kocha (Afternoon Tea) online!
2. Kocha Kaden Royal Milk Tea
If we look at this milk tea’s name, Kocha Kaden, we’ll see that the kanji mean literally something like “Black Tea Flower Legend.” Looking into the name more deeply I believe “Kaden” has a connection with a book written by the founder of Japanese Noh theater. I learned something new!
The ingredients of Kocha Kaden Royal Milk Tea:
- Milk (Produced in Japan)
- Black Tea [affiliate link] (90% or more high-grown Uva tea)
- Sodium citrate
- Vitamin C
The main boast by Kocha Kaden is that its royal milk tea is made with high-grown tea leaves, that is, tea leaves grown more than 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) high, which produces very high quality tea leaves.
3. Gogo no Kocha Healthy Milk Tea Relaxing Earl Grey
I’m pretty easily swayed by advertising. So when I saw the word “healthy” in the name of Gogo no Kocha’s Healthy Milk Tea Relaxing Earl Grey, I immediately bought it.
The ingredients for Gogo no Kocha’s Healthy Milk Tea:
- Powdered skim milk (Earl Grey with lavendar) [affiliate link]
- Black Tea (Earl Grey with lavendar)
- Powdered whole milk [affiliate link]
- Vitamin C
- Sweeteners (Ace K, sucrose, Stevia)
Actually, I’m not sure what makes this tea “healthy”, since the ingredients look awfully the same as for normal milk tea. I do like the lavender aroma, although I don’t know how it is added exactly. I think it is possible to buy lavender extract, or at least dried culinary lavender.
4. Lipton Milk Tea
- Sugar/High fructose corn syrup
- Dairy products
- Black tea (100% Ceylon tea)
- Coconut oil
- PH control agent
The above ingredients are for the regular Lipton Milk Tea, but on the official Lipton website, a recipe for royal milk tea is given.
Lipton Royal Milk Tea // Photo by jencu
The following is the translated Lipton Royal Milk Tea recipe from their website:
- Lipton Yellow Label tea bags [affiliate link]… 2 bags
- Water … 1/3 of the mug (about 60 ml)
- Milk … 2/3 of the mug (about 120 ml)
- Granulated sugar [affiliate link]… to taste
Here are a few ideas for purchasing these ingredients.
1. Put the tea bags, water and milk in a mug.
2. Cover the cup and then heat it in a 600 w microwave for 2 minutes. Then wait 1 minute before taking it out.
3. Add sugar to taste. Then enjoy!
- Don’t put tea bags that have staples in the microwave.
- Too much heating can cause injuries and burns. Watch the mug while it is in the microwave to ensure that it doesn’t overheat.
Well, I think that will do it for this article.
As we’ve seen, the most popular teas to make Japanese milk tea are Ceylon and Uva, although Earl Gray (as well as Assam in other milk teas) can also be used.
Milk Tea Mix
A lot of times, it’s much easier to get the desired taste by buying milk tea powder. Here are a few milk tea mixes that will help you replicate that Japanese milk tea taste.