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Taiwanese style milk tea in San Mateo, Foster City?

Taiwanese milk tea can be made using 1 bag of Lipton Yellow Label Black tea (or similar variation, Ceylon works pretty good) in about 1/4 mug of boiling water for 2 - 5 minutes. Then pick out the tea bag and squeeze out all the excess water for that extra flavor hit. Two teaspoons of raw sugar (or brown sugar, something more flavorsome that white sugar) should be added and can be varied to suit your taste. Fresh milk should be poured until about 1/2 til 3/4 of the mug is full (leave space for the ice!). Ice cubes can be added right away and you can drink it, but somehow I've discovered that leaving the mug in the fridge with some cling wrap for about 1/2 an hour can actually alter the taste to almost alike that milk tea chains.

Hong Kong Style Milk Tea

It is actually quite simple. Black tea is used. In dai-pai-dong stores, they do NOT use tea bags. To make authentic HK-style milk tea, usually anywhere from 5 to 15 types of black tea is used. Please go here and look at my reply:

Jan 28, 2008
milk.tea in General Topics

HK style milk tea

In my opinion, the best Hong Kong style milk tea you'll get is the one you get in Hong Kong. Of course you can always prepare it yourself. It's also much cheaper as it'll cost you about 2 or 3 milk teas from a restaurant to make quite a dozen cups at home..The reason I suggest you prepare it yourself is because Hong Kong style milk tea is not what meets the eye. It can be a blend of anywhere from 5 to 15 types of quality black teas (Standard black tea, English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Assam, Ceylon etc etc) with either fresh milk, evaporated milk or condensed milk, depending on the restaurant.

You can experiment with different types and amounts of black tea and milk sources, as well as whether or not to add sugar. The advantage of doing this is that you may actually achieve a taste that not only suits your palette, but surpasses all that you have tasted from stores! Although HK style milk tea has a variety of recipes, the staples to include are English Breakfast Black tea (brewed for at least 5 minutes) and evaporated milk (although some cooks argue that to achieve the creamy taste, real milk must be used!).

To mimic the effect of the 'silk sock' which supposedly smooths the tea, you can buy a cotton fabric sieve (looks like a silk sock hanging on a curved wire) and simply pour the tea (after brewing) through the sieve, several times (so have two cups ready!). Then, steamed or cold milk may be added. The amount should be approximately 2/3 tea and 1/3 milk (do not fall into the trap of using too much milk as you will result in Taiwanese style milk tea).

Personally, I use 1 teabag of English Breakfast and 1 teabag of Lipton Black Tea (usually Yellow Label or just normal) in 1/3 a cup of boiling water, 2 teaspoons of raw sugar and then 1/3 milk and 1/3 ice. I'm living here Sydney, Australia where the temperature is usually warm and hot drinks are rare, so I modified the hot recipe to suit our climate. Anyway, good luck with your milk tea addiction.