Instructables

Thai Iced Tea

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If you’ve ever been to a Thai restaurant, you know this delicious orange beverage. It is very strong, very sweet, and very good. It also has a great presentation, with its bright color and the layers formed by the milk. Here is my recipe for this tasty iced tea, which is the perfect complement to a hot day, or a hot dish. It is extremely close to what you get at Thai restaraunts, and if you make it with care, it's a bit better!
 
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Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup Thai tea leaves
  • 1 2/3 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup Evaporated Milk (12oz can)

Equipment

  • Big pot for boiling water
  • Big, fine strainer or seive, or a traditional tea sock, if you can find one at the asian market
  • Heat-resistant pitcher
  • Stirring implement (long spoon, piece of rebar, etc.)

These are the ingredients for 2 glasses of tea. Scale up if you desire. I often make a huge batch of the sweetened tea, save it in the fridge, and then break it out whenever I want, adding evaporated milk at the time of serving.

As far as ingredients go, the hardest to find item is the Thai tea leaves. Go to your local asian food store and look for “Thai Seasoning Mix” or “Thai Tea Dust”. It usually comes in a clear plastic brick-like bag, and looks like dark brown shredded tea leaves. The kind I have right now is called “Police Dog Brand Thai Tea Dust.” Evaporated milk can be substituted with soy or rice milk (I recommend Odwalla Milk, if you can get it, its a mixture of oat milk, rice milk, soy milk, and a little banana/mango puree) if you want to make it vegan. You can also substitute white sugar for evaporated cane juice or “raw sugar”.

If your water tastes bad out of the tap, it will make bad tea! Filter it, or use bottled water for the best results.
sabu.dawdy15 days ago
can we make this without Thai tea?
jill jacks1 year ago
I made it with evaporated milk and then with coconut milk and 1/2 cup of sugar, yum! Thanks for posting!
caarntedd3 years ago
No alcohol?
I've made Adult Thai Iced tea with Orange Vodka, or if you don't have that available Vodka and Triple Sec, it's quite yummy!
Nice. I think I'll try that.
phidauex (author)  caarntedd3 years ago
What alcohol do you think would go well with it? Cointreau? Splash of bourbon?
Looking at the ingredients I would say rum, specifically something like Bundeberg Red, or Captain Morgan Spiced Gold. They have a little vanilla in them. Very smooth.
I actually made thia ice tea and replaced the creamer with irish creamer and it tasted fantastic
tysonbeck1 year ago
growing up we always use evaporated milk, condensed milk and coconut milk as an option. we don't have half and half or even whole milk and if we do not everyone can afford it. so that is authentic thai tea for us, black tea and the inclusion of other spices available to us.
Shiggity1 year ago
I tried this with 1/4 to 1/5 of the tea leaves that were ALREADY in the first attempt (!) and it tastes plenty strong. For fresh leaves, I'd imagine you could get away with using even less. Also, I'd use maybe 1/2 to 1/3 of the evaporated milk. 6 oz of evaporated milk is 6 servings -- 42% of the saturated fat suggested daily intake.
Shiggity1 year ago
I gave this a try and unfortunately it cracked the jar I poured it into. Apparently I need a more heat resistant jar. In my assessment though, this is way too much tea. Tea leaves can only saturate water so much before there isn't any water left for the tea molecules to intersperse with and what you wind up with is a huge waste of unsaturated tea. Moreover, because there's so much of it, it definitely does clog up the muslin, much of the water is absorbed and unless you are a tea extracting ninja or incredibly patient you end up with a yield of tea about 1/3 what you put in. I'd suggest 1/2 of that amount, maybe 1/4.
Aleator7772 years ago
So delicious. Can't wait to make this myself! Thanks for posting :)
BLUEBLOBS22 years ago
I love tea. I'm in the Tea Junkies group, and I love this Instructable .
Super refreshing!
-BLUEBLOBS2
thokanson2 years ago
"piece of rebar" lmao!
OMG! I thought it was just me!
Nefitara2 years ago
It comes out a little better if you use condensed rather than evaporated, that's what also gives it that orange color and makes it a little thicker.
phidauex (author)  Nefitara2 years ago
You can used condensed milk instead of evaporated if you want, just don't use SWEETENED condensed milk, which is not what you want here.

