Yuan Yang is a popular beverage that can be found in cha chaan tengs, dai pai dongs, cafes and restaurants across Hong Kong.
Served either hot or iced, Yuan Yang – pronounced as Yuen Yeung in Cantonese – is essentially an unlikely marriage of brewed coffee and Hong Kong-style milk tea into one kick-ass caffeine-loaded rejuvenating drink.
The origins of this awesome concoction remain quite a topic of controversy, with various sources claiming Yuan Yang to have originated from the Dutch. But that doesn’t matter. Regardless of its birthplace, Yuan Yang has been long considered a staple amongst the Hong Kongers and there are even Yuan Yang competitions held in Hong Kong annually.
Recipes of Hong Kongers’ beloved Yuan Yang beverage vary across the country, but two key ingredients – milk tea and black coffee – remain present at all times.
And as a general rule of thumb, milk tea is always the primary element. While coffee snobs and tea connoisseurs may scoff away at this seemingly ridiculous combination, we have to say that if you haven’t tried Yuan Yang, you haven’t really lived. It is one miraculous marriage and one that has brought much blessings to many.
The aromatic drink possesses a myriad of flavours and the end result is unexpectedly harmonious. Creamy and mildly sweet with a lingering bitter aftertaste, this intriguing coffee-tea is certainly a must-try the next time you visit Hong Kong.
About the writer:
Hui Jun Ng is a staff writer for ladyironchef. She previously worked in the food and marketing industry. She loves traveling and enjoys exploring underrated destinations. In her free time, you will find her indulging in coffee and her all time favourite local dish – bak chor mee.