March 6, 2018

Pu-erh Tea Ice Cream 普洱茶雪糕

冰淇淋, Pu-erh Tea, chinese, tea, Ice Cream, homemade, no machine, 普洱, 茶, 雪糕, recipe
By Published: 2018-03-06
Something for the Chinese tea lover's pleasure...a soothing scoop or two of rich creamy homemade ice cream thoroughly scented and flavored with the earthy woodsy fragrance of Pu-erh tea 普洱茶.  We love Chinese Pu-erh tea in our house and drink it every single day.  

And since we also like to make our own ice cream (we've been doing for years even though we don't have an ice cream maker!) we decided to put these two favorite things together into one perfectly tea scented and creamily deliciously sweet Pu-erh Tea Ice Cream 普洱茶雪糕.  

Oh my gosh, I love this tea ice cream!  Why the heck didn't I do this before?  Turns out tea and ice cream is a made in heaven combination of fragrance and creaminess and just the perfect thing to go along with a leisurely afternoon tea break!

冰淇淋, Pu-erh Tea, chinese, tea, Ice Cream, 普洱, 茶, 雪糕, recipe

While we used Pu-erh tea to make the ice cream, as it is one of our favorite teas, the truth is that you can use whatever tea you fancy.  (More about pu-erh tea here.)  Dark woodsy teas of the earth, light green scented teas of leaves and sunshine, flower kissed teas, whatever your tea loving heart desires.  

We've made this ice cream twice so far, once with the Orange Pekoe tea that we use for the Hong Kong classic Iced Lemon Tea 香港凍檸茶, and once with my favorite wake up in the morning tea, Pu-erh 普洱茶.  Next time I'm going to use my new favorite tea, Shou Mei Tea 壽眉茶.  (Shou Mei Tea translates from the Chinese as 'Longevity Eyebrow tea', isn't that just wonderful?)

冰淇淋, Pu-erh Tea, chinese, tea, Ice Cream, 普洱, 茶, 雪糕, recipe

Infusing the tea flavor into your ice cream custard is the key step.  This is achieved by simply brewing the tea in the heated milk that will eventually make the custard for the ice cream.  Do remember that as flavors lessen in intensity when chilled, it is better to go for a strong flavored tea brew.  

Heat the milk until steam rising, toss in your tea and let infuse until flavors are released.  If you use teabags like lazy ole me it's a jiff to gently squeeze all liquid from the bags and remove them.  If you are a more serious tea drinker like my 老公 and use loose tea leaves you will need to sieve out the tea leaves.  Do taste the infusion for strength before proceeding.  Remember, make a strong, intense brew!

冰淇淋, Pu-erh Tea, chinese, tea, Ice Cream, 普洱, 茶, 雪糕, recipe

The egg yolks and the sugar are mixed together before being slowly incorporated with  the milk.  You stir the warm milk into the egg mixture tiny bit by tiny bit to slowly bring up the temperature of the egg mixture.  If the egg mixture is warmed too much and too quickly by the warm milk the egg will cook and you will have little bits of scrambled egg.  Once egg and milk are incorporated the mixture is heated again to make the final custard.

The number of egg yolks is up to you.  Use at least three egg yolks or more, I've used up to six.  The more yolks you use the creamier the ice cream will be.  For the sugar we used raw sugar instead of white in order to add a delicious hint of caramel.

冰淇淋, Pu-erh Tea, chinese, tea, Ice Cream, 普洱, 茶, 雪糕, recipe

The milk/egg mixture is then gently heated to form the custard.  To check if the custard is ready, dip a spoon into the custard.  When your finger can draw a line through the custard coating the back of the spoon and the line holds clean, then your custard is ready.

冰淇淋, Pu-erh Tea, chinese, tea, Ice Cream, 普洱, 茶, 雪糕, recipe

I  always pour my custard through a strainer to remove any bits of cooked egg.  This will help make a smooth ice cream.  In the photo above one of my tea bags had exploded on me (oops!) and thus I needed to strain out the tea leaves as well.  Though in retrospect I think that a few tea leaves speckling through the ice cream might look quite nice.

Once the custard is strained it needs to be cooled to room temperature and then made into ice cream either with an ice cream machine (I want this one) or, if you don't have that gadget, you can do it the old fashioned way by freezing and stirring, freezing and stirring the custard until your ice cream is made.  (See our detailed instructions below.)  

Either way you'll soon have lusciously smooth, fragrantly tea flavored homemade ice cream to enjoy with a steaming cup of tea.  I hope you all like this tea infused ice cream as much as we do, it's the perfect snack for the tea lover!

冰淇淋, Pu-erh Tea, chinese, tea, Ice Cream, 普洱, 茶, 雪糕, recipe
Pu-erh Tea Ice Cream Recipe
(makes around 3/4 quart)  Prep time:    Cook time: 


  • 1 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup raw sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 3-6 egg yolks (the more egg yolks the creamier)
  • 6 Pu-erh teabags (or the equivalent amount of your favorite tea)


In a small pot heat cream and milk over low heat until steam rises.  Remove from heat, add in tea bags (with paper tags removed) and cover.  Let sit for 10 mins or more until the tea flavor is fully released into the milk.  Squeeze liquid from tea bags and remove.  Return milk mixture to heat and heat again til the steam rises.  Remove from heat.

Mix egg yolks and sugar in bowl.  Add in milk mixture little by little, stirring after each addition.  Pour the milk egg mixture back into the pot and heat over low heat until the mixture thickens into a custard.  

To check if custard is formed, dip spoon in mixture and run finger over the mixture coating the back of the spoon.  If the line your finger makes on the spoon holds clean then your custard is done.  Remove from heat and strain into a bowl.  Let the custard cool to room temperature by placing in a bowl of iced water.

Make ice cream according to the instructions of your ice cream maker.  Or if you don't have a machine you can do it by hand like we do.  Cover the cooled custard and place in freezer.  Wait about an hour and half and then check.  You should see ice crystals starting to form at the sides of the custard.  Stir up the custard completely, breaking up the crystals as much as possible.  

Repeat this procedure of freezing and then stirring up for a 2-3 hours until the custard has an even texture like soft serve ice cream.  At this point the ice cream should be left to freeze over night.  

To serve bring ice cream out 5 mins ahead of time to let it soften.  Scoop and enjoy!