If you have never heard of coffee milk tea, you’re in for quite a treat! This delicious drink is a popular morning or midday pick-me-up because it has a unique flavor and a good amount of caffeine. It is one of the most popular drinks in Asian countries and quickly making its way to the United States. 

A coffee milk tea recipe consists of a combination of coffee, black tea leaves, boba pearls, some type of milk, and in some cases, a flavor or sweetener. This is typically served iced but can be served as a hot drink as well. Although there is a standard recipe that you will usually see in coffee shops, the recipe can be customized to personal preference when made at home! 

In this article, we will go in-depth on the history of coffee milk tea, the ingredients of this sweet beverage, and how to make your cup of coffee milk tea at home! 

Bubble boba coffee milk tea with tapioca pearls in plastic cup
Bubble boba coffee milk tea with tapioca pearls in plastic cup

What is Coffee Milk Tea? 

If you have been to any Asian countries, you know just how popular coffee milk tea is. This drink originated in Hong Kong in Asian markets, where it is referred to as “yuen yeung” or yuan yang tea. Hong Kong coffee milk tea has a standard recipe consisting of one part of coffee to two parts of milk tea. 

Over the years, as this drink expanded to coffee and bubble tea shops, the recipe has changed and been altered to fit personal preferences and tastes. Today, you can find coffee milk tea made with a variety of teas, different kinds of milk, and even boba flavors to make the drink sweeter. One thing that remains standard in the tea mixture is the combination of coffee and tea. 

Since this drink mixes two sources of caffeine, it is important to note that this drink will most likely give you a burst of energy, which means it is not recommended as a nighttime beverage. Coffee milk tea is usually among other popular morning drinks. 

A cup of coffee milk tea
A cup of coffee milk tea

Coffee Milk Tea Ingredients 

Just as the drink’s name implies, you’re going to need some coffee, milk, and tea! But, you’ll also need some other ingredients to make this popular drink. Take a look below at the list to find out what you will need to put on your grocery list if you want to make this delightful drink in your own home. 

  • Coffee 

To make this coffee drink, we recommend a strong coffee. You can use almost any type of coffee, including brewed coffee, cold brew coffee, iced coffee, instant coffee powder, or shots pulled from an espresso machine. As long as you have the correct proportions of coffee to tea, this drink will be delicious and refreshing! 

  • Tea

As we know, this drink is a tea mixture, meaning you will need a tea in the recipe. The same notion of coffee applies to tea. This drink is traditionally made with black tea leaves, but you can use any type of tea to fit your preference. Some popular substitutions are earl grey and green tea. 

  • Milk

Milk or cream is what makes coffee milk tea a creamy drink. If you want a strong coffee milk tea, you should use less dairy. Although this drink is traditionally paired with half and half or condensed milk, feel free to use any type of milk such as whole milk, coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk. 

  • Sweetener 

The sweetener and flavorings are where you can truly customize this drink to be whatever you want! The amount of sugar used will determine how sweet or bitter the coffee milk tea is. Some common options are simple syrup or brown sugar syrup. If you are using plain white sugar, you can heat the granules in a small saucepan to create a liquid that is easy to mix. 

  • Boba Pearls 

Boba pearls are used in any boba drink such as bubble tea or bubble coffee. You can find them in coffee or tea shops, but you can also find them at the grocery store for purchase. Boba pearls are made of tapioca starch. 

Coffee milk tea with boba pearls
Coffee milk tea with boba pearls

How To Make Coffee Milk Tea At Home 

Now that we have learned a little history and the basic ingredients to use in coffee milk tea, here are some step-by-step instructions on how to make your homemade milk tea. Feel free to use the standard recipe found in Asian markets or put your spin on the recipe card! 

  1. Brew your tea whether that includes tea leaves or tea bags. 
  2. Brew your coffee of choice, this could be brewed, espresso, or iced coffee. 
  3. Heat your milk. You can do this in the microwave in a microwaveable container, or on the stovetop in a small pot. Stir in your sugar and flavor. 
  4. Combine the tea and milk to create a milk tea mixture. 
  5. Let the milk tea cool to room temperature and remove the tea leaves or bag. If you brewed a hot coffee, let that cool too. 
  6. Add ice to your favorite glass. Add tapioca balls to the bottom, then pour in the coffee and layer with milk tea. Serve cold.
Homemade coffee milk tea in a mug
Homemade coffee milk tea


Coffee milk tea is a popular Asian drink that originated in the streets of Hong Kong and has spread all over the world. Coffee milk tea can be referred to as “yuen yeung” or yuan yang tea. 

This coffee drink is made using a mixture of coffee, tea, milk, boba pearls, and sweetener. To make this drink at home, you will have your preference for each of those ingredients. This can include different flavors of coffee, milk, or milk substitutes such as soy milk or non-dairy milk, your favorite type of tea, and flavors. 

The steps to making coffee milk tea include brewing the coffee and tea, letting the drinks cool, and then adding one part coffee and two parts milk tea along with the ice, boba, and sweeteners. 

We hope you enjoyed this recipe guide to coffee milk tea! Please come back for more tea tips

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