The first time I had Thai iced tea, I was in a Thai restaurant (no surprise…), and I needed something to cool the fire that was burning in my mouth after just a few bites of my spicy chili-laden lunch.
Thai iced tea to the rescue! It was delicious and refreshing and the sweet creaminess of it was just what I needed to cool off my burning tongue.
Now that I’ve figured out how to make it, I don’t have to actually burn my mouth on spicy Thai food to be able to enjoy a sweet, creamy glass of this iced tea.
Learning how to make Thai iced tea at home is easy once you know a few key secrets.
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What Is Thai Iced Tea?
Thai iced tea is a beautiful brightly orange-colored drink made up of tea, spices, and sweetened milk. It can be served over ice, but sometimes served hot as well.
Why is Thai Iced Tea Orange?
I was surprised to find out that the crazy color comes from food coloring added to the tea. I had imagined some exotic Thai spice caused the vibrant color.
When the tea is brewed, it’s a gorgeous dark red color. When the milk is stirred in, it changes to a vibrant exotic orange.
Ingredients for Thai Tea
The basic ingredients to make Thai Iced Tea are:
- Black tea and spices OR Thai Tea Mix
- Milk: evaporated, sweetened condensed, half-and-half, etc.
There are two ways to make this tea: the easy way and the hard way.
The hard way involves gathering up some authentic Thai spices like star anise, cardamom pods and cloves, and simmering them with black tea.
The easy way, which I use and I’m going to share with you involves using a prepackaged Thai Tea Mix that already contains the Thai spices.
The Easy Way: Using a Packaged Thai Tea Mix
This is the exact kind of Thai Tea Mix that I use:
Customizing Your Flavor
The Thai iced tea that you get in a restaurant is pretty sweet. If you like your tea drinks sweet, this shouldn’t be a problem.
I did try to cut back the sugar in the recipe, but I found that it just didn’t taste right.
So I do have to warn you that you may need to adjust the sweetness of your tea.
How To Make Thai Iced Tea at Home
For this recipe, bring water to a boil in a saucepan and stir in the loose tea and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved and allow the tea to simmer gently for about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to steep for 15 minutes before straining and cooling. The tea should be a deep reddish color.
Don’t make this tea in your new white shirt, since it will stain. Don’t ask me how I know this fun fact.
(If you want to make ahead, make a bigger batch and refrigerate overnight. )
Fill your favorite glass with ice, pour in your chilled tea leaving space for the milk.
Add your milk choice to the glass, and stir to combine. Adjust the sweetness to your liking.
How About Some Thai Bubble Tea?
Thai iced tea is a popular choice at tea houses as a base for boba tea. If you love the chewy goodness of bubble tea, add about 1/3 of cooked tapioca pearls to your finished Thai iced tea.
MORE TO SIP ON: How to Make Bubble Tea
- 1/3 cup Pantai Thai Tea Mix
- 1 2/3 cups water
- 1/4 granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup milk: half-and-half, dairy milk, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk
- Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Stir in the loose tea and sugar, and stir until sugar dissolves.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let tea steep for 15 minutes. Strain and chill.
- Fill glasses with ice. Pour in the chilled tea to about 2/3 full leaving room for milk.
- Add your choice of milk and stir to combine flavors.
If you like your tea extra sweet, try using sweetened condensed milk.
You can brew the tea ahead and store in the refrigerator. When you're ready for a glass, pour over ice, add milk and stir.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140