If you live in NYC, you probably know about the dumpling wars. There is a small cluster of dumpling shops on the lower East Side area and there are constant wars about which is better (and no, Momofuku doesn’t count, we’re talking little dive $1 for 5 dumpling kind of joints!). My favorite is Vanessa’s: not the one in Union Square (which is decent) but the original shop. Not just because of the dumplings which, let’s face it, are very similar from shop to shop. But Vanessa’s has these fantastic sesame pancake sandwiches stuffed with crispy pulled pork or even DUCK. And to top off your greasy, delicious sandwich there’s the world’s best Hong Kong Milk Tea.
As amazingly delicious as HKMT is, it’s laden with calories from the sugar and evaporated milk AND condensed milk. Ugg, but it’s so good! I would love to find a lighter replacement, so I was thrilled to see this from Nature’s Tea Leaf. But can it replicate the wonders of Vanessa’s Hong Kong Milk Tea?
Well, of course it’s not thick and creamy from the milk, but it perfectly captures the condensed/evaporated milk taste. The tea isn’t cloudy so there’s no actual milk bits floating around, it’s just flavoring. Magic flavoring! I cold brewed this and without any sugar or other additions it really does taste like milk tea. Creamy, milk, with that distinct evaporated milk taste and a burst of sweetness. Mmmmm. I think I’m in love!