What Gives Thai Iced Tea Its Color
The food coloring that is added to the black tea that is used to make Thai Tea Mix gives Thai Iced Tea its distinctive and eye-catching hue. The color of the brewed tea, when taken by itself, is a dark scarlet. The color of the tea will change to an orangey-brown if sweetened condensed milk or another kind of milk is stirred into it.
What Is The Best Tea To Make Thai Tea
2 tablespoons of black tea made with loose leaves .Alternately, you may use four teabags of strong black tea, or you might prepare a Thai iced tea with four tablespoons of rooibos for a beverage that is free of caffeine.1 piece star anise.2 pods cardamom.Cinnamon stick, broken in half and used if desired.
What Is Thai Tea Made From
Black tea that has been brewed very strongly and then flavored with ingredients like crushed tamarind, star anise, cardamom, and occasionally other herbs and spices is what is known as Thai Tea.Thai Tea is created from black tea .After that, the beverage is served over ice after being sweetened with sugar and sweetened condensed milk.
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Thai Iced Tea Recipe Authentic Street Food Style
Thailand has produced a number of worldwide famous beverages:
Red Bull and Singha area few of the most well known, but theres no drink more famous than Cha Yen , or known throughout the world simply as Thai iced tea.
This sweet creamy beverage, that hardly even resembles a regular cup of black tea, is loved in Thailand and served at Thai restaurants around worldwide.
If you enjoy sweet and creamy drinks, theres hardly a more refreshing and drink option available for you.
Thai tea brand Cha Dra Muer
In Thailand, youll find countless vendors selling Thai tea on the streets, either from stables street stands and often from mobile motorbike drink carts.
Many of the cha yen vendors, use a brand of tea that comes in a red and white bag known as Cha Dra Muer or its just known as Number One Brand.
When I was in the US, at the Asian supermarket, I do remember seeing this same brand of tea, so I believe it is available if you live in a major city with an access to a large Asian supermarket.
If not, I think you can make this recipe with any black tea .
Yes, I accidentally opened the condensed milk from the bottom.
For this Thai iced tea recipe, youll need both sweetened condensed milk, and also evaporated milk.
Sweetened condensed milk is thick and sweet, almost like a syrup, while evaporated milk is like heavy cream, and is unsweetened.
Both come in a can, and the most popular version in Thailand is made by Carnation, though there are a number of other brands as well.
Does Thai Iced Tea Have Cinnamon
A genuine blue Thai delicacy, Thai Iced Tea is potent, concentrated, and very delicious. It contains a dollop of sweetened condensed milk and is made more flavorful by adding water, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, and black tea leaves. The orange color of brewed Thai tea is due to the addition of a yellow dye to the tea, which gives the blend its distinctive yellow hue.
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How To Make Evaporated Milk:
Can You Make Thai Iced Tea Ahead Of Time
Totally I have made the tea a day or two ahead of time and kept it stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. I would not add the sweetened condensed milk until ready to serve though- making the squeezable bottle a perfect find!
Please let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a star rating and comment below!
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What Is Iced Thai Tea Made Of
Black tea that has been brewed very strongly and then flavored with a variety of herbs and spices, including crushed tamarind, star anise, cardamom, and possibly other things as well, is what is known as Thai Tea . After that, the beverage is served over ice after being sweetened with sugar and sweetened condensed milk.
How To Make Thai Iced Tea
We’ll show you two ways to make Iced Thai tea: real Thai iced tea and regular Thai tea.
Most of the regular iced Thai tea mixes usually contain syrup or low-grade powder. But the real iced Thai tea gets its flavor from high-quality spices and black tea, excluding any artificial ingredient. That means your drink won’t become bright orange since the color comes from a dye added to the Thai tea mixes.
If you love masala chai and other milky or spiced black teas, then you’ll also love this beverage. If you don’t have all the spices listed in this recipe, that’s fine you can leave out one or two.
But if you want to get the full flavor, you can get tamarind powder at your local Indian or Southeast Asian market.
