Milk Tea. A Nice Cup of Calmness

When historians rank the calmest, most relaxing eras in American life, the one we’re in probably won’t be anywhere near the top. These are stressful times. Hopefully you’re finding ways to take care of yourself, perhaps by cutting back on the amount of time you expose yourself to stressful media, or starting a practice of deep breathing, stretching or meditation. We’d like to suggest another—eating healthy.

Milk is filled with antioxidants and nutrients to keep you healthy. But try this: instead of letting milk work alone, let it join forces with an unexpected partner: tea. If this sounds strange, we promise, milk and tea go together like, well…cream and coffee. In fact, in many parts of the world, from India to Great Britain to Hong Kong, milk tea is the rule, and tea without milk is the exception. But there are better reasons to add milk to tea than ‘everyone else is doing it.’

Start with taste. With its natural sugar (lactose), milk brings a bit of pure sweetness to your tea. And adding a milk variety with a higher fat content (everything from 2% up to heavy cream) will make your tea taste smooth and creamy. If this sounds enticing—and how could it not?—the next step is choosing the perfect tea.

Most milk tea lovers start their milk tea with a base of black tea, usually favoring bolder Assam and Ceylon teas. Black teas alone tend to be quite bitter, a trait that milk helps keep in check. Another characteristic of Black tea is that it’s one of the healthiest types of tea you can drink. Like milk, it contains antioxidants that could help lower the risk of chronic disease. Black tea has also been shown to reduce stress and increase energy.

One more great thing about milk tea is its flexibility. Go ahead. Get creative. Matcha green tea? Indian masala chai? Good old Earl Grey? They’ll all work beautifully. If you like your milk tea on the sweeter side, sugar (or even brown sugar) is most people’s sweetener of choice—but date syrup or maple syrup work well, too. And depending on the weather, milk tea is delicious hot or iced. Milk tea gives you dozens of easy options for fighting stress and restoring calm. And these days, simple pleasures are more important than ever.