Saturday, November 27, 2010

Milk Tea

I've been a big fan of Kirin brand Milk Tea but my local Japanese market quickly sells out of the stuff not matter what size it happens to be (1.5 liter or .5 liter bottles. I've been dragging my feet on making my own. But with rumors that the product was gonna be restricted for some STUPID reason by some jacka$$ who thinks they know better than I should be eating or drinking have prompted me to start experimenting. That and basic costs of a 1.5 liter when available. You see it costs about $7.00 for the 1.5 liter bottle and $2.35 for each half liter bottle. Several bottles adds up quickly.
Now Aldi has all the ingredients available pretty much all the time.
Dry Milk Powder $6.00for a 25.6 ounce box
100 Black tea bags for $1.99
4 lbs of sugar for approximately $1.99

I have made 4 batches thus far and I expect to get another 3 or so out of the box of milk powder. A batch consists of 1 gallon of milk tea that easily fills 2-1.5 liters bottles and a 20 oz bottle with about another 2-2.5 cups left to drink.

So lets add up the basic costs for just the one home made batch...
2x$6.99 + 3x2.35 = $22 or so with taxes.

The cost of my batch is approximately $5.99 + $1.99 + $1.99 = $10.50 - 11.00 for all the ingredients and about $2.75 a gallon for 4-1 gallon batches. And since 4 batches hasn't used up all of my ingredients it will probably get even cheaper as I make more batches.

So if you can live with the slightly different taste of the generic black tea, it's certainly worth making your own.

My experiments with ratios and brewing time/style are as such:

BATCH 1:hot water brewed 10 tea bags which was allowed to cool overnight without refrigeration. Added 2 cups of milk powder and 2 cups of cactus honey powder (cactus honey powder is a Japanese sweetener)
BATCH 1 Result: Very noticeable tea flavor, nice mouth feel thanks to the high amount of milk fats, noticeably sweet but not over-sweet

BATCH 2:cold water brewed 10 tea bags in fridge for 24 hours. Added 2 cups of milk powder and cactus honey.
BATCH 2 Results: almost the same as batch one but the tea flavor wasn't as strong. Felt like I could cut back on milk powder and get same results.

BATCH 3:cold water brewed 10 tea bags in fridge for 24 hours. Added 2 cups of milk powder and 2 cups of white sugar.
BATCH 3 Results:Overwhelmingly sweet. Forgot to cut back on the milk powder.

BATCH 4:cold water brewed 10 tea bags for 24-36 hours. Tea looked rather weak might need to go back to hot brewing or add more tea bags. Added 1.5 cups of milk powder and .75 cups of white sugar.
BATCH 4 Results: Haven't tried it yet will have to add results later