Royal Milk Tea vs. Milk Tea: Differences & Recipe

royal milk tea vs milk tea

If you’re a tea lover, you may have come across the terms “royal milk tea” and “milk tea” and wondered what the difference is. While both drinks contain tea and milk, there are some key differences in how they’re prepared and served. 

Milk tea is typically made by adding milk to brewed black tea, while royal milk tea is made by steeping tea leaves in hot water mixed with milk. This difference in preparation results in a distinct flavor and texture profile for each drink. 

Another key difference between the two is the level of sweetness. Royal milk tea tends to be sweeter than regular milk tea, as it’s often made with condensed milk or sugar. However, the sweetness level can be adjusted to your liking by adding more or less sugar or milk. Both of these delicious drink options are enjoyed all over the world, including in the United States and by the British Royal family. 

Royal Milk Tea vs. Milk Tea

What is Milk Tea?

Milk tea is a type of tea beverage that is made by combining tea with milk, sugar, and sometimes other flavorings such as fruit or spices. It is a popular drink in many parts of the world, particularly in Asia, where it is often served cold with ice. 

Milk tea can be made with various types of tea, such as black tea, green tea, or oolong tea, and herbal tea, and can be customized to suit individual tastes. Some popular variations of milk tea include bubble tea, Indian chai tea, and Thai tea.

What is Royal Milk Tea?

Royal milk tea is a popular milk tea that originated in Japan in the 1960s. It’s made by steeping black tea leaves in a mixture of hot water and milk, resulting in a creamy and rich beverage that’s perfect for any time of day. 

Unlike regular milk tea, which is made by adding milk to brewed tea, royal milk tea is brewed with milk from the start. This gives it a unique flavor and texture that sets it apart from other types of milk tea.

The name “royal milk tea” is believed to have been coined by the Japanese tea company Lipton, which introduced the tea in the 1960s. 

Differences Between Royal Milk Tea and Milk Tea


The main difference between royal milk tea and regular milk tea lies in the ingredients used to make the two drinks. While regular milk tea is made by adding milk to water-brewed black tea, royal milk tea is made by steeping tea leaves in hot water-mixed milk.

Royal milk tea typically contains a higher percentage of milk than regular milk tea, which gives it a creamier texture and a richer flavor. The ratio of milk to tea can vary depending on the recipe, but a 1:1 ratio is a good place to start.


Another difference between royal milk tea and regular milk tea is the brewing technique. To make regular milk tea, milk, and sweeteners are added to tea that has already been brewed.

Royal milk tea, on the other hand, is made by steeping tea leaves in a mixture of hot water and milk. This allows the tea leaves to infuse the milk, resulting in a more flavorful and aromatic beverage.

Flavor and Taste

The flavor and taste of royal milk tea and regular milk tea are also different. Regular milk tea has a lighter taste and is less creamy than royal milk tea. The flavor of royal milk tea is richer and creamier due to the higher percentage of milk used in its preparation. Royal milk tea also has a slightly sweet taste due to the addition of sugar or honey in some recipes.

Overall, the main differences between royal milk tea and regular milk tea lie in the ingredients used and the preparation process.

Royal milk tea has a creamier texture and a richer flavor due to the higher percentage of milk used in its preparation. Regular milk tea, on the other hand, has a lighter taste and is less creamy than royal milk tea.

Milk Tea Recipe

Here’s a quick and easy recipe that you can try at home:


  • 1 cup water  
  • 1 tea bag (black tea or your preferred tea variety)  
  • 1/4 cup fresh milk (or more, according to your preference)  
  • Sugar or honey, to taste


  1. Boil the water in a small pot or kettle.  
  2. Add the tea bag and let it steep for 3-5 minutes, depending on your desired strength.  
  3. Remove the tea bag and add the milk.  
  4. Stir well and add sugar or honey to taste.  
  5. Enjoy your delicious milk tea!

It’s that simple! You can adjust the recipe to your liking by adding more or less milk, sugar, or honey. You can also experiment with different tea varieties to find your favorite flavor combination. Milk tea is a versatile and comforting drink that you can enjoy any time of day.

Homemade Royal Milk Tea Recipe

If you’re looking to make a delicious cup of Royal Milk Tea at home, here’s a simple recipe for you to follow:


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tea bags (black tea)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)
  • Optional: vanilla extract or cinnamon powder for flavoring


  1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the tea bags to the water and let it steep for 3-5 minutes, or until the tea is dark and fragrant.
  3. Remove the tea bags and add sugar (and any optional flavorings) to the tea. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the milk to the tea and stir gently.
  5. Return the pot to the stove and heat the tea and milk mixture over low heat until it’s hot but not boiling.
  6. Once heated, strain the tea to remove any tea leaves or particles.
  7. Pour the tea into a cup and enjoy!
  8. Note: You can adjust the amount of sugar and milk to your liking. Some people like their royal milk tea sweeter or creamier, so feel free to experiment until you find the perfect balance for you.

That’s it! You now have a warm and comforting cup of Royal Milk Tea to enjoy. If you prefer iced Royal milk tea, simply let it cool in the refrigerator before serving over ice.