The orange color does NOT come from the choice of milk, it comes from the tea leaf blend, either annatto or artificial coloring.
how many servings does it make?
goodkid13 years ago
For those of you having trouble with not enuff sweetness or gray color, don't use evaporated milk ......ewwwwww.....use the proper condensed milk. You could use a little Half-and -Half along with it,,,,,,, but no evaporated. Add any sugar you like, but I keep a strong homemade sugar syrup in my refridge all summer long cuz cold drinks won't dissolve regular sugar well. Makes a huge difference for lemonade, Rickeys, etc. I lived in Thailand off and on my whole life. Also, I have never used anything but a "Thai Tea Mix" (not a chrystal mix) that is brewed in a big "tea sock" (just a cloth sack with a handle) so I will not comment on tea leaves, but I have learned my recipe from the Bangkok street venders and restaurants. Che.ck Emeril for his recipe too.
jbroderick3 years ago
Well, not quite like restaurants but closest recipe to it Ive tried. Other recipes I tried not even close. Then again, I used Thai Tea loose leaves, not powdered or ready mix, I guess that would make a difference? The color always comes out gray when I add milk instead of orange
phidauex (author)  jbroderick3 years ago
Most restaurants use the Thai Tea leaves with flavorings and artificial color. While still a loose leaf, it is still a manufactured "product". If you get the right thai tea mix, it will be exactly like you'd get at a restaurant (excepting the ones that make their own mixes).
NastHaiteA3 years ago
You can also buy that Thai Iced Tea powder in online stores like http://www.thaiteaset.com/
bnell6 years ago
I could never get the tea to taste quite right. It was never a sweet as in the restaurants that I would visit. So on day I asked at on of the restaurants how they managed to get the Thai tea as sweet as they do. The chef was brought out. At first he seemed reluctant to share, but after some cajoling by the waitress, he told me to put the sugar in while the water was boiling. This way it fully dissolved. Then add the tea. Just a variation that one might try...
If you make a simple syrup ahead of time, you don't have to worry about dissolving sugar ever again. 2 parts sugar 1 part water a little corn syrup will help curb crystallization. Bring to a boil, leave on heat until your syrup is crystal clear. Cool, put in plastic squirt bottle or glass syrup pour bottle. The table sugar (a disaccharide) will convert into a simpler monosaccharide and will always be pre-dissolved for cold (or hot) beverages.
Yes, The sugar must be added while the tea still hot. All sugar must be dissolved.
Whaleman bnell6 years ago
I might try that for black tea as well.
ArJohn bnell6 years ago
I found that same thing while in Thailand. Sugar (sirup) added while boiling.
Can you get thai tea leaves at an asian food market?  Are there any substitutes?
i've never tried iced thai tea before... but my mom makes awesome thai bubble tea! Is there a noticeable difference in taste?
Whaleman7 years ago
I love Thai Tea, I used to go to a Chinese restaurant that served Thai Tea, but they changed ownership, so now their Thai Tea tastes like milk tea.
I asked for this at a Thai restaurant in China and they didn't have a clue what I was talking about.  :)
(removed by author or community request)
The tea was still orange, it just didn't taste like Thai tea. How is that better quality?
Hi Mykhailo I am sorry, I assumed that the restaurant used premium Thai tea leaf that contains no orange color. Most good Thai restaurants serve their customers with better quality Thai tea leaf now. But I was wrong about this restaurant. I am not associated or related to the owner of the restaurant you visitted anyway and I am not tried to defended them. However, one thing I can tell you for sure is that most Thai restaurants boils their tea. All teas, Thai tea leaf is included,has two aroma profiles, volatile and non-volatile. The volatile aroma is heat sensitive and it evaporated when contact heat resulting in less flavor in the tea. If you taste good quality tea that has full body, the aroma stay much longer. Regular Thai iced tea is made from poorer quality tea leaf. Please don't get me wrong, I am not a tea expert. I happened to be a native of Thailand and grown up with Thai tea. Good luck to you next time.
druderman7 years ago
I've made this at home before, but never quite had the procedure down. Thanks. A warning though. This tea is very ORANGE. God knows what is in it. Proably something bad, since it tastes and smells so good. But I digress. The warning is that the tea and even a few flakes of the tea will stain, so try to be tidy or at least try to do your decanting over a sink.
Yellow food coloring--according to the ingredients on my bag.
I bet something like Thai Tea ice-cream would be great. You heard it hear first. Maybe I'll even make it. Heat milk & Tea togther. Strain. Then use as regular ingredient in your ice-cream process.
The orange color comes from anatto. Its a pretty unique spice in terms of flavor. Anatto is also used in orange cheese. Most thai tea blends are black tea with tamerind, organge blossoms and anatto. Probably some other spices as well.

