How to Make a Tea Float

A treat perfect for your Valentine!

That is NOT a typo. We are not discussing how to make tea float (as in those little leaves or bits of leaf dust on the surface of the water). We’re also not talking about parades here. But we are discussing a rather unique dessert idea that is not a latté, not a smoothie, and not even iced tea. It is a tea float. You know, like a root beer float but with tea.

I usually leave the recipes to more able writers and those with better cooking skills, but ice cream and me have been friends for decades now. Not just friends – more like bosom buddies, as in if ice cream is within arms’ length of me, it doesn’t have to worry about melting. It won’t last long enough for that. Time to introduce this good friend to another good friend: tea. You might say this is a twist on Thai Milk Tea or even Pearl Tea (also called Bubble Tea). Start with one that can go well with milk so it doesn’t clash with the ice cream and optional whipped cream (hey, there’s no sense in skimping here – if you’re gonna have one of these, you might as well accept that the calorie count will be a bit hefty, not to mention the fat content). If you’re a maraschino cherries lover (also optional), be sure the tea you select will go with them. So a fruit flavored one would very likely be out of the question. One thing to note: since you’re not using a carbonated beverage as the base, you won’t get some of that foaming action when you combine the ingredients.

1. Thai Milk Tea Float. 2. Green tea float. (From Yahoo! Images)
1. Thai Milk Tea Float. 2. Green tea float. (From Yahoo! Images)

My recipe:

  • Any black tea blend (my fave is English Breakfast with Scottish Breakfast Tea being a close second) – steeped up double strength.
  • Put two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a 12-ounce glass.
  • Pour the tea over it (you can let the tea cool to room temperature or chill overnight in the refrigerator).
  • Top with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.
  • Enjoy! (the most important ingredient)

I am not the first one to have thought of this idea, though. There appear to be others thinking along the same lines, especially during these Dog Days of Summer.

Other recipes found online:

  • Turkey Hill Float Tea – A single scoop of ice cream in a separate compartment above the one that holds the tea. When the customer is ready to enjoy, he/she pulls a tab on the side of container, which allows the ice cream to drop down into the iced tea.
  • Cold Brew Tea-Time Ice Cream Float – In 2-quart pitcher, pour water over tea bags; brew 5 minutes, dunking tea bags occasionally. Remove tea bags. Stir in brown sugar until blended. Pour tea into four glasses and top with vanilla ice cream. Garnish, if desired, with whipped cream and serve immediately.
  • Green Tea Ice Cream Float – A Summer delight from Japan. Soft green tea ice cream in a cup of chilled green tea. The perfect summer coolant.
  • Creamy Ice Tea Floats – This recipe uses Thai iced tea as the drink’s base, instead of a carbonated pop drink.
  • Ice Cream Tea Float – Step by step photos to create the perfect cooling treat.

Lots more options are available. Choose your style and enjoy. It’ll be Fall before you know it with cooler temps ahead.

© 2016-2020 A.C. Cargill photos and text

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