Hong Kong style milk-tea (絲襪奶茶)

Oxidized tea
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mbanu
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Sun Aug 29, 2021 1:03 pm

The aroma tea is genuinely tricky. Running out of my old Yingde, I replaced it with Golden Sail Yingde. Golden Sail has a distinct tobacco note, though. Still brews out fine, but different. Up next will be fiddling with Keemun. I've given up on Yuenyeung -- either too advanced for me, or I just don't like instant coffee. :lol:
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tjkdubya
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Sun Aug 29, 2021 8:07 pm

This is the recipe I honed in on, after many attempts to recreate the actual thing, or rather, to create a thing that would convincingly (at least in my mind) fit into the spectrum of the actual things, and dull the pain of not actually being in HK whenever the craving strikes.

Yes, Ceylon, yes B&W. And please excuse the mix of units.

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Bring 500 ml of water to boil in a small pot (not too shallow).
Add 12.5 g of black tea taken out of the bags (that's five 2.5 g size tea bags or a little more than six 2.0 g bags), gently simmer for 6 minutes over low heat, then let rest for 3 minutes off heat.

This is a good time to pre-heat a small pitcher or a tumbler or a tea pot with some extra boiled water.

After the 3 minutes rest, bring the tea back to boil, over 1-2 minutes. Total brew time is ~10-11 minutes.

Drain the boiled tea through a fine metal sieve or tea filter into the pre-heated pitcher/tumber/whatnot. Then pour the filtered tea through the sieve (with the tea still in it) back into the pot. Yet again pour from the pot into the pitcher through the tea+sieve. You can repeat this a couple more times.

Pre-heat two 8 oz mugs, and add in each mug 1/4 cup evaporated milk (unsweetened), and sugar or sweetened condensed milk to taste (1 Tbsp is a good start). Top off each cup with the hot tea. Stir briskly and enjoy.
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tjkdubya
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Sun Aug 29, 2021 8:32 pm

I think the challenging thing when it comes to these things where you're trying to recreate something outside the context, is not "how do I make it taste good?" but "what is the taste of the thing itself?"

Actually, this is a good thing to think about when it comes to tea in general. I see a lot of people approach yancha, say, with the mindset of what fits their existing taste preferences (e.g., "Is there one that has a bit more of this and a bit less of that?" etc etc).

But the first question is, "What does, or should, a good yancha taste and feel like, and how do I familiarize myself with this existing genre?"
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Bok
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Sun Aug 29, 2021 8:50 pm

tjkdubya wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 8:32 pm
I think the challenging thing when it comes to these things where you're trying to recreate something outside the context, is not "how do I make it taste good?" but "what is the taste of the thing itself?"

Actually, this is a good thing to think about when it comes to tea in general. I see a lot of people approach yancha, say, with the mindset of what fits their existing taste preferences (e.g., "Is there one that has a bit more of this and a bit less of that?" etc etc).

But the first question is, "What does, or should, a good yancha taste and feel like, and how do I familiarize myself with this existing genre?"
Problem is – even more so, from the Western perspective – the lack of references. One can only ever judge in relationship to other teas > better/worse than this one. No easy solution for this except to sample wide and far.

No success guaranteed either, as you can sample all you want if you unknowingly stay sampling horizontally in the mediocre-tea-strata. Which is where luck or good guidance comes into play, these can open horizons.
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Bok
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Sun Aug 29, 2021 8:53 pm

That said, part of what makes the charm of HK milk tea is the down-and-dirty-character of it, same as a lucky-brand Thai milk tea, or a cuppa of brick-coloured builders tea to go with your favourite greasy spoon. It is a guilty pleasure and perfection would probably ruin it.

Are they really good? Probably not, but they appeal to nostalgic memories and moments lived and have their rightful moments to be enjoyed again for old times sake.
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mbanu
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Thu Sep 09, 2021 10:31 pm

A vendor sent me a sample of Keemun Maofeng accidentally, so I figured I'd give it a go as the aroma tea... not a good choice. :lol:

For the Ceylon component, I've had my best luck with the HK-popular Rickshaw blend. I look forward to a time in the future when not only can I consistently make the tea, but also understand why things like Black & White milk or Rickshaw Ceylon tea make a difference.
TeaZero
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Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:16 am

I love to make my Hong Kong style black tea with dark oolongs. Love the rocky flavour with condensed milk, though I'm not sure if you can still call it a hong kong style milk tea though. I've also tried it in combination with an espresso shot, tastes lovely as well.

Somehow if you make it with black tea, only a cheap English breakfast tea bag works well for me. It's a waste to use more premium loose leaf black tea. The flavour becomes week when milk is added.
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