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How To Make Tea With Milk Powder

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There is nothing more frustrating than starting a cup of tea, steeping it to perfection, and realizing that there isn’t any milk. What now? Not everyone drinks tea without milk and many teas actually require it!

Is there an alternative, a solution? Of course, there is! And keeping a packet or two of milk powder around the house will save you a lot of disappointment in the future!

How do you make tea with milk powder? There are multiple ways to make tea with milk powder. The best way is to mix the powder with the leaves before adding hot water to it. This way all the elements heat together and you will achieve the best possible flavor.

In this article, we will be talking everything milk powder, in tea and otherwise.

We will have a look at exactly what it is, how it is used, which teas can be made using milk powder as well as different methods how to make those teas. We will also look at our favorite milk powders that can all be easily found online.

What is Milk Powder?

Milk powder, dried milk, or powdered milk as some of you might know it, is an extremely underrated ingredient and is surprisingly popular in many parts of the world.

This is still a dairy-based product (although you can buy dairy-free options) but in a powdered form instead of its original liquid form.

There are a couple of ways this powdered form is made. One way is for the milk to be spray dried. This method uses a hot gas to evaporate the liquid present in the milk.

Another popular method is called drum drying. Milk is heated in a thin layer (inside a drum) to help evaporate the liquid. The milk solids are then scraped off and further processed and refined.

This method usually leaves a cooked flavor and caramelized color. These aren’t great for making tea as they impart different flavors.

The last method used is freeze-drying. This method helps preserve nutrients, flavor, and color.

Milk Powder Uses

Despite the name, it isn’t just used as a substitution for milk or to function as milk.

Milk powder is often used as a type of flour for confectionary items, especially in Indian cuisine. It is used to make gulab jamun, a sweet delicacy coated in desiccated coconut.

Milk powder is also often used in infant formula

Its main use, however, is to substitute milk in some ways. People often keep it in stock when fresh milk isn’t always readily available.

How To Make Tea With Milk Powder

There are a few different methods you can use to make tea with milk. We will be discussing the three best ones today, giving you the pros and cons of each, with step-by-step instructions.

Method 1: Cold Milk

A lot of people prefer making their tea with cold milk.

Powdered milk is obviously room temperature, so if you truly want your milk cold instead of merely not hot, you will have to cool your powder.

To make cold milk using milk powder, you can simply combine dry milk powder with cold water, like so:

  1. Place 1/3 cup of milk powder in a medium bowl.
  2. Using 1 cup of cold water, slowly add it to the powder while whisking constantly to make a slurry. You can also add the water in small additions to prevent lumps from forming and to help all of the milk powder to rehydrate.
  3. Once all the water has been added, you can use it in the tea as you would fresh milk, or you should allow it to cool in the refrigerator until it is cold.

Using cold milk in tea has its benefits. First, the milk-flavor is often more noticeable in cold milk, than in warm.

The second benefit is that it cools down the tea a bit. This means that it becomes easier to drink the tea sooner, but it also affects the steeping process.

As you may know, tea needs to steep for a certain amount of time to get the best possible flavor.

If steeped at too high of a temperature, the teas’ flavor could change. This also includes when the tea is steeped at a certain temperature for too long.

However, adding cool milk to tea too soon can also disrupt the steeping process. Your tea will likely end up tasting very weak. It is best to add the milk after the tea has steeped as long as you prefer.

The other downfall to using cold milk includes the tea cooling down too quickly, meaning you don’t have as much time to enjoy it. And no, you cannot microwave it. This will heat the tea leaves too much, and change the flavor.

Method 2: Warm Milk

You can also add warm or room temperature milk to your tea. It is very simple and basically the same as the cold milk method.

How To Make Warm Milk Using Milk Powder:

  1. Place 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Allow the water to come to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, place 1/3 cup of milk powder in a separate medium bowl.
  2. Once the water has come to a simmer, remove from the heat, and slowly add it to the milk powder. Constantly whisk while adding water to form a slurry and prevent lumps from forming.
  3. Once all the water has been added and the consistency is correct (milk-like consistency), allow the mixture to cool slightly before adding it to any tea.

This method is also easy and pretty straight-forward.

As you can guess, hot milk makes tea hotter. Also, while you could add warm to your tea sooner than with cold milk in terms of getting the right temperature, it is best not to. Somehow, tea just seems to steep best in water without milk.

Best Method: Steep Tea With Milk Powder at the Same Time

This is the method we would recommend most. We’ll get to the reasons shortly. It has a bit more steps that are more complicated, but it still isn’t rocket science.

How To Make Tea With Milk Powder:

  1. Place 1/3 cup of milk powder in a saucepan. Slowly add 1 and 1/2 cups of water to the powder while whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Whisk until all the water has been added.
  2. Add the tea leaves or tea bags to the milk and bring the mixture to a light simmer. It should be simmering for 2-3 minutes before being removed from the heat.
  3. Allow the mixture to steep for at least 30 seconds more before serving with sweetener.

This method is the best to use as the milk is heated with the water. This means you get the perfect temperature throughout the mixture that doesn’t change when adding milk (of any temperature) afterward.

Somehow, this method allows the tea to actually steep properly with the milk, although you’ll notice there’s a higher ratio of water to milk powder this time.

It also means that the flavors are allowed to infuse together, instead of being layered on top of each other afterward. This method can however completely change the flavor of the tea, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Milk and Tea: The Never-Ending Debate

Just like coffee, tea is a very personal thing and each person likes to drink it in their own way.

Many tea-enthusiasts say that tea should never be made using milk or sugar. We say nonsense!

You can make virtually any tea with milk (and sugar) and use however much you like in it. It is entirely up to you and your preference. Don’t let anyone say otherwise!