Of course, there are many variations of Royal Milk Tea depending on personal taste and preference. Some people like to add a splash of vanilla extract or use different types of tea, such as Earl Grey or Darjeeling. Others like to top their tea with whipped cream or add boba pearls for a fun texture.

What to Serve With Royal Milk Tea

what to serve with royal milk tea

Here are some ideas of what to serve with creamy milk tea:

  • Biscuits or Cookies: Royal milk tea is a perfect accompaniment to biscuits or cookies. The sweetness of the biscuits and the creaminess of the tea complement each other perfectly.
  • Scones: Scones are another great option to serve with royal milk tea. The buttery, flaky texture of the scones pairs well with the rich flavor of the tea.
  • Sandwiches: Small sandwiches are a classic accompaniment to tea. Try making cucumber sandwiches or egg salad sandwiches to serve alongside your royal milk tea.
  • Cake: If you want to serve something sweet with your tea, cake is always a good option. Pound cake, sponge cake, or even a fruit tart would all work well.

When it comes to serving royal milk tea, it’s important to keep in mind the balance of flavors. You don’t want anything too sweet or too savory that will overpower the taste of the tea. Instead, opt for light, delicate flavors that will complement the tea’s rich, creamy taste.

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Other Types of Milk Tea

Bubble Tea (Boba Tea)

If you’re a fan of bubble tea, you might be wondering if royal milk tea is just another name for the popular drink. While both drinks contain milk, they are actually quite different.

First of all, bubble tea usually includes chewy tapioca pearls, which give the drink its unique texture. Royal milk tea, on the other hand, is simply a blend of black tea and milk. Another key difference is in the preparation. Bubble tea is often made by shaking the ingredients (including ice cubes) together in a cocktail shaker, while royal milk tea is typically steeped like traditional tea.

Bubble tea is a fun and trendy drink that’s perfect for sipping on a hot day, while royal milk tea is a more classic and refined beverage that’s perfect for a cozy night in.

Okinawa Milk Tea

Okinawa milk tea is a type of milk tea that originated in Okinawa, Japan. It is made by combining black tea with brown sugar, giving it a unique caramel-like flavor and a distinctive brown color. The tea is then mixed with milk or cream to create a creamy, sweet beverage. 

Okinawa milk tea is often served over ice, making it a refreshing drink for hot summer days. Some variations of the recipe also include adding tapioca pearls or other toppings such as grass jelly or aloe vera cubes. The popularity of Okinawa milk tea has spread beyond Japan and can now be found in many Asian countries and in some parts of the world.

Hokkaido Milk Tea

Hokkaido milk tea is a type of milk tea that originates from Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. It is made by blending strong black tea with milk and sometimes adding a sweetener, such as honey or condensed milk. The tea is typically served hot, but it can also be enjoyed cold.

What sets Hokkaido milk tea apart from other milk teas is its creamy and rich flavor. This is due to the use of high-quality milk from Hokkaido, which is known for its rich and creamy texture. In addition to the milk, some variations of Hokkaido milk tea also include ingredients like Hokkaido red bean paste, which adds a sweet and nutty flavor to the tea.

Hokkaido milk tea has become a popular beverage in many parts of Asia and has even gained popularity in other parts of the world. Many cafes and tea shops offer their own unique versions of Hokkaido milk tea, and it’s often enjoyed as a comforting and indulgent treat.

Nidashi Milk Tea

Nidashi milk tea is a type of Japanese milk tea that is known for its strong and bold flavor. The name “nidashi” means “double brewed” in Japanese, which refers to the unique brewing method used to make this tea.

To make nidashi milk tea, strong black tea is first brewed and then brewed again using the same tea leaves, resulting in a concentrated and flavorful tea. The tea is then combined with milk and sweetener to create a rich and creamy beverage.

Some variations of nidashi milk tea also include additional ingredients such as honey, vanilla, or spices like cinnamon or cardamom for added flavor. Nidashi milk tea is a popular beverage in Japan and can be found in many cafes and tea shops. It’s known for its strong, bold flavor and is often enjoyed as a comforting and indulgent treat.

Royal Milk Tea or Milk Tea? You Decide.

Now that you have learned about the differences between Japanese Royal Milk Tea and Milk Tea, you can make an informed decision on which one to choose. While both beverages contain tea and milk, the way they are prepared and brewed can affect the taste and texture of the final product. 

If you want a more creamy and rich flavor, Royal Milk Tea may be the way to go. On the other hand, if you prefer a lighter taste with a hint of milk, Milk Tea may be more suitable for you. 

Whichever one you choose, it’s important to note that the quality of the tea leaves, the type of milk used, and the brewing method can all affect the taste and quality of the final product. Experiment with different recipes and brewing techniques to find the perfect cup of tea for you. 

Remember, tea is a versatile and delicious beverage that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether you prefer it hot or cold, with or without milk, there is a delicious tea out there for everyone. So go ahead, brew yourself a cup of tea, and enjoy the many benefits that this wonderful beverage has to offer.