Even though you can use tea bags, we recommend using loose-leaf tea it tastes better because the loose-leaf flavor is richer and more complex.
Let’s start with the real Iced Thai tea.
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What Is Thai Iced Tea Made Of
There is a Thai tea mix you can buy and use to make the tea part or you can make it from black tea and some spices. If you make it from scratch, as I do in this recipe, you will not have the orange tint, but it will still taste fantastic!! Youll need:
- Star Anise is often used
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Eagle Brand® Squeeze Sweetened Condensed Milk
Whats The Difference Between Thai Tea And Chai Tea
Tea is the beverage that is made from loose leaves and can be enjoyed plain or with a spot of milk, while almost all chais use a strong CTC base that is balanced by the addition of milk and intensified in aroma and flavor by the addition of spices. This is a very broad and simple explanation of the difference between tea and chai.
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Thai Iced Tea In Thailand Vs Western Cultures
Interestingly, the orange color and spices were added when Thai tea became more and more popular in Westernized cultures in order to set it apart from regular, plain black tea. In fact, during the early years of westernized Thai iced tea, chefs would add orange food coloring to really give it a bright orange hue.
Nowadays, youll find both versions in Thailand- the traditional and the westernized version.
The following recipe is a less traditional version of the original.
Instructions For Making A Thai Tea Recipe From Scratch
If youve ever wondered what Thai tea is its a caffeinated tea beverage made using either Thai tea mix or fresh spices mixed with milk and sugar.
It can be served hot or cold and traditionally the burnt orange-colored tea is poured in first so its on the bottom and then topped with milk or other milk alternatives like sweetened condensed milk. The flavor is earthy and nutty and very sweet.
- Brew the tea. Place the tea bags, water, vanilla extract, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and turmeric into a medium-sized pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Strain it. Pour the tea mixture through a strainer to remove the whole spices. Allow the tea to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Prepare the milk. In a small bowl whisk the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk together until smooth.
- Assemble. Fill two glasses with ice and pour the tea over the ice. Pour the milk mixture over the tea. Garnish with mint leaves.
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Why Is It So Orange
Have you ever wondered why Thai tea has such an incredibly, and overly orange tone to it?
So did I.
After I read the ingredients list on the bag of tea, I discovered that it includes some C Yellow Number 6 .
So thats the secret, its not just that its really awesome yellow tea, its a food dye that they put into the tea leaves .
I think you could make this Thai iced tea recipe with any kind of black tea, and it might just not have that orange color, but I think it would taste fine.
But on the streets of Thailand, or if you go to a Thai restaurant and order iced tea, it will always be the orange color.
Thai iced tea recipe try it today
I used about 1 tablespoon of tea leaves for this recipe.
There are a number of different ways you can steep your tea leaves, but the point to remember is you just need to steep them in hot water for a few minutes until you tea is nice and dark orange in color.
I used a tea sock, but you can even just toss your leaves into a cup of hot water, leave it for a few minutes, and then strain out the leaves.
Thai iced tea is always prepared hot, and yet its consumed cold on ice.
But rather than sticking it into the fridge or freezer and cooling the tea off, its instead poured over a cup of crushed ice before being consumed. When you make your tea, if you taste test it when its still hot, you want it to be a little stronger and sweeter than you like it, and it will become diluted as soon as it hits the ice.
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.
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Recipe Notes And Expert Tips
- Add plenty of sugar but adjust the sweetness to your liking. The best Thai iced tea is very sweet just like southern sweet tea. While its not the most healthy ingredient, adding enough sugar is key to getting that sweet milk taste. You can adjust the sugar to how sweet you want it though.
- Save time and cut out steps by using this teapot. Whenever I prepare tea using loose tea itself I use this teapot. It cuts down on having to use a strainer.
- Since this healthy thai tea recipe is made without using Thai tea mix you wont get the super orange color. The mix has food coloring, which you can add yourself using a dye-free food coloring. I did NOT use dye in the version you see here in the photos.
