Are you looking to make the perfect cup of milk tea? Choosing the best tea for milk tea can make all the difference in the flavor of your drink. From classic black tea to lighter green tea and complex oolong tea, each type has its own unique flavor profile that can complement the richness of milk and sweetness of sugar.

Assorted best teas for milk tea Jars on Blue Shelf Cabinets

To make sure you get the best taste, it’s important to steep each type of tea for the right amount of time. Our post explores the top five types of tea for making milk tea and provides a chart with recommended steeping times for each. With this guide, you’ll be on your way to enjoying a delicious cup of milk tea in no time.

The top 4 types of tea for milk tea

Not all teas are created equal, especially when it comes to making milk tea. Some types of tea have a stronger flavor and aroma, while others have a more delicate taste. When choosing the type of tea for your milk tea recipe, consider the strength of the tea, the flavor profile, and personal preference. Here are the top 4 types of tea used for making milk tea.

Black Tea

Black tea is a classic choice for milk tea. It has a bold flavor and can stand up to the addition of milk and sugar. Common varieties of black tea used in milk tea include English Breakfast, Assam, and Darjeeling. English Breakfast tea has a robust flavor and a malty undertone, while Assam tea is bold and malty with a slightly astringent taste. Darjeeling tea is lighter in body with a floral aroma and a musky spiciness.

Green Tea

Green tea is a popular choice for those who prefer a lighter and more refreshing milk tea. Its delicate flavor and light color make it a great base for fruit-flavored milk teas. Sencha, matcha, and jasmine green tea are common types of green tea used in milk tea recipes. Sencha has a grassy and slightly sweet taste, while matcha has a more earthy flavor and a bright green color. Jasmine green tea has a floral aroma and a sweet and delicate taste.

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is a partially fermented tea that has a complex flavor profile. It is a great choice for those who want a balance between the robustness of black tea and the delicacy of green tea. Common types of oolong tea used in milk tea recipes include Tie Guan Yin, Milk Oolong, and Oriental Beauty. Tie Guan Yin has a floral and sweet taste with a slightly roasted aroma, while Milk Oolong has a creamy and smooth taste with a subtle milk flavor. Oriental Beauty has a fruity and honey-like taste with a slightly spicy aroma.

White Tea

White tea has a delicate and slightly sweet taste with a light color. It is a great option for those who prefer a milder tea flavor in their milk tea. Silver Needle and White Peony are common types of white tea used in milk tea recipes. Silver Needle has a floral and sweet taste with a hint of honey, while White Peony has a fruity and floral taste with a subtle nutty flavor.

varieties of best teas for milk tea on gray stainless steel spoons

Cheatsheet for types of tea for milk tea

More Popular Types Of Teas

Here is a cheatsheet for the most popular types of tea. As you can see, black tea is the first on the list in terms of the most favored tea to make milk tea with.

Type of TeaDescriptionRecipe Link
Black TeaThe most common base for milk tea is black tea. It has a strong flavor that stands up well to the addition of milk and sugar. English Breakfast tea and Earl Grey tea are classic black tea options for milk tea.Earl Grey Milk Tea Recipe
Green TeaIf you’re looking for a healthier option, try using green tea. It has a light and refreshing taste that pairs well with milk. Matcha green tea is a great option as it has a strong, distinct flavor that pairs well with the addition of milk.Matcha Milk Tea Recipe
Oolong TeaOolong tea has a unique flavor profile that ranges from floral to nutty. It is a great option for those who want a more complex taste in their milk tea.Oolong Milk Tea Recipe
White TeaIf you prefer a lighter taste, white tea is a great choice. It has a delicate flavor and is perfect for those who want to taste more of the milk and sweetness.White Tea Latte Recipe
Herbal TeaFor those who want a caffeine-free option, herbal tea is a great choice. You can choose from a variety of fruit flavors and pair it with milk for a creamy, delicious drink.Herbal Tea Latte Recipe
Bubble Tea BaseFinally, if you want to make bubble tea, you can use a bubble tea base that is specifically designed for this type of drink. It often comes in powder form and can be mixed with milk and other ingredients to make a delicious bubble tea.Bubble Tea Recipe
Common teas with their description and a recipe link.

More Selective Types of Teas

There are other teas that are not quite as mainstream but still equally delicious to prepare a cup of milk tea with.

Type of TeaDescriptionRecipe Link
Jasmine TeaThis fragrant tea adds a floral note to your milk tea, making it a great option for those who love a more aromatic brew.Jasmine Milk Tea Recipe
Earl GreyWith its signature bergamot flavor, Earl Grey tea can add a unique twist to your milk tea.Earl Grey Milk Tea Recipe
English Breakfast TeaThis classic black tea blend is a staple in many milk tea recipes.English Breakfast Milk Tea Recipe
Indian ChaiSpiced Indian chai tea can add a warm, cozy flavor to your milk tea.Indian Chai Milk Tea Recipe
Red TeaRed tea, also known as rooibos, has a naturally sweet flavor that can make a great base for milk tea.Rooibos Milk Tea Recipe
Sri Lankan TeaSri Lankan tea has a strong, bold flavor that can stand up to the creaminess of milk.Sri Lankan Milk Tea Recipe
Assam TeaThis bold tea from India has a malty flavor that can be a great addition to milk tea.Assam Milk Tea Recipe
Selective teas with their description and a recipe link.

Steeping time for teas

Steeping time is an important factor when making tea for milk tea. Steeping for too long can result in a bitter taste, while steeping for too short of a time may result in a weak flavor. The general rule of thumb is to steep black, oolong, and herbal teas for 3-5 minutes, while green and white teas should be steeped for 2-3 minutes.

teas served in clear drinking glass with asian tea kettle on table

It’s always best to follow the specific steeping instructions for each type of tea to ensure the best flavor. Additionally, keep in mind that the temperature of the water can also affect the steeping time, as some teas require hotter water than others.

Here’s a chart for the steeping times of the teas discussed in this post, including recommended water temperature.

Tea NameSteeping TimeRecommended Water Temperature
Green tea1-3 minutes175-185°F / 80-85°C
Oolong tea3-5 minutes185-212°F / 85-100°C
White tea2-3 minutes160-175°F / 70-80°C
Jasmine tea2-3 minutes175-185°F / 80-85°C
Earl Grey3-5 minutes185-212°F / 85-100°C
English Breakfast tea3-5 minutes212°F / 100°C
Masala Chai4-5 minutes212°F / 100°C
Assam tea3-5 minutes185-212°F / 85-100°C
Red tea5 minutes212°F / 100°C
Steeping time and recommended water temperature for preparing your tea.

Note: Steeping times can vary depending on personal preference and the specific type of tea, so be sure to adjust according to taste. Additionally, some bubble tea recipes may call for cold brew or iced tea, in which case the steeping time may be longer or shorter than the times listed above.

In conclusion, the best tea for milk tea ultimately depends on personal preference. Experiment with different types of tea and milk to find the perfect combination that suits your taste buds.

black tea with clear glass cup with tea near brown ceramic teapot

Now that you know the basics of making milk tea, it’s time to try it out for yourself! Check out this delicious homemade bubble milk tea recipe to get started. Don’t forget to grab some high-quality tea leaves, tapioca pearls, and other ingredients for the best results.

So go ahead, make yourself a delicious cup of milk tea and enjoy the rich, creamy flavor with a hint of your favorite tea. Happy sipping!

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