Chinese Almond Tea Recipe: A Comforting Drink to Try at Home – Seaco Online
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Chinese Almond Tea Recipe: A Comforting Drink to Try at Home

Chinese almond tea is a traditional Chinese dessert made with almonds, rice, and rock sugar, giving it a nutty and slightly sweet flavour. It's easy to make and can be enjoyed hot or cold, making it a versatile drink that's perfect for any occasion.

A steaming cup of Chinese almond tea sits on a wooden table, surrounded by almond slices and a small teapot

Chinese almond tea has a long history and significant cultural significance in China. It is believed to have originated in the Tang dynasty and was originally used for medicinal purposes. Over time, it became a popular dessert and is now enjoyed by people all over the world. The tea is also known as 杏仁茶 in Chinese and is a popular ingredient in many Chinese desserts.

Ingredients and substitutions are key to making the perfect Chinese almond tea. Sweet almonds, bitter almonds, rice, and rock sugar are the main ingredients, but you can also use other types of nuts or sweeteners if you prefer. You can also add seafood to the recipe to give it a unique flavour. For example, adding dried scallops or shrimp can give the tea a savoury taste that pairs well with the nutty flavour of the almonds.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese almond tea is a traditional Chinese dessert that's easy to make and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
  • Chinese almond tea has a long history and significant cultural significance in China.
  • You can add seafood to the recipe to give it a unique flavour, such as dried scallops or shrimp.

History and Significance

A steaming pot of Chinese almond tea sits on a wooden table, surrounded by almond shells and a mortar and pestle. A traditional teacup and saucer are placed next to the pot, with steam rising from the fragrant brew

Cultural Context

Chinese almond tea is a traditional drink that has been enjoyed for centuries in China. It is a popular dessert drink that is often served at the end of a meal, especially during special occasions like Chinese New Year. The tea is made from a combination of almonds and glutinous rice, which are blended together to create a creamy, nutty flavour.

Almond tea is a part of authentic Chinese food culture and is considered to be one of the healthiest Chinese recipes. It is believed that the drink was first created by the imperial families in ancient China and was enjoyed for its health benefits. Today, the tea is still enjoyed for its unique taste and nutritional value.

Health Benefits

Almond tea is a nutritious drink that is rich in protein and other essential nutrients. It is known to improve complexion and make your skin glow. The tea is also believed to have a calming effect on the body and can help to relieve stress and anxiety.

In addition to almonds and glutinous rice, seafood can also be used to make the tea even more nutritious. For example, you can add dried scallops or dried shrimp to the tea to enhance its flavour and nutritional value. These seafood options are high in protein and are a great addition to any Chinese almond tea recipe.

Chinese almond tea is a delicious and healthy drink that is easy to make at home. With its unique flavour and nutritional benefits, it is a must-try for anyone who loves authentic Chinese food.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A table with bowls of almonds, sugar, and tea leaves. A pot of boiling water and a strainer nearby. A recipe book open to the Chinese almond tea page

Main Ingredients

To make Chinese almond tea, you will need the following main ingredients:

  • Sweet almonds
  • Bitter almonds
  • Short-grain rice
  • Rock sugar
  • Water

Sweet almonds and bitter almonds are the key ingredients in this recipe. If you are unable to find bitter almonds, you can use all sweet almonds instead. Short-grain rice is used to give the tea a creamy texture. Rock sugar is used to sweeten the tea, but you can also use other sweeteners like honey or brown sugar. Water is used to make the tea, but you can also use milk or coconut milk for a creamier texture.

Alternative Options

If you are unable to find some of the main ingredients, here are some alternative options you can use:

  • Apricot kernels: Chinese sweet almonds, also known as apricot kernels, can be used as a substitute for sweet almonds.
  • Pinch of salt: You can add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavour of the tea.
  • Sweetened almond powder: If you are in a hurry, you can use sweetened almond powder instead of grinding your own almonds.
  • Ginkgo nuts: If you want to add a different flavour to your tea, you can add ginkgo nuts. They have a slightly bitter taste and can be found in most Asian supermarkets.

As a suggestion, you can also add seafood to the tea. Dried scallops or dried squid can be used to add a savoury flavour to the tea. Simply soak the seafood in water for a few hours before adding it to the tea.

Preparation Techniques

Almonds and water simmer in a pot. A muslin cloth strains the mixture. Sugar dissolves into the warm liquid

Blanching Almonds

Before you start making Chinese almond tea, you need to blanch the almonds. This process helps to remove the skins and make them easier to blend. To do this, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the almonds. Let them boil for about a minute, then drain them and rinse them under cold water. The skins should come off easily when you rub them with a towel.

Creating the Perfect Blend

Once you've blanched the almonds, it's time to create the perfect blend. You'll need to use a blender to grind the almonds and rice into a fine powder. A balanced ratio of sweet and bitter almonds is essential for a great flavour.

For a single serving of Chinese almond tea, you'll need about 80g of sweet almonds and 20g of bitter almonds. Add 40g of glutinous rice to the mixture and blend it all together until it's fine.

