Milk tea refers to several forms of beverage found in many cultures, containing some combination of tea and milk. Beverages vary based on the amount of each of these key ingredients, the method of preparation, and the inclusion of other ingredients (varying from sugar or honey to salt or cardamom). Instant milk tea powder is a mass-produced product.
Local variations include:
- British tea, served with milk
- Bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea or boba milk tea, a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in Taichung in the 1980s
- Burmese-style milk tea, called laphet yay cho (လက်ဖက်ရည်ချို), made with strongly brewed black tea leaves, and sweetened with a customized ratio of condensed milk and evaporated milk, is popular in Myanmar. It is commonly served in tea shops, which first emerged during British rule in Burma.
- Cambric tea, a sweetened hot-milk beverage, often made with a small amount of tea
- Hong Kong-style milk tea, black tea sweetened with evaporated milk originating from the days of British colonial rule in Hong Kong
- Doodh pati chai, literally 'milk and tea leaves', a tea beverage drunk in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh
- Teh tarik, a kind of milk tea popular in Malaysia and Singapore
- Suutei tsai, a salty Mongolian milk tea
- Shahi haleeb, a Yemeni milk tea served after chewing qat
- Masala chai, also known as masala tea, is a spiced milk tea drunk in the Indian subcontinent
- Irani chai, a type of milk tea made with pure milk mixed with mawa, prepared in Iranian-style cafes in Hyderabad, India
- Thai tea, a sweet tea-based drink popular in Southeast Asia
- Royal milk tea, The tea company Lipton invented product in 1965 as part of its “royal” recipe series in Japan 
- Dalgona milk tea, milk tea sweetened with traditional Korean dalgona, a honeycomb-like toffee
It is believed that Thailand consumes up to six cups of bubble tea per person per month. Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia consume three cups per person per month.
In Britain, when hot tea and cold milk are drunk together, the drink is simply known as tea due to the vast majority of tea being consumed in such a way. The term milk tea is unused, although one may specify tea with milk if context requires it. This may cause confusion for people from cultures that traditionally drink tea without milk.
Milk Tea Alliance
The Milk Tea Alliance is a term used to describe an online democratic solidarity movement made up of netizens from Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Myanmar. The concept originally arose in response to the increased presence of Chinese trolls and nationalist commentators on social media, but has now been described to advocate for improved democracy in their own respective countries. Milk tea was seen as a symbol of anti-Chinese solidarity as it is believed that tea is historically consumed with milk in these countries while in China it is not.[better source needed] Australia has also been suggested to be a member of the Milk Tea Alliance, however the relation to milk tea is tenuous with the milk product Aptamil standing in for an actual variety of milk tea in imagery.
The "Milk Tea Alliance" moniker emerged in 2020 after Chinese nationalist Internet commentators criticised the Thai actor Bright for "liking" an image on Twitter which referred to Hong Kong as a "country", and called for a boycott of his TV programme. Some Twitter users in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines joined Thai users in what The Telegraph called "a rare moment of regional solidarity". Following the 2020 China–India skirmishes India has also been included in some formulations of the Alliance with masala chai being their representative variety of milk tea.
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- Media related to Milk tea at Wikimedia Commons