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Thai Iced Tea: How to make it, what it is and what is in Thai tea

  1. What is Thai tea?
  2. What is in Thai tea?
  3. How to make Thai tea

From the Land of Smiles

Thailand is known for many amazing things including great food. Stupendous Buddhist culture and temples. The dangerous art of eight limbs; Muay Thai. It is also the home to a fabulous type of tea, known as Chai Yen, or Thai Iced Tea. This drink is great for any season, any weather, and any time of day. It is cool, refreshing, innervating, and open to several interpretations you may have. Keep reading to discover more about this fantastic iced tea.

What is Thai tea?

Thai tea refers to several variations of tea commonly brewed and prepared in Thailand and in Thai restaurants around the world. Chai Thai is the word used in Thailand to refer to the hot style of tea. Today we will be discussing Chai Yen, which means “cold tea” and refers to Thai Iced Tea.

Thai tea is quite similar to the masala chai, another great tea beverage from India and South Asia. The drink itself features Ceylon tea- which is tea from Sri Lanka and often, black tea leaves. Various herbs, spices, and condensed or evaporated milk may make an appearance. The iced variation of course includes a generous helping of, well, ice! Surprisingly tea has been a newer development in Thailand and so this beverage is on the newer end of the culinary spectrum. That doesn’t make it any less fantastic, though!

What is in Thai tea?

Key ingredients for Thai Iced Tea include black tea, usually Ceylon black tea or an Assamese. Some of the herbs and spices include star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, tamarind powder, and vanilla. As for milk, it is usually condensed milk or even coconut milk. But now you must be wondering how to make this excellent drink at home yourself.

How to make Thai tea at home from scratch

Here are the ingredients you will need for your Thai Iced Tea:

  • 2 tablespoons of loose black tea leaves or pellets
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1-star anise
  • ⅛ vanilla bean
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • Tamarind powder
  • Purified or filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons of milk of your choice- coconut is the most authentic!
  • ice
  • Strainer
  • Pot

How to brew Thai iced tea

  • First, pour your purified or filtered water (about 1 cup) into your pot and bring it to a low boil.
  • Next, add your tea leaves, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, vanilla bean, and tamarind, and let them simmer together for about 5 minutes.
  • Now, strain your ingredients from the remaining mix.
  • Then, add in your sugar and condensed milk and stir until they dissolve.
  • Let the mix sit and cool off a bit and fill a glass or two with ice. For best results let your iced glasses wait in the freezer or fridge until your mixture has cooled down enough.
  • Carefully pour the tea into the iced glasses but leave a little bit of extra room to top off the drink with the condensed milk.
  • Finally, add your condensed milk to the top of your tea and enjoy a sweet, energizing, and truly refreshing take on black tea. Thai style!

Enjoy your Thai Iced Tea

This is a stunning drink that is sure to become a new favorite. The Thai Iced tea is great because it allows for lots of innovation and invention. Why not swap the milk with some citrus? Or perhaps give the hot version a try? The sky’s the limit, so give this stupendous tea a brewing today.