Creamy and warm, traditional lavender milk tea is both soothing and invigorating. It takes just 5 minutes and 3 to 5 ingredients and the scent of lavender steeping in warm milk will gently fill the air. This is vegetarian and gluten-free and can easily be adapted to be vegan as well.
Homemade lavender milk tea is extra special when lavender plants are beginning to bloom but works equally well with dried lavender in cooler weather. This can be made as an herbal tea or a black lavender tea, either way the lavender flavour is the star.
Delicious as a soothing bedtime drink, milk tea is also a fun and unexpected choice for baby and bridal showers. Lavender tea is a popular drink at wellness retreats too.
This was inspired by my 3 Ways To Preserve (And Use) Your Lavender and my recently posted Lavender Lemon Drop Martini. Not too sweet, it pairs well with Rhubarb Snack Cake, Chocolate Hazelnut Tart or your favourite cookie.
Lavender milk tea is so easy to make and only takes a few, easy to find ingredients. Said to have a calming effect, the use of lavender for relaxation has long been utilized. Lavender milk tastes a little like a vanilla steamed milk. In fact a drop or 2 of pure vanilla extract added fits right in. Let's get started on this delicious, ancient tea drink.
- Lavender Buds - Culinary lavender is the key ingredient. If you don't grow and dry your own, make sure to buy food grade, edible lavender. Fresh or dried lavender buds work equally well. You only need a little and if possible, I recommend growing and drying your own if you can. Lavender is one of the easiest herbs and flowers to dry and store. Note: I don't recommend using lavender essential oils for this recipe. Essential oils tend to be to strong and overpowering and less nuanced than fresh or dried lavender. Real lavender has a delicate flavour that can't be replicated.
- Milk - I use whole dairy milk that is 3.25% M.F. (milk fat). I find this gives a luxurious creaminess without being too heavy. You can certainly use a lower fat dairy milk or plant based milks as I describe below.
- Honey - Honey adds such a great mellow sweetness that pairs so well with lavender and other herbs. Honey is my preferred sweetener for flavour and for its velvety mouthfeel. I've suggested alternative sweeteners below but for this recipe, I think honey is best.
See recipe card for quantities.
Follow along with these step by step instructions for the perfect, traditional lavender milk tea recipe.
Combine milk, honey and lavender and turn heat to medium.
Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Once it starts to steam, turn it off and steep 5 minutes. If adding black tea (our earl grey), add it for the last 2 minutes of steeping.
Using a tea strainer or other small mesh strainer, pour the milk tea through to filter out the lavender buds and tea leaves or tea bag if using.
It is important to filter the lavender out because it is too hard and unpleasant to drink.
Pour into mugs and garnish with foamed milk or lavender sprigs as desired.
While you don't want to garnish with closed lavender buds, if you have open, fresh lavender flowers, you can gently pick them off the sprigs and use those as they are softer and more palatable.
If you want to get really fancy, try rimming mugs with Lavender Lemon Sugar Rim for a sweet and mild tart sparkle. If you love a warm and comforting drink like this, you should also try this authentic Mexican hot chocolate.
- Rosemary - I recently learned one of my bff's is allergic to lavender. Rosemary and lavender are similar and I've often used them interchangeably in savoury dishes so I decided to try rosemary in this. It works great! It is a little less floral but has a wonderful herbal scent that pairs well with the honey. Simply swap a 3-4 inch sprig of rosemary for the lavender buds and prepare tea as directed.
- Vegan - Plant based lavender milk tea is just as good...really! Simply swap out the dairy milk for your favourite unsweetened plant based milk. I like a creamy milk so oat milk and almond milk are my favourites. Coconut milk works well too but will add it's distinct flavour. If you prefer not to use honey, you can use an equal amount of maple syrup instead.
- Sweetener - If you don't have honey, swap an equal amount of maple syrup or ¾ tablespoon of raw or brown sugar instead.
Want more lavender love? Here are some more ways to enjoy this floral tea.
- Iced Lavender Milk Tea - Once you've strained your tea, pour it into a tall glass full of ice cubes. For less ice melt, refrigerate milk tea for 30-60 minutes before pouring over ice.
- Lavender Latte - Brew lavender milk tea omitting the black tea. Fill a mug half full of honey sweetened lavender milk and top with a shot of espresso.
No fancy equipment is required for this easy milk tea recipe. I use a simple small saucepan and tea strainer. A milk foamer or frother is nice but not essential. In a pinch, you can even heat the milk in a microwave before steeping the lavender and black tea.
Store leftover lavender milk tea covered in the refrigerator. This keeps very well up to 3 days. You can make it all ahead and simply reheat when ready to serve.
Reheat in saucepan, heated milk frother or microwave being careful not to let it come to a boil.
Milk tea does not freeze well. Please do not freeze it.
Personal Experience Note On Freezing Milk
Years ago I worked on a freezer boat out at sea for weeks at a time. We froze many food items to store enough for the weeks away. Milk (after being frozen and thawed) was ok for cooking with but not very pleasant for drinking due to the change in texture after freezing.
My top 2 tips for making the best milk tea are:
- Don't let the milk come to a boil. Keep the heat no higher than medium, stirring and keeping a close eye on it so it gets just hot enough.
- Use a creamy milk. Whether you choose dairy or plant based kind of milk, choose one with a little fat content for a silky smooth and creamy lavender tea.
Thanks for reading along, I hope you enjoy this lavender tea recipe. If so, I would love it if you would tap the star rating on the recipe card.
Cheers and happy cooking, Friends! Sabrina
Have a wonderful day, Friends,
Lavender Milk Tea
- 1 tablespoon Lavender Buds
- 2 cups Milk dairy, oat or other plant based milk
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1 tablespoon Black or Earl Grey Tea
- Optional - Sprig Of Mint
- Add milk, honey and lavender buds to a heavy bottomed saucepan. Turn heat to medium and heat just until scalded. (Do not let it boil or milk may curdle.)
- Remove from heat, let steep 2 minutes, add tea (and mint if using) and steep 2 more minutes.
- Strain into cups and serve. (Reserve ½ cup of milk to froth and pour over at the end if you want a latte style top).