- To get the burnt orange color without food coloring make sure to use turmeric. Sprinkling the powder into your recipe will naturally dye the tea burnt orange without the potential health consequences. While turmeric does have a strong flavor it doesnt overpower this Thai tea mixture.
What Is Thai Iced Tea
This tea drink is usually made from tea mix, sugar, and milk. And you can serve it cold or hot. First, the beverage is poured on ice and sweetened with sugar, and then you add the milk on top.
But remember that the beverage we love here in America isn’t necessarily original iced Thai tea. Actually, in general, tea is a relatively new concept that came from China to Thailand sometime around the 1980s.
The traditional ingredients of Iced Thai tea were condensed milk, black tea, and crushed ice. During this time, Thai Tea became the main drink on Thai streets.
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Is Thai Tea Just Green Tea
It is unknown exactly when Thai tea, also known as Cha Yen in Thailand, was first created. Thai tea is a blend of black tea, condensed milk, and sometimes ice. Many people believe that Field Marshal Pibul Songkram, a Thai leader who had an affinity for western culture, was the inspiration behind Thai tea .
Ingredients Needed For Thai Iced Tea
Traditional Thai tea is made using a Thai tea mix. When my cravings recently kicked in for this decadent icy beverage I searched and searched for a tea mix without the food dye. Sadly, I couldnt find anything, but this only encouraged me to find a healthy Thai iced tea alternative that tastes equally delicious, if not exactly like the original. Making Thai tea from scratch allows you to omit unhealthy ingredients.
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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.
The Best Thai Tea Brands
After consulting with some of my friends, I found a few types of Thai tea mixed packages online. I tried three popular Thai tea mixes for this recipe:
- Pantai Thai Tea Mix: Strong flavor without being too bitter. This mix is described as authentic restaurant style Thai tea, and I believe it!
- Thai Tea Cha Thai: Good flavor, but not as bold as the Pantai Thai Tea Mix.
- Cha Tra Mae brand Thai Tea Mix: Bitter and acidic notes. This tea was my least favorite.
Pantai Thai Tea Mix was hands down my favorite among the three because of its bold flavor. Since you will be adding ice to this Thai milk tea, you want to make sure your tea is strong enough that it wont be diluted by the crushed ice.
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How To Make Thai Tea At Home
Brewing the tea mix is as easy as making any other tea at home. In a pot over the stove, add 4 cups of water on medium-high heat. Once the water begins to boil, add the tea mix and stir the tea mix thoroughly.
Allow the tea to boil for 3 minutes. Carefully watch the boiling tea to prevent the water from over boiling and potentially ruining your stove with yellow food dye. After 3 minutes, remove the pot off the heat and let the mixture cool for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, strain the tea over a mesh strainer and a bowl, or a fancy tea sock. Make sure the tea is nice and clean of any tea leaves. Since Thai tea is best served cold, I like to make this recipe ahead of time and leave it to chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
To assemble, fill a glass with lots of ice and add half of the cooled Thai tea into a glass. Mix in your preferred sweetener . Now sit and watch the amazing-ness of the orange ombre about to take effect. This is my favorite part!
The ice will help dilute some of the sweetness so we want a strong and sweet base. Top it off with more ice if you prefer. Enjoy!
What Is The Right Way To Steep
You can steep this tea in a teapot, in a pan, or you can simply use a tea sock for steeping. The one thing which is important to remember is to always use hot water if you are not boiling it in a pan. You just leave tea leaves in hot water, steep for a few minutes until you see that deep color. Let it cool and strain the tea leaves out.
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Can I Serve Thai Tea Hot
While most people in Thailand or Thai restaurants serve this tea cold with ice cubes, it can be served hot, also known as Thai milk tea. This tea resembles masala chai, a spiced or milky black tea. For a warm Thai milk tea, skip the ice cubes and reduce the amount of sugar and condensed milk to your liking. Its good to remember that for the hot version of Thai tea there are no ice cubes to dilute the tea and its sweetness. Taste it and if its too strong or too sweet, add more hot water to dilute the tea.