(I spent the entire morning figuring out our internet connection problems and I’m exhausted moving mountains just so I can type this. Things aren’t OK just yet, but here I am blogging about it, so the universe must love me somehow)
It’s become a religious custom here in the Philippines to attend Misa De Gallo/Simbang Gabi/Novena Mass (that lasts for 9 days, hence a novena) to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in anticipation of the birth of Jesus. It’s a religious obligation/family tradition/great way to observe the Christmas season in the country that supposedly celebrates Christmas the longest – as soon as the -Ber months roll in.
Because I’d like to assume a more “active” role as a food blogger (hehe), I’m putting my own spin on my holiday posts! Inspired by the Misa de Gallo, starting today until the 24th, it’ll be a (hopefully) steady stream of holiday/Misa de Gallo inspired dishes. I know, it’s a tall order. Much like how I don’t know if this will be my year – as in the year I finally complete the novena for once, I also don’t know if I can complete this project. But with fingers crossed, I believe there’s hope for me. Tiny miracles can happen.
Is milk tea a traditional holiday drink? No, of course not. But since I’m a fan and I told you that I was on the search to find the right tea:milk proportion, I guess now is the perfect time to share my own version of milk tea. It’s punched with spice from a little star anise and cardamom. Spices are tricky because add too much of it in a drink and you basically have cough syrup. So my advice is go easy on the spices. But what makes this perfect for the holiday is the fact that it’s spiced. The aroma brings back memories of fruit bars laden with candied fruits and spices. Is it indulgent? No, it’s really light and easy and that’s what I love about milk tea.
Basic Milk Tea
- 3 bags of black tea (I used Lipton)
- 3 cups water
- 5 tablespoons evaporated creamer/milk (I used Angel evaporada)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup condensed milk
- Spices: cardamom, star anise, cloves, ginger, etc. (I used 1 cardamom pod and 1 star anise)
- In a small pot, bring water to a rolling boil.
- Add the tea bags and the spices and immediately reduce the heat to let the liquid simmer for 2 – 5 minutes, depending on how strong you want the tea to be. Remember you are adding milk so a stronger tea flavor is best.
- When tea flavor is achieved, remove from heat.
- Strain the liquid into a blender. Discard
- Add the evaporated and condensed milk. Blend for a few seconds. Adjust taste according to preference.