Restaurant worthy Thai iced tea is so easy to make at home!
Thai iced tea takes me back to my travels in Thailand in 2013. This drink can be found at every other corner from street food vendors and restaurants.
It has a unique fragrance from black tea and spices, and has a striking orange hue.
You can find Thai iced tea at Thai and Vietnamese restaurants, and boba cafes.
But why pay $3-5 for one serving when you can buy a bag for the same amount and make 30 servings of Thai iced tea?!
Brew a fresh batch anytime and enjoy with your spicy Asian meals!
What is Thai tea mix made of?
The two most well known brands of Thai tea mixes are Pantai and Chatramue. I'm using Pantai in this recipe; you can just buy whichever one is available at the grocery store or online.
Thai tea mix is made from camellia sinensis black tea, spices and food coloring which makes the tea orange when milk is added.
- Water - to brew the tea.
- Thai tea mix - Pantai and Chatramue are two popular brands.
- Sugar - to flavor the tea.
- Condensed milk - provides additional sweetness and creaminess.
- Evaporated milk - for a milky, almost caramelized flavor.
- Ice - about one cup of ice per glass.
Why add sugar?
You may be thinking condensed milk can sweeten the tea, so why add more sugar? Yes, you could add more condensed milk to sweeten the iced tea, but it may make the iced tea too milky and the flavor of the condensed milk will overpower the tea.
Adding a little bit of granulated sugar while the tea brews will sweeten the tea, then the condensed milk will enhance the sweetness.
You may also be tempted to reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe but please don't! I tried making Thai iced tea with less sugar and it just doesn't taste the same.
If you want to feel like you're walking the streets of Thailand or at a Thai restaurant, just do it the right way!
If you are calorie conscious, try monkfruit sweetener.
What kind of milk to use in Thai iced tea?
Some recipes use whole milk, half and half, condensed milk, or evaporated milk.
I tested recipes using various combinations of these milks and found that the most authentic taste for Thai iced tea is a combination of condensed milk and evaporated milk.
About 1 tbsp. of condensed milk and 2 tbsp. of evaporated milk per glass.
The evaporated milk gives the drink a level of depth. I'm not sure how to explain it but just trust me and add it!
I watched a couple of YouTube videos to confirm and the street vendors in Thailand used both condensed and evaporated milk.
If your diet requires you to be dairy free, you can try other milks and adjust the sugar. The taste will be different but close.
How to Minimize Tea Dust
Thai tea is traditionally steeped using a tea sock. Use one if you have one or just use a fine mesh strainer. Either way, you will still end up with a little bit of tea dust in your drink.
Tea dust is like the coffee sediment from French pressed coffee. Some of the tea is so fine that it passes through the sieve.
To minimize this, I like pouring the tea into a tall pitcher or measuring cup while it's cooling in the fridge. The dust will settle to the bottom and when you pour, you will have a perfect glass of sediment free iced tea.
Tips for Delicious Thai Iced Tea
- Thai tea concentrate - We want to brew the tea strong so we are using 1/2 cup of Thai tea mix with 2 cups of water. The ice will slowly melt and dilute the drink so we want a concentrated tea.
- Sugar - This is a sweet drink! Don't skimp on the sugar or it won't taste the same.
- Refrigerate - It will be tempting to add lukewarm tea to a glass of ice and make the Thai iced tea right away but this will water down the tea and melt the ice too quickly. Refrigerate for 2 hours or if you're impatient like me, stick it in the freezer to cool faster.
- Evaporated & condensed milk - Authentic Thai tea uses both evaporated and condensed milk.
- Make a batch for the week - This recipe makes 3 servings. Double or triple the recipe, make a batch for the week and enjoy Thai iced tea whenever you want!
Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment below and I'd love to see your creations! Tag me on Instagram @beyondthenoms.
How to Make Thai Iced Tea
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup Thai tea mix
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp condensed milk
- 6 tbsp evaporated milk
- 3 cups ice
- Bring water to a boil then add Thai tea mix and sugar. Simmer for 3 minutes then let the tea steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain the tea using a fine mesh strainer and let the tea cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for two hours minimum. For one glass of Thai iced tea, add 1 cup of ice, 1/2 cup of tea, 1 tbsp. condensed milk and 2 tbsp. evaporated milk. Repeat for remaining glasses. Happy nomming!
- It will be tempting to add lukewarm tea to a glass of ice and make the Thai iced tea right away but this will water down the tea and melt the ice too quickly. Refrigerate for 2 hours or if you're impatient like me, stick it in the freezer to cool faster.