Thai Iced Tea

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 19/10/2021 Updated: 29/11/2023
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 30 minutes
Customize your own Thai Iced Tea at home with this recipe! This recipe will guide you on how to steep and flavor your Thai Tea to achieve a brilliantly orange, boldly aromatic, and refreshingly sweet drink that we are all equally obsessed with.
Thai Iced Tea

Customize your own Thai iced tea at home with this recipe! This Thai tea recipe will guide you on how to steep and flavor your Thai Tea to achieve a brilliantly orange, boldly aromatic, and refreshingly sweet drink that we are all equally obsessed with.

Pouring condensed milk cream into a glass Thai iced tea.

What is your go-to Thai order? I’ll go first. I start off with a refreshing Thai iced tea, followed by some Thai Basil and I’ll finish with a delicious Mango Sticky Rice dessert. Everything about Thai iced tea makes me so happy—the bright bold orange color, the bold aromatic flavor, and the sweet and creamy finish.

This five-ingredient Thai iced tea recipe tastes just like your local Thai restaurant’s Thai tea. It is made with a pre-made Thai tea mix and sweetened with brown sugar, condensed milk, and evaporated milk. If you are anything like me, I like to be able to control the sweetness level of my drinks. You can adjust the level of condensed milk and evaporated milk to create your very own personalized sweet and creamy Thai iced tea.

What is Thai Tea?

Thai Iced Tea also known as Cha Yen in Thailand is a Thai drink made from Ceylon tea, spiced with star anise, condensed milk, and sugar, and can be served hot or cold. It is a popular drink in Southeast Asia and is served in many restaurants. This tea became a staple of Thai street food, sometimes spiced with star anise and orange blossom water, but more often than not, served without any additional flavorings.

Looking down into a small bowl of loose leaf Thai tea

Why is Thai Tea So Orange?

The bright orange color of Thai iced tea comes from food coloring added to black tea in the Thai tea mix. If you decide to make the tea from scratch, the brewed tea is a deep red. When you stir in the sweetened condensed milk the tea will turn into a beautiful creamy orange.

There are also other varieties of Thai tea that are not orange. I have also come across a green Thai tea which is made from green tea mixed with jasmine and other flavors instead of the black tea in the more popular orange Thai Tea. It has a more fruity and floral flavor in comparison to the original Thai tea. If you are interested in buying Green Thai Tea you can buy it on Amazon.

A glass of Thai iced tea on a round tray.

Is Thai Tea Caffeinated?

Yes! Thai tea contains approximately 20-60 mg of caffeine since the tea leaves are Ceylon black tea. The total amount of caffeine will depend on how much the tea is diluted from the milk, water, and ice.

Kitchen Tools

  • 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 1/4 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 reusable metal or glass straws.

Ingredients

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 of 208°F (98°C).
  • Brown Sugar: brown sugar adds another depth of sweetness with a hint of molasses. You can alternatively use granulated sugar instead.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: sweetened condensed milk provides a rich creamy and sweet flavor in 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.
Looking down all the ingredients for Thai tea on a counter.

How To Make Thai Iced Tea

This Thai iced tea recipe is incredibly easy to make. All you need to do is steep the tea in sugar, and pour in the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk blend.

  1. (Option 2) If using a homemade Thai Tea blend, using a mortar and pestle or a mallet, gently crush the star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon stick. Mix these with the tea leaves. Continue with the following steps.
  1. (Option 1) Mix the sugar and Thai tea blend in a heatproof bowl. Add boiling water at 208°F (98°C), cover with plastic wrap, and let the tea steep for 25 minutes.
Pouring hot water into a glass bowl of Thai tea to steep.
  1. After the tea has steeped, using a mesh strainer or tea sock strain to remove the tea leaves. Chill in the refrigerator.
Thai tea draining through a cheese cloth and sifter.
  1. In a separate bowl, mix together the condensed milk and evaporated milk.
Blending condensed milk creamer with a handheld electric whisk
  1. When the tea is cooled, pour the tea over ice and add in the evaporated milk mixture mix thoroughly and enjoy! For an 8 oz glass, add about 2-3 tablespoons of milk for a rich creamier flavor.
Pouring condensed milk cream into a glass Thai iced tea.

Tips For the Best Thai Iced Tea

  • Make sure to steep the tea for at least 20 minutes. This will ensure a rich deep tea flavor in the tea that is not overpowered by sweeteners.
  • You can adjust the level of sweetness by adding less evaporated milk + condensed milk. I like to shy on the less sweet side for drinks so I typically add the milk and evaporated milk 1 tablespoon at a time until my preferred sweetness.
  • You can substitute the condensed milk for more sugar. If you do not have condensed milk, you can alternatively add 1-2 more tablespoons of granulated sugar instead depending on your sweetness preference.

Storage Instructions

You can make this Thai iced tea in advance and store it in a pitcher or airtight container with a lid in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

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Pouring milk into a glass of Thai iced tea.

Thai Iced Tea

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Customize your own Thai Iced Tea at home with this recipe! This recipe will guide you on how to steep and flavor your Thai Tea to achieve a brilliantly orange, boldly aromatic, and refreshingly sweet drink that we are all equally obsessed with.
Servings: 4 cups
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Pre-made Thai Tea Mix

  • 1 cup (80 g) Pantai Thai tea mix
  • 4 cups (1000 mL) water
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar packed
  • 3 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup evaporated milk to taste
  • Iced crushed

Homemade Thai Tea Blend

Instructions

Homemade Tea Blend (Option 1)

  • If using a homemade Thai Tea blend, using a mortar and pestle or a mallet, gently crush the star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon stick. Mix these with the tea leaves. Then proceed with the following steps.

Premade Thai Tea Blend (Option 2)

  • Mix the sugar and Thai tea blend in a heatproof bowl. Add boiling water at 208°F (98°C), cover with plastic wrap, and let the tea steep for 25 minutes.

Assemble

  • After the tea has steeped, use a mesh strainer or tea sock strain to remove the tea leaves. Chill in the refrigerator.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the condensed milk and evaporated milk.
  • When the tea is cooled, pour the tea over ice and add in the evaporated milk mixture mix thoroughly and enjoy! For an 8 oz glass, add about 2-3 tablespoons of milk for a rich creamier flavor.

Notes

  • Make sure to steep the tea for at least 20 minutes. This will ensure a rich deep tea flavor in the tea that is not overpowered by sweeteners.
  • You can adjust the level of sweetness by adding less evaporated milk and condensed milk. I like to shy on the less sweet side for drinks so I typically add the milk and evaporated milk 1 tablespoon at a time until my preferred sweetness.
  • You can substitute the condensed milk for more sugar. If you do not have condensed milk, you can alternatively add 1-2 more tablespoons of granulated sugar instead depending on your sweetness preference.
  • Storage Instructions. You can make this Thai Iced Tea in advance and store it in a pitcher or airtight container with a lid in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Nutrition:

Serving: 1g | Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 61mg | Sugar: 20g

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