I think if one where to search enough, you could find recipes to make your own thai tea blend with black tea and flavorings...
jtlax6 years ago
i went to one resturant that added tapioka balls to the tea
stickmop jtlax5 years ago
My favorite Thai place adds tapioca balls to their Thai Iced Tea. Unless I forget, I just ask them to leave them out. Not fond of the consistency.
PawnDrifter7 years ago
You said "over-spiced curry". I don't think that makes any sense. Hmmmm., time for field investigations. Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to try it. I agree that the next best choice other than WHOLE milk is probably coconut milk. Just be sure not to stand directly behind the coconuts when you are milking them. They kick like a mule!
currycomes in many colors and heat levels
yeah true. the reason you never hear about people being kicked by a coconut is that they never live to tell about it.
ha ha ha ha.. it is so true
Ward_Nox5 years ago
I'm 99% sure the Thai place near me uses coconut milk
My mother made thus for me after we got some of the tea. but it turns out when she finished making she put the milk in it, the next day she told me " i presidential used sour milk in your tea" then i said....."ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwweyyy!!!!!!!!"
limespider5 years ago
I love thai ice-tea! Condensed milk. I use to work at a Thai restaurant. Could not remember the actual tea used, but I know we used condensed milk. I have seen cheaper restaurants use half and half. For ages I thought they used Jasmine tea. Now I know it is special Thai tea! Thanks I must also say, evaporated milk has a unique very delicious flavor when used in sweet recipes!
I just saw this Instructable for the 5th time and I'm about to start drooling. where can I buy the tea leaves?
Here! you can order the Thai tea leaf from here-www.sribhud.com. I found the tea quality is superior than other brand. Don't buy their tea bag. The tea bag is not strong. The tea powder is super good.
Brennn107 years ago
Without pictures it is hard to understand. (I am a visual learner) So I have tea leaves from TeaVana, and a teapot that can harness those tealeaves into tea. Can I substitute those tea leaves in place of the Thai Leaves? Someone should make an Instructable on Asian/European/Middle Eastern Coffees. I had coffee at a Nepal Restaurant, and at a Lebanese Restaurant. Both Very tasty!
No, you cannot substitute Teavana tea with Thai tea leaf. Thai tea leaf has a distinctive aroma no other tea like it. Plus, Thai tea leaf is much cheaper than tea leaf from Teavana... Thai tea leaf is $2/lb.
Tobita Brennn107 years ago
for /arabic coffee you must get a special kind of thingy and some palm fiber and you boil water, add the crushed roasted coffe bean(special kind) and add the fiber at the spout so it is wedged in the spout and kettle part to strain the coffee fragments. i'm from saudi arabia(riyadh to be precise but now i live in montreal)
I am opening a Salad and Soup take out restaurant in Sayulita Mexico just North of Puerto Vallarta and was excited when I found an Asian store that carries Thai Tea. After reading all the comments I am confused about which sweetner to use. If I use condensed milk, providing I can find it here do I add sugar as well or will that be sweet enough.I have access to coconut milk, no problem but does it alter the taste too much. Any clues.
coconut milk won't do the trick.. make the tea very sweet.. like 1/2 lb. tea + 1 gallon water + 2.5 lbs white sugar and top with unsweeten condensed milk or whole milk. I got the recipy from sales@patsongroup.com where I brought the tea. They are tea manufacturer they want their customers do thai iced tea the right way.
the way i read it... you add sweetener(sugar etc.) to the tea and then the evaporated milk to the top. the evaporated milk isn't the sweetener.
wilsongaw6 years ago
Question? How do you achieve the 2 layer effect as showed in the picture, cause everytime i do it,when i pour the evaporated milk on top of the ice and tea the evaporated milk settles down immediately to the bottom of the glass, therefor cannot get the two tone effect of orange and dark bown as shown on your picture. Please enlighten me. Thank you very much. Wilson.
Here how I did it. I used 1/2 lb of tea I brought from sales@patsongroup.com boil with 1 gallon of water for 10minutes, strained out tea leave and mixed 2.5 lbs of white sugar. Stir until all sugar dissolved. Pour tea over glass of ice to 1.5 inch before the rim then I added unsweeten condensed milk on top and enjoy watching the milk slowly blend in with the tea.
what you do, if you cant do it still, is you take a spoon and pour the milk on to the back of the spoon slowly, and it will help.

