Thai Tea (also known as Thai Iced Tea) is a popular iced drink hailing from Thailand, commonly found in Thai restaurants across the US. The deep amber color of the tea and its milk-tinted upper layer make this beverage really stand out on your table, and the combination of strongly-brewed tea, dairy and sugar make it a perfect complement to hot weather and spicy food.
Thai Tea is is made from strongly-brewed black tea, often spiced with ingredients such as star anise, crushed tamarind, cardamom, and occasionally others as well (often making this beverage a favorite among masala chai tea fans). This brew is then sweetened with sugar and condensed milk, and served over iced. For the sake of flavor, consistency and visual appeal, glasses of Thai Tea are usually topped with additional dairy, such as evaporated milk, whole milk, half and half, or coconut milk (this last one, of course, is not actually dairy, but you get the picture).
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Sound good? Well, here’s a thai iced tea recipe to help you get started!
- 3/4 C black tea leaves (approximately 3 oz.)
- star anise, ground tamarind, cardamom and/or other spices, to taste (optional)
- 6 C boiling water
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1/2 C sweetened condensed milk
- 1 C evaporated milk (most traditional), whole milk, half and half, or coconut milk
- Steep the tea leaves (and any optional spices) in the water for 5 minutes, then remove the tea leaves from the water (either by removing the infuser you’re using, or by straining the water to remove the leaves if loose).
- While the tea is still hot, stir in sugar until dissolved, then stir in condensed milk.
- Allow tea mixture to cool to room temperature or colder.
- Fill tall iced tea glasses with ice, and pour in tea mixture until glasses are roughly 3/4 full.
- Slowly top off glasses with evaporated milk, whole milk or coconut milk, but do not stir (final dairy should remain primarily as its own layer at the top of the glass).
It’s important to make the tea very strong, since it is ultimately diluted with milk and ice. Also, you can make a large batch of the sweetened tea in advance and keep it in the refrigerator, then you can just pour it over ice and top it with the evaporated/whole/coconut milk at the time of serving. For a caffeine-free version of this iced treat, try our organic rooibos.
Makes 6 glasses of Thai Tea.