I like to start my mornings off with a hot cup of black tea with milk, even on the hottest days! Then I switch to cold brewed iced teas to keep me cool. This doesn't mean I need to stop drinking my beloved milky tea, though. This may have you wondering "Can you put milk in iced tea?" And the answer is absolutely, yes!
What's the Best Milk for Iced Tea?
All milk is good milk for iced tea, but you will get different results depending on what type of milk or non-dairy milk you use. I like organic cow's milk in my tea, but there are so many more options out there nowadays.
Many in our Plum Deluxe Facebook group like to use flavored coffee creamers, like sweet cream, vanilla, or caramel. Our founder, Andy Hayes, is a fan of Nut Pods, a plant-based, zero-sugar creamer.
Oat Milk has become very popular recently, as it lends a rich, creamy flavor to your drink, but it can taste a little oaty. Almond milk is a classic, I prefer the unsweetened vanilla for my tea.
If you are a fan of sweet and rich, you'll enjoy some sweetened condensed milk in your iced tea. Sweetened condensed milk is the milk of choice for a Thai iced tea recipe, creating that sweet and creamy treat.
If you like a tropical feel, coconut milk is another non-dairy option for your iced teas. Soy milk is the original dairy-free milk and is still a good option for those that like the flavor of soy. It all comes down to personal taste which milk or dairy-free milk you choose for your iced tea.
Milk doesn't need to simply be poured into your iced tea. If you are craving a barista-level fancy drink, how about trying your hand at making vanilla cold foam to top your iced tea? Yes, you can make a fancy drink just like your favorite coffee shop by whipping half heavy cream, half milk, and a splash of vanilla syrup (or just vanilla extract if you want it unsweetened) until soft peaks form. Then dollop and Viola! a cafe counter drink worthy of Instagram.
How to Make Iced Tea for Milky Tea
There are a few ways to go about making iced tea for iced tea with milk, but I'll share my two favorite ways. One way is to cold brew. Cold brewing is simple, just add two teaspoons of loose tea leaves to every eight ounces of water, and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. By cold brewing, you are bringing out the flavors in the tea, while not oversteeping your tea which can cause bitter tannins to ruin the taste and mouthfeel.
The other way is to create a concentrate to make an iced tea latte. To do this, you'll add two teaspoons of loose-leaf tea to four ounces of water. If you choose to make it with hot water, steep tea leaves as directed on the bag. If you choose to cold brew your concentrate, allow the tea to steep overnight.
When your iced tea or iced tea concentrate is ready (and cooled if using hot water), pour it into a glass, add milk or dairy-free milk, sweetener of choice, and top with ice cubes. Personally, I prefer an iced tea latte to an iced tea with milk, but it is all up to what you like. Either way, by steeping your own loose-leaf tea, you are creating the perfect drink just for you!
What Iced Teas Go Well with Milk?
When picking out an iced tea that goes well with milk, you want something with a strong flavor base. A black tea, oolong, or rooibos base is your best bet, as a green or white tea will be too light to hold up to the addition of your milk of choice.
Caramel Almond black tea is a good example of a robust and sweet black tea that would make an excellent iced tea latte.
Gratitude Blend is a strawberry earl grey tea that would also make a wonderful tea latte. Did you know that earl grey tea lattes are called London fogs? Often sweetened with a simple syrup or lavender syrup, London fogs make a wonderful treat on hot summer days.
If you are looking for a fun colorful treat, try adding butterfly pea flowers in with your tea. The butterfly pea flowers themselves don't have a very strong taste, but they turn your tea the most beautiful blue!
Strawberries and Cream black tea is a favorite blend of mine, it's sweet and fruity and holds up well to milk both hot and iced.
If you are looking for an herbal tea to keep you cool, try Peach Bellini herbal tea iced with milk. This fruity and refreshing blend is peachy and sweet, perfect for hot summer days.
What Iced Teas Don't Go Well With Milk?
Unfortunately, there are some teas that don't play well with milk, hot or iced. Keep an eye out for blends including hibiscus and lemon peel, as these will curdle your milk. It's safe to drink, but not very appetizing looking.
Iced Milk Tea Recipes
There are so many options and flavor combinations, picking out the best iced tea to go with milk can seem a little overwhelming. I've got you. Here are some of my favorite recipes for iced tea lattes and iced milk tea from the Plum Deluxe blog:
Whether any of these strike your fancy, you've already got your perfect iced milk tea in mind, or you can't wait to experiment—you can't go wrong with an iced milk tea.