(like they do layed drinks at bars =)
You have to pour gently and REALLY slowly.
whiteoakart7 years ago
Nothing takes the sting out of an over-spiced curry like Thai Iced Tea! Thanks for this Instructable. Do you think it could be made with other types of tea? I like using Silk brand Vanilla Soy Milk instead of Cow's milk for all my hot drinks.
Soy contains isoflavonoids genistein and daidzein, the primary sources of phytoestrogens in the human diet that mimic estrogen. Stay with the cow-juice! moooo! ;-)
There is not nearly enough in soy to cause any effects.
Ew isnt estrogen female sex hormones. or is that oestrogen
So that's why I've been getting cranky once a month.
OMG! There is no such thing as an "over-spiced" curry!
I have always thought that it is just right when the sweat is dripping down your forehead. If the skin on your lips is peeling off, it's too spicy. Just my opinion.
omg I live off this tasty beverage I love it
Brennn107 years ago
On your ingredients page, how did you make those bullets to signify the ingredients you were using?
You can make them by typing space*space
  • Like this.
Have fun!
  • Thanks!
  • cool
  • thanks!
  • sweet!
I don't get it.. what do you mean by.. typing space*space , and get that bullet. Thanks
One space before the bullet and one space after.
My Asian Market sells Thai Tea.. I put it in the Coffee maker and brew a pot just like coffee.. Much easier.. I have tried condensed sweetened milk vs sugar and evap milk.. it is wonderful.. I also make it with a lot splenda and fat free half and half for a fat free sugar free version.. it is pretty good!!!!
mikeybhang7 years ago
What is in that tea mix? I have heard it contains ephedrine, banned as a a sports performance drug, but what is important to me is to make the tea with good ingredients, not a lot of tea factory floor sweepings and a lot of red stinkin' food colouring. Anyone know about this?
Thai Kitchen brand has a nice version without any dye - avail at cost plus world market and some health food stores... I think you can also email them at info@thaikitchen.com
Anxious to try this but the "piece of rebar" as a stirring implement made me laugh pretty hard. Hopefully this is pretty tasty though, never had it but heard a lot of good about it. Thanks!
Nesagwa6 years ago
I shall called it Thaiced Tea.
Dim-16 years ago
I love you.
MoInThe4156 years ago
Hmmm.... Does using a piece of rebar for stirring give the tea a different tang? Or have you tried it like that? ;)
strawberry6 years ago
this is my favorite tea. i've been making this for years since i had it first at lulu's in pittsburgh. tasty! it's also really good with Cask & Cream. ;)
xtank56 years ago
It could also be called Thaiced Tea. ;)
Wiwat6 years ago
Please try it!, you will know that it 's very good.
try using half and half milk instead of condensed...
Flavored coffee creams are good too, like French Vanilla.
pooboy7 years ago
hey im going to thailand in like a month maybee ill try some
susie pooboy7 years ago
Not maybe..you will definitely drink this alot and make sure to have the coffee too. I gained weight in Thailand, I think probably from these drinks! ;)
susie7 years ago
I always ask for 1/2 the cream. Saves 1000 calories and isn't quite as cloying. Although this would be good to throw in an ice cream machine! Yum.
A more 'adult' version can be made with Bailey's or other such creamy liquor. It's actually better than it sounds.
paulaaaa7 years ago
