Hokkaido Milk Tea: Recipe and Need to Know

by Mama Loves A Drink

All you need to know about Hokkaido milk tea and an easy Hokkaido milk tea recipe to make this Japanese specialty at home.

Hokkaido Milk Tea is a tea beverage made with black tea and milk, sweetened with the addition of sugar, caramel or honey.

It is originally made milk from Hokkaido, a rural region in the north of Japan, which is known for the quality of its dairy products.

Hokkaido milk is known as the best milk in Japan and it is famous for its creaminess and sweet taste reminiscing of that of vanilla.

Hokkaido tea is popular thanks to the rich, full-bodied flavor of the black tea, very different from the more pungent taste of green and white tea, commonly consumed in Japan.

Hokkaido milk tea recipe: Pin this to make later!

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What is special about Hokkaido Tea

Hokkaido tea is made using black tea leaves and, in its purest form, used milk from Hokkaido, known for being exceptionally creamy and sweet.

The presence of the milk makes this tea different from most other Japanese beverages: this is why Hokkaido tea is also known as Hokkaido milk tea

Hokkaido milk tea is commonly known in Japan as ‘royal milk’ or ‘nidashi milk tea’.

It can be served hot or cold.

Hokkaido milk tea ingredients

  • 1 teabag per person of your favorite black tea
  • Boiling water
  • Brown sugar / caramel / honey

Do you need tapioca to make Hokkaido milk tea?

Hokkaido milk tea is sometimes offered with tapioca balls. Because of this, many confuse it with bubble tea/boba tea.

However, Hokkaido tea is from Japan while bubble tea is from Taiwan and, in its original form, it calls for local ingredients only from the Japanese region of Hokkaido.

How to make Hokkaido milk tea: recipe

Making Hokkaido milk tea is easy.

  • Once the water reaches boiling point, pour a small amount of it into a teapot and carefully swirl the water in it to warm up its inside.
  • Set the teapot aside
  • Pour the rest of the water into a cooking pot, add the tea bags and the milk and gently bring to the boil, then quickly turn the heat down so that it simmers gently.

Pro tip! For the best results, the original Japanese recipe calls for the use of an enamel pot because of its nonsticky properties.

  • Add your sugar or caramel (not honey, see below!) and, after 3 minutes, remove the tea bags and pour in the pot: serve hot or cold.

Need to know: if you are making your Hokkaido milk tea with honey, do not add it to the boiling pot. Rather, serve it beside your tea, to be added last minute.

What’s the best tea for Hokkaido milk tea?

Popular black teas that you can use to make Hokkaido tea at home are Earl Grey, Darjeeling and English breakfast tea.

What if I don’t have Hokkaido milk?

Getting Hokkaido milk might prove difficult outside of Japan but this doesn’t mean you cannot make Hokkaido milk tea at home!

Hokkaido Milk is special as very creamy: for a taste as close as possible to that of the original thing, opt for full-fat milk (4% or more) and experiment with a small amount of vanilla to add to your tea.

While it won’t be just like the Hokkaido milk tea you had in Japan, it will add a lovely extra layer of taste to your tea and that touch of sweetness that is typical of the original recipe.

Does Hokkaido milk tea have caffeine?

Yes, Hokkaido milk tea contains caffeine as it is made with black tea leaves although the exact amount depends on the exact type of tea used and the time of infusion you choose.

Because of its caffeine content, Hokkaido milk tea is a good morning drink perfect to start your day.

How to serve Hokkaido milk tea

There is no special rule for serving Hokkaido tea but we like to make our Japanese tea break special and a pretty mug or tea set will go a long way to help you savor the moment!

You can serve your Hokkaido milk tea in a traditional English tea mug or opt for a pretty Japanese tea set such as the ones below.

Yield: 1 cup

How to make Hokkaido Milk Tea: recipe

Hokkaido milk tea cup with milk jug in the background

Hokkaido milk tea is a sweet tea beverage from Hokkaido, Japan. It is the perfect tea for those who love a creamy texture and it makes a wonderful breakfast tea as well as a good accompaniment for cakes and pastry.

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tea bag per person: Earl Grey, Darjeeling or English Breakfast tea all work well
  • 1 pot of boiling water
  • Milk to taste
  • Sugar / caramel syrup to taste

Instructions

Boil a kettle of water.

Once the water reaches boiling point, pour a small amount of it into a teapot and carefully swirl the water in it to warm up its inside.

Set the teapot aside

Pour the rest of the water into a cooking pot, add the tea bags and the milk and gently bring to the boil, then quickly turn the heat down so that it simmers gently.

Add your sugar or caramel and, after 3 minutes, remove the tea bags and pour in the pot: serve hot or cold.

Notes

Need to know: if you are making your Hokkaido milk tea with honey, do not add it to the boiling pot. Rather, serve it beside your tea, to be added last minute.

Want to discover more about teas? From medicinal favourites for mamas to those perfect gifts for the tea-lover you’ll find all our favourite tea topics over here.

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