You are currently viewing The Perfect Milk Tea Recipe-(Chai ya Maziwa)

The Perfect Milk Tea Recipe-(Chai ya Maziwa)

Milk tea, or chai ya maziwa, is a staple in most Kenyan households, a beverage many grew up with. Black tea (sturungi) is often seen as a more economical alternative since it avoids the higher cost of milk, which isn’t affordable for everyone.

Despite cost concerns, I personally prefer black tea because it allows you to taste the tea in its pure form. Milk tea is an occasional treat for when I want something creamy.

But what if I told you we’ve been making milk tea wrong all along? Yes, this post introduces a new method that I guarantee will change your tea-making routine. The traditional way of boiling tea in hot water or milk often results in bitterness.

This new method mirrors the preparation of boba tea from those trendy cafes, which is why it tastes amazing both hot and cold. Although many boba shops use large amounts of sugar and artificial flavors, making their drinks addictive, they typically use creamer instead of milk, specifically non-dairy creamer.

What Makes Exceptional Milk Tea?

Achieving the perfect milk tea hinges on a crucial technique: avoid adding your tea bags or loose tea directly into vigorously boiling milk or water. Instead, strain the liquid over the tea. Opt for loose tea over tea bags for superior quality.

While it’s essential not to add tea to actively boiling milk or water, it’s also crucial not to let the milk or water cool down too much before pouring it over the tea. Aim for a temperature just below boiling to extract the full flavor from the tea leaves

if you just have tea bags, be mindful of the steeping time. Overstepping can lead to a bitter taste. Generally, steeping for 3 to 5 minutes works well

Maintain a milk-to-water ratio of 1:1, whether you measure it precisely or just eyeball it. When it comes to the milk, opt for whole milk with the highest butterfat percentage available.

Milk Tea, Chai


  • Whole milk
  • Water
  • Sugar/ Honey/Artificial Sweetener
  • Quality Loose Tea/ Tea Bags

For Exact quantities jump to the recipe card below:

Also Read: The 5 Best Local Tea Brands in Kenya Ranked; Worst to Best

Also Read: 10 Popular Milk Brands in Kenya Ranked From Worst to Best


  • Boil Water: Boiling water releases oxygen and helps develop the flavors in tea. Water quality matters; if your tap water doesn’t taste good, it will affect your tea. The ideal temperature for brewing tea varies depending on the type. For example, black tea generally brews best with slightly cooled boiling water, while green tea is more delicate and requires slightly cooler water.
  • Pour water directly over the tea leaves or bags to ensure even saturation. Avoid splashing to prevent burns. The longer you steep tea, the stronger it becomes. However, oversteeping can lead to bitterness, especially with certain types.
  • Strain to remove the tea leaves to prevent over-extraction, which can make the tea bitter. Rinse the sieve or strainer between uses to prevent flavor contamination.
  • Whole milk adds a creamy texture and enhances the flavor of the tea. Avoid boiling milk directly in the tea to prevent curdling, just use previously boiled but warm milk for this.
  • Optionally sweeten your milk tea; Sweeteners can complement tea’s natural flavors. Honey offers additional health benefits, while sugar and artificial sweeteners provide sweetness without additional flavor.
  • Serve: Presentation matters! Use decorative teacups or mugs to elevate the tea-drinking experience.

milk tea chai

Milk Tea (Chai)

The timeless allure of chai, also known as milk tea— is a harmonious fusion of robust black tea, creamy milk
Milk tea captivates with its rich flavor and soothing warmth, offering a moment of comfort and connection in every sip
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Course Breakfast, Drinks
Servings 4 people
Calories 59 kcal


  • 1 Teapot or Saucepan
  • 1 Stove or Heat Source
  • 1 Measuring Cup
  • 1 Teaspoon
  • 1 Mugs or Cups
  • 1 Tea Kettle optional


  • 500 ml Whole Milk
  • 4 tsp Loose Tea Or 4 Tea Bags
  • Sweetener of your choice Optional
  • 500 ml Water


  • Boil Water:
    Fill your kettle or pot with the desired amount of water. Make sure not to overfill it.
    Place the kettle or pot on the stove and heat it until the water comes to a rolling boil. If you're using a thermometer, water should reach around 212°F (100°C).
  • Prepare Tea:
    While the water is boiling, measure out the desired amount of loose tea leaves or prepare the tea bags.
    If you're using loose tea leaves, measure about one teaspoon per cup of water. Adjust according to your taste preferences.
    Place the tea leaves or tea bags into a teapot or directly into the mug.
  • Pour Hot Water Over Tea:
    Once the water has reached a rolling boil, carefully pour it over the tea leaves or tea bags in the teapot or mug.
    Ensure that the tea leaves are fully submerged in the water.
  • Steep the Tea:
    Let the tea steep for the desired amount of time. This typically ranges from 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the type of tea and your preference for strength.
    Keep the teapot or mug covered while the tea is steeping to retain the heat and flavor.
  • Strain the Tea:
    After the tea has steeped for the appropriate amount of time, use a sieve or strainer to strain the tea leaves if you use loose tea leaves.
    If you use tea bags, you can skip this step.
  • Add Milk:
    Once the tea has been strained, add equal parts of hot whole milk to the brewed tea.
    The amount of milk added can vary based on personal preference, but typically it's about the same volume as the brewed tea.
    Stir the tea and milk together well to ensure even distribution.
  • Sweeten (Optional):
    If desired, add sugar, honey, or artificial sweetener to the tea according to your taste preferences.
    Stir well to dissolve the sweetener.
  • Serve:
    Pour the prepared tea into cups or mugs and serve immediately while it's still hot.


Water Quality: The quality of water significantly impacts the taste of your tea. Use fresh, clean water for the best flavor. If your tap water has a strong taste or odor, consider using filtered or bottled water.

Serving Suggestions

Avocado Toast and Milk Tea
Avocado Toast and Milk Tea

Chai is fantastic solo, but it shines even brighter when paired with avocado toast or your favorite pastry

Also Read: Ascend your Avocado Toast Toppings Skills

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating