Kitchen Tools For This Recipe
- Kettle: Technically, you can use whichever method you prefer for heating up the water to a boil. However, when I bought my white electric Stag kettle I fell in LOVE. It is incredibly chic, the water heats up really quickly and comes in so many cute colors!
- Large Mixing Bowl: you can use any large heatproof mixing bowl for steeping the tea. Alternatively, if you want to make a single portion you can cut the recipe by ¼ and steep the tea in your mug.
- Tea Strainer or Cheese Cloth: Using a tea strainer will make steeping the tea a breeze. I did not have a tea strainer so I resorted to a fine mesh sieve and a cheese cloth which did the trick!
- Metal or glass straws: save the Earth. Use re-usable metal or glass straws.
Thai Tea Leaves Vs Powder Mix
Powder mixes have some drawbacks, but they also have many clear advantages. For one, they are incredibly convenient and require only water to make. They also can be improved with spices and boba tea if you are strapped for time or cash but still want a quick fix for Thai tea. Our recommended blend is the Qbubble Tea Powder Mix.
On the other hand, these Thai tea mixes have several apparent drawbacks which one should be aware of before making a purchase.
First, you cannot customise powder mixes according to your tastes. For example, if you like your tea stronger or with fewer spices, you cannot make these changes to a powder mix .
Second, these mixes contain many preservatives and ingredients, which could be a potential allergen or health hazard for some. Dairy and orange food dye are a few examples.
Finally, the taste of these Thai tea powders is vastly inferior to that of a freshly prepared beverage – it lacks the textural brightness and unprocessed flavours which come from using your ingredients.
And finally, buying your ingredients and making this drink is more financially responsible in the long run since it costs less than purchasing ready-use packets multiple times. Thus, these mixes can be better in some situations, but making it fresh is often the best. Make your choice wisely!
How To Store Iced Tea
Its best to store iced tea a glass or stainless-steel container instead of a plastic container. Keep it in the refrigerator at all times, covered tightly with a lid to prevent the tea from oxidizing and absorbing off-flavors. If youve added a sweetener to the iced tea, the CDC recommends drinking it within eight hours to prevent fermentation or bacterial contamination. Unsweetened tea is technically okay to drink for three to four days, although it will start to lose its flavor after the first 24 hours.
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Sugar Free Thai Iced Tea
I wanted to make a low carb version of this classic drink. To achieve this, instead of sweetening Thai Iced Tea with sugar, I used a combination of granulated monkfruit/erythritol blend and stevia glycerite. I used 2 tablespoons of evaporated milk per serving, but you could use regular heavy cream instead if you prefer.
Alternatively, you can use Keto Sweetened Condensed Milk, coconut milk, or even regular cream instead of evaporated milk.
How To Make Thai Iced Tea
Simply fill your press with water, add in 4 tablespoons of sugar, then heat in the microwave until boiling.
Stir to make sure the sugar has dissolved, then add in the Thai Iced Tea mix.
Let it set for about 10 minutes or so, then stir with a wooden spoon and press down the plunger to separate the solids from the liquids.
Place your French press directly into the fridge and let it cool.
When you are ready for some tea, just pour it directly over ice and then splash in some half-and-half to achieve that creamy taste and beautiful look that Thai Iced Tea is famous for.
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How To Make Thai Ice Tea Recipe
To begin making the Thai Ice Tea, in a large saucepan, bring water to a boil and turn off the heat. Add the tea leaves and stir. Let the tea brew for 5 minutes.
Strain the tea into a pitcher and discard the tea leaves. Stir in the honey, brown sugar and vanilla extract.
Stir well to dissolve all the sugar until it combines it well into the tea. Check the taste and adjust the sweetness accordingly. Refrigerate the tea for 3 to 4 hours.
Once tea is chilled, prepare serving glasses with generous portions of ice.
Fill 3/4 th of the glass the brewed Bodh Second Flush Black Tea. Finally top it with coconut milk, stir gently and serve.
Watch The Video For Making Thai Iced Tea:
Fast forward about 7 years later as Im sitting in Chicago eating Thai food and sipping my Thai iced tea. My brain light bulb pops on: We need to make Thai tea! Auntie told me how easy it was to make and why havent we made it before? Here you have it. All I can say is that if youre a fan of Thai iced tea at $3.25 a pop, then you must make this now.
Not only will you be saving a big wad of cash on a yearly basis, but youll also have a bottomless pitcher of Thai tea. This huge party pitcher will allow you to savor, sip and share with friends. This Thai iced tea recipe is so easy. Pretty much every YouTube video you see uses the same brand and shows the same steps. As far as the creamy layer goes, many people use different ingredients such as half and half or whole milk. Other options include coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk and even low-fat milk. Choose your creamy poison.
How to Make Easy Thai Iced Tea. More Photos in Recipe Box Below:
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Whats In Thai Iced Tea
In general, Thai iced tea is made up of a tea mix thats steeped in hot water, then mixed traditionally with sweetened condensed milk and topped with crushed ice. However, you can also use regular white sugar or make your own simple syrup and add a milk of your choosing.
The Thai iced tea mix packets themselves have very limited labels from my experience. All of my test packets list some sort of tea , maybe sugar, and always some sort of food coloring.
Why Is It Orange
You can quickly identify Thai tea by its bright orange colour. However, black tea isn’t orange. So what gives it this distinctive hue? As it turns out, this may have something to do with its history as well.
The palace chefs used to brew the tea leaves for the king. After that, they used the same leaves again so that the domestic staff could have their fill. Since reused leaves lack aroma and flavour, they added spices to the drink. These include herbs such as turmeric and tamarind. These spices naturally tend to turn drinks orange.
Another reason could be that restaurant chefs in Thailand added orange colouring to differentiate Thai tea from Thai iced coffee, which has a similar appearance.
And finally, some sources state that when cooks adapted the drink to fit Western palates, chefs added the bright orange colour. The added colouring was mainly to attract people’s attention. However, they also loaded it with spices and flavourings to make it more exciting.
Regardless of the real reason, the orange colour is not necessary to enjoy the bold flavour of Thai tea. However, if the orange hue is essential to you, it is easy to achieve the colour without using food colouring. You can thank one unique spice: turmeric. Our recipe has a note on how much to add.
However, feel free to omit it if you’re only concerned with the tea flavour. If you don’t want to use natural colouring, we have listed the correct amount of food colouring in our recipe below.
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What Is Thai Iced Tea
Thai iced tea sometimes referred to as Thai Tea, is a popular drink that originates from Thailand. It can be found in almost all boba shops and most Thai restaurants in the United States.
Thai iced tea is made from strongly brewed black tea, sweetened with sugar and/or condensed milk, and a splash of dairy or creamer. And of course, its usually served over ice.
Sounds amazing right?
Thai Iced Tea Or Thai Milk Tea
Thai iced tea, also known as Thai milk tea and cha yen , is a tasty and refreshing drink sold on many streets of Thailand. If youve been here, chances are youve had this Thai drink or seen people walking around carrying a plastic bag with an orange-colored liquid inside and a straw poking out . Even if you havent been to Thailand, you may have come across Thai iced tea already, as its so popular that many Thai restaurants abroad do serve it.
This drink is creamy, refreshing, and has a really nice smell to it. If youve just had, say, tom yum goong, Thai chicken panang curry, Thai basil chicken, Thai garlic pork, or Thai beef green curry for a meal, cha yen is such an amazing drink to wash that all down. Oh and if you really love the taste of Thai tea, dont forget to check out my Thai Tea Cheesecake recipe!
Fun Fact: You can also have this drink hot. But without ice, we tend to call this very same drink cha nom ron which translates to hot milk tea .
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How To Make The Real Thai Iced Tea From Scratch
Iced tea is an excellent beverage to drink on steamy days, but Thai iced tea is the perfect antidote for spicy meals. It’s the ideal pair for popular Thai dishes like pad prik king and tom yum.
This deliciously creamy, lightly caffeinated, mildly spiced, and delightful drink with its popular burnt orange color is great to behold. Thai iced tea is simple to make at home, and it’s what you’ll find at your favorite Thai restaurant or on the Bangkok streets.
You don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment. All you need is a tea kettle or a saucepan to make this delicious beverage. But before we show you how to do it, here are a few essential things to know about Thai iced tea.
Is Thai Iced Teas Healthy
That depends! With this recipe, you can add as much or as little sugar you prefer in your tea. Also, you dont have to use condensed milk. You can use healthier alternatives like coconut milk or skim milk instead which will make the tea better for you. Ultimately, I think of having Thai Iced Tea as a treat and not something I consume daily, so go and enjoy your delicious condensed milk!
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How To Make Restaurant Thai Iced Tea At Home
The only difference in our Thai tea recipe when compared to most restaurant versions is that were using a little less sugar. But really, once you get the basics down on making Thai iced tea you can customize the flavors and concentration the way you like. Its one of those recipes that is great no matter how you make it because its just so decadent and satisfying.
One of the key factors in making it like the restaurants is using authentic Thai tea mixes. These Thai tea mixes are normally dyed with yellow food coloring and thats what gives it its bright orange color. Also, Thai tea has a vanilla aroma to it. So if you want to have the brilliant orange color and flavors like most of the Thai restaurants, then this is one of the brands of Thai tea to buy: Number-One Thai Tea Mix.
Theres other brands of Thai tea mixes to buy, some weve loved, and others seemed a bit flat. Because they are imported, and it seems like everyone is having supply issues, sometimes we have to switch between whats available. Weve tried as many as we can get our hands on to find you the best Thai tea mixes to buy, Heres another great one we love: Number One Thai Tea Mix.
Heres a re-usable cloth tea filter that can also be helpful as well. We usually make large batches, so we just simmer the tea leaves in the hot water.
What Does Thai Tea Taste Like
Thai tea is sweeter than regular tea due to sugar and condensed milk. And the milk makes it creamier and thicker. So the mouthfeel is cool and refreshing, but the spices make it warm simultaneously.
The dominant flavour is from the variety of black tea used in its preparation. However, we can also find several other flavours present.
Overall, this drink is great if you like tea, boba milk tea, or milkshakes. Also, since many serve the beverage over ice, it’s an ideal beverage for the summer.
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Ingredients For This Recipe
For this Thai Iced Tea recipe, I opted to use a Thai Tea Mix for the most authentic flavor. You can make the tea from scratch but that will require you to buy a few extra aromatics.
- Pantai Thai Tea Mix: After scouring the internet, the most recommended Thai tea Mix was this Pantai brand. It has the boldest rich flavor and a brilliant orange tint. The second runner up for a Thai Tea Mix was this Original Thai Tea mix.
- Water: you will need to heat up the water to a boiling temperature 208°F .
- Brown Sugar: brown sugar adds another depth of sweetness with a hint of molasses. You can alternatively use granulated sugar instead.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: the sweetened condensed milk provides the rich creamy and sweet flavor in the Thai tea.
- Evaporated Milk: evaporated milk is what is traditionally used in Thai restaurants. However, you can substitute this with regular milk or half and half.
Questions You May Have
Is there caffeine in this drink?
Yes, theres caffeine in the black tea so theres caffeine in this drink.
What makes Thai iced tea so orange?
The bright orange color is from the red and yellow food coloring thats in the Thai tea mix.
Can I make this without freezing the condensed milk and evaporated milk?
Yes! Just stir the two together and pour it into the tea. I freeze the two and whisk so that the drink has a nice, rich frothy topping.
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The Special Tool You Need: A Traditional Thai Tea Filter
A traditional Thai tea filter is a muslin bag or sock with a stainless steel handle. Its very old school, yet still used by most street vendors. This little tool cheap, reusable and does the job well. There are many sizes available but a small one will be enough for your homemade Thai iced tea. Again, you can get this on or use a fine mesh strainer you might already have.
How Many Calories Does Thai Iced Tea Have
Unfortunately, Thai iced tea contains more creamer and sugar than traditional boba flavors. This makes it generally less healthy than other drinks.
The exact calorie range of Thai iced tea can vary greatly depending on how much sugar and cream are used. To put it into perspective, usually, Thai iced tea will have more calories than a can of Coca Cola. The number of calories per serving can get even higher if youre drinking Thai iced tea with boba pearls.
So if youre thinking about achieving that summer body soon Thai iced tea might not be so friendly.
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How To Store Thai Iced Tea
If you plan on making large batches of this tea, which I highly recommend, then youll want to store the tea in glass jars with lids or in a pitcher. Keeping them in the single-serve-sized jars makes them easy to grab and go. The tea will keep for up to 7 days stored in the refrigerator.
It is entirely your choice if you would like to add the sweetened milk mixture to your tea during storage or keep it stored separately. The milk mixture only keeps for about 4 to 5 days if you add in whole milk or evaporated milk. Keep this separate and the sweetened condensed milk will last for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
S To Make Thai Iced Tea
Note: Stirring hot water for sweetened condensed milk makes it easier to mix.
Thats it! That is all you need to do to make restaurant-style Thai iced tea. This Thai iced tea recipe is just a baseline recipe you can modify this formula to make it suitable for your own tastes!
Read our other popular recipes articles for boba at home!
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