Interview with tea restaurant
Starting from the left: Lesley, Boss, Santina
Santina: According to what we know, your shop has been selling the Hong Kong style milk tea, which is also famous for its nicknameˇXˇ§silk stocking milk teaˇ¨. We would like to know how a cup of normal milk tea actually differs from the Hong Kong style milk tea? Since they are both known as ˇ§milk teaˇ¨.
Ar Yan: Indeed, we make use of a sackcloth bag in making the Hong Kong style milk tea.
Boss: Yes, she is right. Well, to make things simpler, perhaps I will explain it this way. As you know, people often use those separate tea bags in making their milk tea, with milk added afterwards. Nevertheless, this makes the drink less creamy and tasty. And what makes a cup of Hong Kong style milk tea so fabulous is exactly its aroma, its creaminess and smoothness! In fact, the so-called ˇ§silk stockingˇ¨ does not refer to the one people usually wear on their feet! It is actually a tea bag with countless tiny holes on it. During the process of pouring the tea, air is eventually mixed with the milk tea. Repeat the steps for like 4 to 5 times and it is done. A cup of scrumptious Hong Kong style milk tea will be ready to serve.
Lesley: Just now you have mentioned that the Hong Kong style milk tea is smoother in taste, so what is the secret inside? Would that be something related to the different processes in making the tea?
Ar Yan: Different restaurants have their own way in making the tea.
Boss: In spite of the different methods in making the tea, the idea behind is similar. To make perfect Hong Kong style milk tea, tea leaf is the prime factor, undoubtedly. We buy around 15 kinds of tea leaves by ourselves, mix them together and fry them. Second, it depends on the skills and agility of the person. After we have poured the tea, we bake it for a while. Then add in some milk. Please bear in mind, milk is an essential factor as well.
Santina: You said that it is necessary to use different types of tea leaves when you are making a cup of Hong Kong style milk tea, so are there any tea leaves that are required to use during the process? What sort of milk will you use?
Ar Yan: We use the Holland "Black and White" evaporated milk for sure. It is the most aromatic and tastiest among all the brands.
Boss: Well, it is something out teacher taught us. It is recommended to use Holland's "Black and White" evaporated milk since other brands are comparatively not as smooth, hence giving a less stronger taste. And for the tea leaves, as I have mentioned, we include various tea leaves inside our milk tea. One of them would be the Ceylon black tea leaves. As for the others, I guessˇK it would be kind of incommodious for me to name them all here.
Lesley: Haha, it is okay! Is that a commercial secret? Anyway, letˇ¦s get back to our topic. So in your own opinion, what should be the best proportion of tea and milk present in a cup of Hong Kong style milk tea?
Ar Yan: One third of it is milk while the rest is tea. Just imagine if the proportion of milk is larger than tea, it will probably taste too milky. Furthermore, the milk will cool down whole the cup of milk tea.
Santina: Apart from that, how do you think the milk tea in the market differs from the one you are selling?
Ar Yan: Of course they are different. For those instant milk tea people often make at home is in powder form. For us, we use tea leaves and evaporated milk for making the milk tea, with someone who pours the tea technically during the process.
Boss: Those brands in the market are mainly 3 in 1 instant milk tea. Ours are made manually and technically, they are different from one another.
Lesley: Okay, perhaps it is time for us to change our topic. Let us proceed on to yuanyang, shall we? According to what we know, yuanyang is a mixture of milk tea and coffee. So what should be the best proportion of milk tea and coffee present in a cup of yuanyang?
Ar Yan: Half and half.
Boss: The proportion of the ingredients ought to be the same. In other words, the mixture will be including one third of milk, tea and coffee.
Ar Yan: In case the amount of coffee is greater than the milk tea, there will be a lack of the scent of tea. Similarly, if the amount of milk tea exceeds than that of the coffee, the taste of yuanyang will be gone. Therefore, you have to well control the proportion of the three ingredients.
Santina: Are there any special types of tea leaves or coffee beans that are required in making yuanyang?
Ar Yan: We use the Swiss coffee beans in making the yuanyang.
Boss: We have previously mentioned about the tea leaves and it is common for us to mix up different types of tea leaves together in making the milk tea. As for the coffee, we use instantly ground coffee and Swiss coffee beans in order to give a smoother and richer taste.
Ar Yan: Take a sip on our yuanyang and compare it with those you used to drink, you should be able to differentiate the two. It is not uncommon to feel differently because we are using instantly ground coffee and tea leaves for our yuanyang.
Lesley: When you are preparing a cup of yuanyang, will you make the milk tea and yuanyang separately and mix it together afterwards? Or simply mix up the two right at the beginning?
Ar Yan: We will prepare the milk tea and coffee individually and mix them up in the end. Frankly speaking, you cannot really mix up the two right at the beginning. I am afraid the yuanyang will have gone stale! Thus, in making a cup of quality yuanyang, much experience and skills are needed.
Lesley: A similar question again. How do you think the yuanyang in the market differs from the one you are selling?
Boss: I guess I will be putting in good words for my own restaurant. Our yuanyang is definitely the best, the creamiest and the sweetest, haha! Donˇ¦t you think it is better to prepare the drinks immediately after we have received the orders? I have tried some of the yuanyang in the market. They are different.
Ar Yan: It tastes plainer.
Boss: Yes. This is due to the higher concentration of water and milk present in the yuanyang.
Lesley: Would you mind demonstrating the process in making milk tea as well as yuanyang for us?
Santina, Lesley, Ar Yan
Lesley: Here is the end of our interview. Thank you so much for sparing out your precious time in responding to our questions!