Hong Kong Yuanyang: Coffee With Tea

Cup of coffee on a table of wood.
Jose A. Bernat Bacete / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 2
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
38 Calories
2g Fat
4g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 38
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 25mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 59mg 5%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 137mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Although there is no agreement into who invented this flavorful drink, we know that yuanyang (sometimes called yuenyeung, yinyeung, yinyong, or simply "coffee with tea") is one of the most popular drinks in Hong Kong. Tasty and energizing, this drink is made out of coffee and tea, and has been modernized to adapt to the ever-changing needs of customers.

Now available as a frozen drink, or made with different types of milk, yuanyang is easily found on the street offered by many vendors, with each offering its own secret formula. Ours captures the typical flavor of this extraordinary beverage. You can choose to drink it cold over ice or to have it warm, mixing it as soon as your drip coffee is ready.

Our simple recipe allows you to have the classic version of the beverage, easily mixed with homemade milk tea and fresh-brewed coffee. A sweet and creamy drink, it's also injected with a powerful jolt of caffeine, great for when you need a pick-me-up treat or when you want to recharge your batteries to start the day. We suggest you use Bolivian drip coffee for the recipe, as this type of coffee is grown at a high altitude, which translates to beans that developed under harsher conditions and take longer to mature, giving the brew a lot of complexity and strength. If you can't find Bolivian coffee, choose a dark roast, like French, Italian, or espresso.

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium-sized pitcher, mix the coffee with the tea.

  3. Prepare two 8-ounce glasses by adding ice to taste to each.

  4. Pour the coffee and tea mixture over the ice.

Why Is Yuanyang So Popular?

The history of Hong Kong made it possible for yuanyang to be so popular. From 1839 until 1997, Hong Kong was under British rule. During this time, capitalism, modernization, and Western views made an indelible imprint on the economics and culture of the island, while British customs became part of the local culture. Among those rituals is the famous afternoon tea, a tradition in which fancy cakes, confections, fine patisserie, and finger sandwiches are served amongst the finest teas. The craze for tea persists, but as there became less time to sit down and enjoy a spread of pastries and tea in the middle of the afternoon, yuanyang seemed like a great two-in-one beverage in which tea meets a much-needed coffee shot to keep going with the day.

Adjust the Yuanyang to Your Taste

Our recipe uses a 1:1 ratio of coffee to milk tea and it's a great place to begin. But adjusting the beverage to your liking is very simple and just requires a little experimentation:

  • If the 1:1 ratio doesn't fill your needs, you can try to go as far as 7 parts of milk tea to 3 parts of coffee. Measure in ounces and aim for a total of 10 to 12 ounces of the prepared mixture per person. The flavor is also going to depend on the strength of your coffee as well as the type of tea.
  • As milk tea is already sweetened, try to play with the amount of condensed milk used in it.

Quick Yuanyang

If pressed for time, use this quick version of the recipe for a cup of yuanyang:

  • Place 2 bags of black tea in a cup of boiling water and let sit for 8 minutes. Remove the bags.
  • Brew one cup of dark roast coffee.
  • Add the tea to the coffee and mix with 3 ounces of condensed milk.
  • For a cold version pour the mixture over ice.