just thought i'd share the fact that you can buy this drink in stores (the original thai taste) well that is in NYC, im not to sure about other places. I mean if you are in thailand, well duh you can. But in the US I know in NYC elmhurst has stores stores selling it.
seavashr7 years ago
i can fell how much cold is it. :D
andy607 years ago
the only ice tea i have ever tried is peach iced tea bought from a vending machine would this recipe taste simular to that, because it was good : )
genie863337 years ago
The Thai restaurants where I go use Mocha Mix instead of milk & it's great that way. I've never tried it any other way, so I'm not sure if it's better that way or better with milk, so I'll try it both ways.
kishida7 years ago
I also love thai iced tea! I had tried using plain lipton tea (black pekoe?) and added Chinese 5 spice powder (use the version without white pepper, although I don't think it matters much), and sweet condensed milk (thick, syruppy). I think the sweet condensed milk might be different from evaporated milk.
fancykika7 years ago
Thanks! I always loved the stuff, but when I asked at my favourite restaurant what they put into it, they looked at me like I'd asked a trick question and said "Tea!". Now if only I could figure out how to make the coffee....
childofbean7 years ago
I absolutely love getting Thai iced every time I go out for Thai food! Thanks for the recipe!
mikeybhang7 years ago
http://www.blueray.com/thaitea/recipes.html has a recipe that calls for 3/4 quart tea. Is this leaves? WTF?
shadowman27 years ago
Can we rip open the tea bag and make it with it
i just tasted one today at a thai reastaraunt (lol im tired i cant spell for jack) and it was the gr8est, it was like there was a party in my mouth and they were throwing the gr8est tasting tea around!!! it was GR8 i definatly gota get some of the thai tea leavs, 2 thumbs up
pojken7 years ago
Thaaaaaank you! Now, if I can only find the Thai tea leaves in Sweden. I tried describing this to my friends here, but they haven't a clue what they're missing.
Johntron8 years ago
I've never heard of this. It sounds delicious. I'll have to make some. Thanks!
here in the Philippines we make somethin a bit like that with SAGO and gelatine (we call it GULAMAN here). ask any Filipino you know what Sago't Gulaman tastes like... yummy
In Thailand, we drink Thai ice tea with condese milk. It makes the tea taste much better.
Phoghat8 years ago
Tried making this and it was good! Also tried making it with less sugar and condensed milk and I liked that too. First version was better.
Branden8 years ago
Nice recipe. I studied in Thailand for six months and many of my fellow students loved this stuff. I couldn't drink it much myself because I am lactose intollerant. I definitely recommend making it from scratch like this recipe, unless you're unable to drink milk like me, in which case, just go to an Asian Grocery store and pick up some Thai tea packets. Mix with water and you're good to go (there's no milk in the ingredients, at least not the one's I've used in Thailand and the States)...
phidauex (author)  Branden8 years ago
If you wanted to make it without lactose, try it with coconut milk! I'm quite lactose tolerant, but I still make it with coconut milk for myself sometimes, and my friends who don't tolerate lactose like it that way too.
muller8 years ago
I love Thai iced tea. I've been wondering how to make it for a while but never did the research. Thanks!