30 April, 2020 | Ernest Atta Adjei

How Did Coffee Milk Tea Become So Popular? Here’s Why

The first question for most people when they wake up in the morning is, "should I make tea or coffee?" For others, the idea of mixing coffee, and milk tea; thus, coffee milk tea sounds alien to them. For them, it's either you take coffee, or you take tea, but not the two beverages at the same time, especially when mixed. 

Over the years, tea and coffee have grown in popularity to the extent that it has become part of our daily life routine. We cannot go without it. But coffee milk tea has also grown in popularity for many years now, especially in Asian countries. 

Tea and coffee have some similarities in that they both come from plants. But their taste is entirely different, and they are both drunk for various reasons.

If you've traveled to an Asian city, there is a high chance that you have come across a tea and coffee mix in several forms: Teh Tarik, Masala Chai, Nai Cha, Bubble tea, and numerous others.

The mixing of coffee and milk tea goes by different names, depending on where you are. In the regions of Hong Kong and Singapore, it's called 'yuenyeung' or yuan yang, 'spreeze' in Ethiopia, and 'kopi cham' in Malaysia. All of them have the same thing in common: they all contain a mixture of tea and coffee.

What Is Coffee Milk Tea?

As the name implies, coffee milk tea is a mixture of black coffee, milk, and black tea. However, how the beverage is made depends on who makes it. Over the years, many tea shops have experimented with different recipes on how to make the combination tastier and irresistible. An example is coffee jelly milk tea, which has an incredible taste. You should try it! 

The idea of tea and coffee mix may not seem like the right combination for you, but it's prevalent in numerous places across the world. In fact, in Hong Kong, they even have a child's version of coffee milk tea manufactured with Ovaltine.

The recipe for mixing coffee with tea changes from one place to another. The well-known version comes from local stores and street stalls in Macau and Hong Kong. For almost a century, these places have been making a combination of one part of coffee to two parts of milk tea. Some vendors use sugar and evaporated milk rather than regular condensed milk.

Coffee Milk Tea

Depending on what you want, you can serve the tea and coffee mix hot or with ice. When it became popular, it moved to other places in Asia. Big-time companies such as Asahi, started large-scale production of the coffee and milk tea mixture called Wonda Tea Coffee according to reports from Japan Today. Now, you can find Wonda Tea Coffee in almost every grocery store in Asia.

How Coffee Milk Tea Become Popular

The mixture of coffee and milk tea has become so popular due to modern culture and history in Hong Kong. From 1839 to 1997, the British ruled over Hong Kong. During those times, the majority of the people adopted many things, including their customs. One of them was the well-known afternoon tea. 

The afternoon tea, also referred to as low tea, is typically taken in mid-afternoon. Traditionally, it was served on low tables, and that's how it got its name. Since that time, it grew in popularity, and other countries began to adopt their style of drinking tea, hence the name coffee milk tea.

Fast forward to modern Hong Kong. It's a busy place where people rarely sleep due to their working lives. And when they need to get through the day, taking yuan yang helps them. The mixing of coffee and milk tea also became popular in Hong Kong and later most of the world due to the meaning of yuan yang.

Meaning of Yuan Yang

Coffee mixed with tea in Chinese is yuan yang, which means Mandarin ducks. If you've seen mandarin ducks before, you'll immediately realize that the female's appearance is different from the male. In Chinese culture, they represent lifetime couples and are mostly used in Chinese weddings. 

The name yuan yang symbolizes the unlikely combination of coffee and milk tea. In case you didn't know, the mandarin ducks become companions for life. They used this analogy to refer to how the coffee and milk tea, both entirely different, can match and produce incredible tastes.

How To Make Coffee Milk Tea

Some people may inform you that yuan yang is the best in cha chaan teng found in Hong Kong. At the cha chaan teng or tea restaurant in Hong Kong, the mixture is about three parts of coffee to seven parts of milk tea. The 7:3 ratio is to make sure that the coffee and tea will have the same incredible taste, without one overcoming the other.

In making the milk tea, black tea is mixed with evaporated or condensed milk and sugar. In some recipes, you steep the tea more than the usual time limit, which is three or four minutes. So you can double the steeping time, say, six minutes or more, to produce a strong taste that can compete with the sweet, thick flavor of the milk tea.

Yet still, other recipes require that you boil the leaves of the tea instead of steeping. In the end, every recipe comes out great depending on how you like it. Sometimes, the yuan yang can taste bitter if you steep it too much. If that happens, you can add more condensed milk. If you want to spice things up, you can also make your own coffee jelly milk tea to add to your routine.

Coffee And Milk Tea Mixture In The World

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Even though there are incredible tea and coffee beverages in the U.S., it's challenging to find a unique variety of coffee and tea mixture. The common options available are dirty chai or chai with espresso. 

One variety of coffee and tea combination that can be compared to yuan yang is from Ethiopia. Even though coffee is most popular in the eastern part of Africa, black tea is also well-known. They usually take black tea with spices similar to the Indian Chai. 

However, if you want a beverage mixture of coffee and tea, every ingredient you need is available almost everywhere. You can make your coffee and tea mixture at home and experiment with different recipes.

Conclusion

The coffee and tea combination has grown in popularity over the years. Many tea shops are adopting this new style of making beverages, and people have begun to make their yuan yang at home. You can also try out coffee jelly milk tea at your favorite tea shops or make one at home.

However, you have to be careful when you take in the coffee milk tea mixture. It may have some side effects on you, so if you react negatively towards the combination, you should stop taking it and stick to either coffee or tea, your preferred choice.