This is how new flavor combinations are invented – by experimenting!

When trying a new tea, we would, however, first recommend trying it on its own, just like you would coffee (without milk or sweetener).

Many teas have very specific flavors that don’t always pair well with milk. This doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to use milk with them, it just means that you should try them alone first – they might be better this way.

Another consideration when it comes to the whole milk-in-tea-debate is the structure of the tea.

Many teas actually curdle milk because of their acidity. These teas are often citrus-based, like lemon or lime teas. The acidity curdles the proteins in the milk, causing the tea to spoil.

This is what makes milk powder so great. Because it is dehydrated and essentially only acts as a flavored powder, it is much less likely to curdle even when used with more acidic teas.

Which Teas Are Best With Milk?

Teas that have milk in them are often referred to as “milk teas“. It can be anything from a splash to only using milk. 

The addition of milk in tea neutralizes very strong and bitter flavors, making it much more enjoyable for many consumers. The milk also adds a slight sweetness, which is perfect for super tasters (people who are extremely sensitive to bitter and sour taste).

The best types of teas to add milk to are very strong tasting ones.

Black teas like Assam and Ceylon are perfect examples of teas that can use a bit of milk.

Another category of tea that is perfect for adding milk to are many tea blends. Some of the most well-known blends include English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Chai, and Irish Breakfast. Jasmine teas also are typically blends; jasmine flowers are added to green, white, or even black tea leaves.

These blends use a combination of different herbs and flavorings to create unique flavors.

These flavors are sometimes very strong or pungent, and even a tiny dash of milk makes it much more appealing.

There are also some green teas like Gunpowder green tea, that go well with some milk, but no sugar.

Best Milk Powders For Tea

Now that we have looked at the different ways milk powder can be used to make tea, let’s look at some products that can all be easily found and which will make your tea delicious.

1. Hoosier Hill Farm Whole Milk Powder

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This milk powder is truly one of the few we use. Hoosier Hill Farm makes milk powder that is both hormone-free and gluten-free.

The gluten-free part might sound strange, but you would be surprised how many milk powders contain wheat to basically bulk up the product.

This milk powder consists of 28% fat (from milk) and is made with 100% whole milk solids. What does this mean? Well, basically that it doesn’t contain anything other than real, whole milk – which is exactly what you want in a milk powder!

2. NOW Foods Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder

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You know we love using organic products as much as we can, and that’s why we love this one. This product can be on the pricier side, but it is well worth a try.

Not only is this a family-owned and operated business, but they use only sustainably farmed, non-GMO and organic milk to produce this amazing product.

They also use recycled material for their packaging as part of the Terra Cycle program. 

Besides the outside being this great, their product speaks for itself too. It is absolutely fantastic and ideal to use instead of fresh milk. It does also work great in baked goods and as an enriching ingredient.

3. Nestle Nido Dry Whole Milk

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We had to include this product for two reasons, accessibility and affordability.

Because Nestle is a massive manufacturing company, this product can very easily be found world-wide, not only online, but in-store as well. And the best part is that this product will keep for some time. It is incredibly affordable and also comes in many sizes.

This is a fortified milk powder, meaning it has added vitamins and minerals (just something to keep in mind). Regardless, it is a great product that works as an excellent substitution for milk in teas and also has a ton of other uses. 

How To Rehydrate Milk Powder

Rehydrating milk powder is extremely quick and easy. All you need is the powder and water.

Many people have different ratios of powder to water. We prefer not to use too much water as it dilutes the flavor and color, resulting in a watered-down milk product.

You can experiment with different ratios at home, but we prefer using 1/3 cup powdered milk with 1 cup water. This will give you a good taste, color, and texture that closely resembles that of fresh milk.

Of course, fresh milk and powdered milk will never taste or act the same, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean one is superior to the other. Many people actually prefer using powdered milk for teas above fresh milk.

Related Questions

Can You Make Coffee With Milk Powder?

You can also use milk powder as a substitution for milk in coffees. You can make it in exactly the same way, and just like with teas, it will have an impact on the taste of the coffee.

The only thing we would keep in mind is that powdered milk cannot be steamed and used to create foam. Fresh milk has a very specific structure that allows it to do that, and milk powder has removed those characteristics.

Should Milk Powder Be Kept in the Fridge?

You do not have to store milk powder in the fridge. You can store it in a re-sealable bag or container and keep it in a cool and dark place.

Milk powder can also be kept in the freezer to prolong its shelf life. Freezing will harden the powder. It would need to be slightly thawed before using.

Can Milk Powder Expire?

Milk powder, as with any consumable, does have an expiry date. This date however can be up to 2 years from the manufacturing date. 

To determine if milk powder has expired, you can look for any foreign objects present in the powder, color blemishes and an unusual smell (such as any rancid or sour odors).

If any of these signs are present, or if the powdered milk tastes funny, it has most likely expired.

Tea With Milk Powder

Tea With Milk Powder

Yield: 1 serving
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

This is a fool-proof way to get a perfect, creamy cup of tea using milk powder. Delicious and easy!


  • 1/3 cup dried milk powder
  • 1 tea bag or equivalent amount of tea leaves
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of water


  1. Place 1/3 cup of milk powder in a saucepan. Slowly add 1 and 1/2 cups of water to the powder while whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Whisk until all the water has been added.
  2. Add the tea leaves or tea bags to the milk and bring the mixture to a light simmer. It should be simmering for 2-3 minutes before being removed from the heat.
  3. Allow the mixture to steep for at least 30 seconds more before serving with sweetener.


It is best to use tea with a strong flavor, such as Ceylon, Earl Grey, or Assam teas.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 teacup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 8g

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