Easy recipe to make the most delicious tea with cinnamon and lemon infused milk
What is leche merengada?
Leche merengada is a traditional Spanish drink that translates to “meringue milk” in English.
It’s a refreshing beverage made with milk, sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest, and beaten egg whites.
The mixture is typically chilled until it thickens slightly, resulting in a creamy and frothy texture.
Leche merengada is often enjoyed as a dessert or a refreshing treat on hot summer days in Spain.
Can you make leche merengada without egg-whites?
In fact, many Spanish people, including myself, often prefer a simpler version of leche merengada by infusing milk with cinnamon and lemon peel, sweetening it, and enjoying it cold without adding beaten egg whites.
This variation offers a tasty, fragrant and refreshing taste, with a creamy texture due to the slight evaporation of the milk.
To achieve the traditional frozen texture of leche merengada in a vegan version, you can use aquafaba (the liquid leftover from cooking chickpeas) to make a meringue:
Leche Merengada Milk Tea
As we’ve seen, leche merengada is a refreshing summer treat typically enjoyed chilled.
However, to my surprise, my kids absolutely love its taste even when it’s warm!
They enjoy it so much that sometimes I have to make sure they don’t finish it all before it cools down.
This sparked an idea in my mind to use the cinnamon and lemon-infused milk to enhance my regular tea, and let me tell you, it’s a fantastic combination!
The infused milk adds a creamy texture and natural flavor that no tea blend can replicate.
The process of infusing the milk does take some time, but it’s actually quite simple, and the best part is, you don’t even need to let it cool before using it with tea!
What you’ll need
Notes about ingredients and alternatives
Make sure to only use the outer part (the yellow zest) of the lemon, as the inner white part can impart a bitter taste.
You can also use the zest of other citrus fruits you enjoy, such as oranges.
For a unique twist on this recipe, you can also incorporate other spices of your liking, such as cardamom or star anise.
Feel free to use your preferred type of milk.
I usually opt for low-fat milk in this recipe as any type of milk becomes incredibly creamy during the simmering process.
Almond milk is also a great alternative, adding a delightful nutty flavor.
Just be cautious not to scorch the almond milk while heating.
The traditional leche merengada is typically quite sweet, but since I prefer drinks that are not overly sweet, I use a minimal amount of sugar in this recipe.
Alternatively, you can even omit it entirely (although I find that a small amount works best in the measurements provided here).
There are also other sweetener alternatives you can use. Personally, I often opt for xylitol because it has fewer carbs (which is important for my husband) and is tooth-friendly.
If you prefer a caffeine-free option, rooibos tea works wonderfully.
Time needed: 15 minutes
How to make leche merengada milk tea
- Make leche merengada
Simmer milk with cinnamon, lemon zest and sugar for around 10 minutes.
- Make tea
Prepare tea following package’s recommendations.
For black tea, you’ll need to steep for around 3-5 minutes in fresh boiled water.
Remove the tea solids or teabag once the steep time is over.
- Add strained milk
Strain the milk.
If desired, froth the milk (this is the frother I use) and pour over your tea.
I often enjoy saving a portion of the cinnamon and lemon-infused milk (leche merengada) to chill and drink it as is, especially for my kids who prefer it that way instead of with tea.
However, if you prefer to have it all with tea, you can skip the step of making tea separately.
Instead, as you remove the pot from the heat, add the tea directly to the milk mixture.
Allow it to steep for 5 minutes, then strain before serving.
Definitely! Just allow the milk and the tea to cool down (you can also cold brew the tea) and serve chilled and/or over ice.
No, pouring leche merengada (milk infused with cinnamon and lemon zest) is not a traditional pairing, but as a tea enthusiast, I love exploring different flavor combinations with tea, and I must say, this one is absolutely delicious.
Leche Merengada Milk Tea
- Peel the lemon and break the cinnamon stick to allow it better release its flavor. In a small pot, combine the lemon zest, cinnamon, sugar, and milk. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes.Stir regularly to avoid the mixture from scorching.
- Remove the milk mixture from the heat before it comes to a boil. Let it steep while you make the tea.
- Steep the tea in fresh boiled water according to package instructions (usually 3-5 minutes). Then remove the tea solids whether by removing the tea bag or straining if you use loose leaf tea.
- Strain the milk, froth if desired and pour over the tea.