Royal Milk Tea vs. Milk Tea: What’s the Difference?

A tea beverage called Milk Tea is available in various forms in various countries, including Japan, where you can buy the drink on every corner of the city.

As you may know, Japanese Milk Tea is black tea with milk added. But do you know how the drink differs from Japan-originated Milk Tea called Royal Milk Tea?

Royal Milk Tea (ロイヤルミルクティー)

Royal Milk Tea

First invented by the tea company Lipton in 1965 as part of its “Royal” recipe series, Royal Milk Tea has now become a popular tea beverage in Japan.

vs. Milk Tea

As for the difference, we usually prepare regular Milk Tea by adding milk to water-brewed black tea, whereas Royal Milk Tea is made by steeping tea leaves in hot water-mixed milk.


Specifically, based on the article ミルクティー on Japanese Wikipedia and the recipe by Lipton Japan, the way of making Royal Milk Tea is like this. 

  1. Prepare in a small bowl twice the tea leaves compared to usual.
  2. Soak the leaves in a small amount of boiling water to let them open beforehand.
  3. Heat a 1:1 ratio of milk and water in a milk pan.
  4. Then, right before it starts to bubble, turn off the heat.
  5. After adding the prepared tea leaves and their extract to the pan, put a lid on it, and let the tea leaves steep for 3 minutes or so. 
  6. Then, strain the tea through a tea strainer and pour it into a cup. 
  7. If desired, add some granulated sugar or honey.
  8. Stir well, and Enjoy!


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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