Are you craving a tall glass of iced milk tea right now? Then, you'll be happy to know you could be sipping this wonderful longan drink in as little as 10 minutes. So, let us show you how to make it!
This longan milk tea is a fruity and dairy-free variation of classic milk tea, a refreshing and energising drink popular in Southeast Asia.
Traditional iced milk tea consists of sweetened black tea mixed with whole milk and served with ice.
In our recipe, we used all the three basic milk tea ingredients: tea, sweetener, and milk. But we swapped cow milk with a delicious blend of fresh longans and coconut milk drink.
Plus, we substituted the classic black tea with a lighter tea to not overpower the delicate flavour of longans. We used oolong tea, but green or white tea are also good options.
Longans are sweet and juicy grape-like fruits with a slightly earthy taste, similar to lychees but not as sweet. You can find them at a local Chinese or Asian food market, or you can opt for dried longans which are easy to find online.
Just a small handful of longans per serving is enough to give this milk tea a lovely fruity flavour, which pairs wonderfully with the freshness of coconut milk.
And if you have a few extra longans left, why not make a soothing brew with them? This Chinese longan tea with red jujubes is a quick and easy recipe you can try!
Which tea do you use to make milk tea?
Iced milk tea recipes, like Tawainese bubble tea or Thai milk tea, usually use black teas like Ceylon tea or Chinese black tea.
For this longan milk tea, we recommend a lighter tea as you don't want it to overpower the delicate flavour of fresh longans.
Good choices include light oolong tea, green tea, or even white tea.
We made our longan milk tea with jasmine oolong tea and loved the combo of longans and jasmine flowers. Give it a go!
Should I use fresh or dried longans to make longan milk tea?
We recommend using fresh longans as you'll blitz them with coconut milk to make sweet and fresh coconut longan milk.
You can find these grape-like fruits at your local Chinese or Asian food store.
However, if you can't find them, you can opt for dried longans. They look like yellow raisins, and they're available online.
To use them, soak them in coconut milk until fully rehydrated and then blitz them.
Alternatively, add the dried longans to the boiling water to make longan tea. You can find more tips on how to do it in our jujube longan tea recipe.
How does longan milk tea taste like?
This longan milk tea it's naturally sweet and refreshing as it's prepared with fresh longans and coconut milk.
You'll taste the uniquely sweet and earthy flavour of longans, plus the fresh, nutty notes of coconut — all rounded up by a slight bitterness from the tea.
- Loose Leaf Tea (oolong, ceylon,or green tea)
- Boiling Water
- Sweetener (sugar or erythritol)
- Fresh Longans
- Coconut Drink
Let's start by making the tea base.
You can choose your favourite tea blend, or check our FAQ section for tips on the best type of tea to prepare milk tea.
Add the tea to a heat-proof jug, pot, or bowl and pour in boiling water.
If you prefer using tea bags, you can swap each tablespoon of loose tea leaves with one teabag.
Then, tip in the sweetener and stir well until dissolved.
You can use caster sugar or zero-calorie erythritol as a sugar-free option.
Let the tea infuse for a few more minutes than usual, about 5-7 minutes.
You want the tea to be stronger and darker as it'll give more colour and flavour to the longan milk.
Now, remove the tea bags or filter out the leaves and let the tea cool down completely — you can put the pot in the fridge to speed it up.
If you want to flavour the tea with spices, check out the tips below.
Meanwhile, let's clean and cut the fresh longans.
If you can't find fresh longans, you can still make milk tea with dried longans, following our tips in the FAQs section.
Rinse the fruits to remove any dust, and then pop the pulp out of the shell.
To do it, gently squeeze the longan between your fingers until the shell cracks and then peel it off.
Alternatively, you can use a knife to score the skin and then peel it.
Then, cut the fruit in half along the seed (as you would do with a plum), open the two "cheeks", and remove the black, hard seed.
Add the prepared longans to a blender, followed by the coconut milk drink, and blitz until smooth.
Coconut drink is not the same as tinned coconut milk. It's more diluted than canned coconut milk and has a lower fat percentage.
You can find coconut drink at the supermarket in the chilled drinks section alongside other plant-based drinks like oat, almond, or soy milk.
If you can't find coconut drink, you can make it from scratch using tinned coconut milk: simply dilute 60 mL of coconut milk with 180 mL of water.
Finally, let's assemble the milk tea.
Divide the cold tea among tall glasses and pour in the coconut longan milk.
Stir well and serve your longan milk tea ice-cold with a few ice cubes if you like.
You can flavour the tea with a few sticks of cinnamon or half a teaspoon of dried spices like cloves, cardamom, or star anise.