Next, pour the mixture into a heavy or thick-bottomed pot, add 600ml of water, and bring it to a boil. Stir the mixture frequently, then add about 30g of rock sugar to taste. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

The total preparation time for Chinese almond tea is about 12 hours, including soaking time for the almonds and rice. The cook time is about 10 minutes.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can add seafood to your Chinese almond tea recipe. Shrimp or lobster can be a great addition to this dish. Simply add the seafood to the pot during the simmering stage and cook until it's fully cooked through.

Cooking Process

Almonds are being ground into a fine powder. Boiling water is poured over the almond powder in a pot. The mixture is stirred and simmered. Sugar is added and stirred until dissolved

Simmering the Tea

To make Chinese almond tea, you will need a pot to simmer the ingredients in. You can use a heavy or thick bottomed pot for this purpose. The ingredients required for the tea include sweet and bitter almonds, rice or glutinous rice, water, and rock sugar.

Firstly, soak the sweet and bitter almonds and rice with water overnight. The next day, blend the mixture in a blender until fine. Pour the mixture into the pot and add the remaining water. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir frequently. Add white rock sugar and continue to stir until it dissolves.

Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes. This will allow the flavours to infuse into the tea and the consistency to thicken. You can also add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavour.

Adjusting Consistency

After simmering the tea for about 30 minutes, you can adjust the consistency to your liking. If the tea is too thick, you can add more water to thin it out. If it is too thin, you can simmer it for a few more minutes to thicken it.

To strain the tea, you can use a cheesecloth or muslin. Simply pour the tea through the cloth and squeeze out the liquid. This will remove any impurities and give the tea a smooth texture.

While seafood is not typically used in Chinese almond tea, you can experiment with adding seafood to the recipe. For example, you could try adding dried scallops or shrimp to the mixture before simmering. This will give the tea a unique flavour and add a seafood twist to the recipe.

Serving Suggestions

A steaming cup of Chinese almond tea sits on a wooden table, surrounded by almond slices and a small teapot


Chinese almond tea is a versatile drink that can be paired with a variety of desserts. If you're serving it as a dessert soup, consider pairing it with baked puff pastry or mini Portuguese egg tarts. The flaky texture of the pastry complements the smoothness of the almond tea, while the sweetness of the tarts balances out the nuttiness of the drink.

If you're serving the almond tea as a chilled drink, consider pairing it with a light and refreshing dessert such as lemon chiffon cake. The tanginess of the cake complements the nuttiness of the tea and provides a nice contrast to the creamy texture of the drink.

Presentation Tips

When serving Chinese almond tea, presentation is key. Consider serving it in a clear glass or teacup to showcase the beautiful light brown colour of the tea. You could also garnish the drink with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or a few slivered almonds for added texture and flavour.

If you want to take your presentation to the next level, consider serving the almond tea in a hollowed-out coconut shell. This not only adds a fun tropical twist to the drink, but also provides a unique serving vessel that is sure to impress your guests.

As for seafood, Chinese almond tea is not typically served with seafood. However, if you're feeling adventurous, you could experiment with pairing it with a light and delicate seafood dish such as steamed fish or prawns. The nuttiness of the tea would complement the delicate flavour of the seafood, while the sweetness of the dish would balance out the nuttiness of the tea.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming cup of Chinese almond tea surrounded by scattered almond slices and a decorative tea set on a wooden table

How do you make Chinese almond tea with almond milk?

To make Chinese almond tea with almond milk, you can substitute the water in the recipe with almond milk. However, keep in mind that this will change the flavour and texture of the tea. Also, almond milk can be quite thick, so you may need to add more water to get the desired consistency.

What's the best recipe for Chinese almond tea?

The best recipe for Chinese almond tea is subjective and depends on personal taste. However, a traditional recipe involves soaking sweet and bitter almonds and rice in water overnight, blending the mixture, and then simmering it on the stove with rock sugar and water until it thickens. You can also add other ingredients like sesame seeds or vanilla extract to enhance the flavour.

Can Chinese almond tea help with a cough?

There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that Chinese almond tea can help with a cough. However, some people believe that the warm, soothing liquid can provide temporary relief from a sore throat or cough.

What are the health benefits of Chinese almond soup?

Chinese almond soup, also known as almond tea, is believed to have several health benefits. Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. Almond tea is also thought to promote relaxation and improve digestion.

Are there any specific advantages to drinking Chinese almond tea?

Drinking Chinese almond tea can have several advantages, including providing a warm, soothing beverage that can be enjoyed any time of day. It is also a low-calorie and low-sugar alternative to other sweetened beverages. Additionally, almonds are a good source of healthy fats and protein, making almond tea a nutritious and filling drink.

How does Taiwanese almond tea differ from the Chinese version?

Taiwanese almond tea, also known as almond milk tea, is a variation of Chinese almond tea that includes the addition of black tea and sometimes tapioca pearls. It is typically served cold and is a popular drink in Taiwan and other parts of Asia.