When serving this tea, keep in mind that this is strong and best consumed in small doses (Burmese teacups are much smaller than American mugs). For the best flavor, use loose Assam tea with the consistency of ground coffee (not whole leaf). Look for it in Indian grocery stores that sell ingredients for chai, but opt for tea without spices mixed in. Alternatively, select English tea bags, like PG Tips or Tetley. Evaporated milk in the United States has a sweeter milky flavor than the evaporated milk in Myanmar. The best option is Black & White, the brand with the black-and-white-cow on the label that many use for making Hong Kong milk tea. Condensed milk sold at Asian grocery stores also has a less milky flavor than condensed milk sold at the American or Mexican market, and it is closer in flavor to what is used in Myanmar. Look for brands like Longevity, which is used in Vietnamese iced coffee.
If you want to make larger batches, use 1 black English tea bag or 1 tablespoon loose black tea for each additional 6 ounces of water. Any extra tea can be chilled and served over ice.
18 ounces water
3 tablespoons loose black Assam tea or 3 English tea bags
4 cups evaporated milk
1 tablespoon condensed milk
Fill 4 small teacups or mugs with hot water to heat them up.
Have a small fine-mesh strainer and heatproof liquid measuring cup ready. In a small pot, bring the water to a simmer. Add the tea and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Strain the tea into the heatproof liquid measuring cup, pressing on the tea solids or tea bags to extract all of the tannins and flavor.
Pour both types of milk into the same pot used to boil the tea. Heat gently, whisking occasionally, until hot. (Avoid scorching the bottom of the pot.)
Pour the tea into the pot with the milk and whisk, frothing the milk. Dump the hot water out of the teacups and ladle in the tea.