Thai Tea Recipe {Make this Now}

by on July 31, 2013

Easy Thai Tea Recipe (Thai Iced Tea) from White On Rice Couple

I had a “doh”/”ah-ha” moment last week when we were in Chicago to speak at BlogHer Viewfinder Day. During one of the conference days, we escaped out to lunch at a local Thai restaurant to explore more of the city’s culinary offerings. As always, we’ll try to order something new and different, and in the case of a Thai restaurant it normally involves a curry dish (only medium spicy, please! we’re not as young as we used to be), one noodle dish and an appetizer. On top of that, we always have to have Thai iced tea. How can we NOT have Thai iced tea when we eat Thai food? It’s one of those decant “dessert” drinks that helps soothe the burn when we overload on too much of Thai spice.

Years ago, my Auntie Chung was telling me how easy it was to make Thai iced tea. She had worked in an Asian restaurant and one of the most popular items on the entire menu was Thai iced tea. She proceeded to tell me exactly how to make it and how profitable it was for restaurants to make Thai iced tea.

I didn’t care too much about the profitability of Thai iced tea, but rather, more interested on how easily it was made and why we didn’t make it more often.

Easy Thai Tea Recipe (Thai Iced Tea) from White On Rice Couple

Fast forward about 7 years later as I’m sitting in Chicago eating Thai food and sipping my Thai iced tea,  my brain light bulb pops on — “We need to make Thai tea! Auntie told me how easy it was to make and why haven’t we made it before?”

Here you have it and all I can say is that if you’re a fan of Thai iced tea at $3.25 a pop, then you must make this now.

Not only will you be saving a big wad of cash on a yearly basis, but you’ll also have a bottomless pitcher of Thai iced to to savor, sip and share with friends. This Thai iced tea recipe is so easy that pretty much every YouTube video you see uses the same brand and shows the same steps. As far as the creamy layer goes, many people use different ingredients such as half and half, whole milk, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk and even low-fat milk. Choose your creamy poison.

Easy Thai Tea Recipe (Thai Iced Tea) from White On Rice Couple

The only difference in our recipe is that we’re using a little less sugar. But really, once you get the basics down on making Thai iced tea you can customize the flavors and concentration the way you like. It’s one of those recipes that is great no matter how you make it because it’s just so decadent and satisfying.

One of the key factors in making it like the restaurants is using authentic Thai tea mixes. These Thai tea mixes are normally dyed with yellow food coloring (look on the package) and that’s what gives it it’s bright orange color. Also, Thai tea has a vanilla aroma to it. So if you want to have the brilliant orange color and flavors like most of the Thai restaurants, then this is one of the brands of thai tea to buy : Panthai.

There’s probably other brands of Thai tea mixes to buy, but this is the one we first tried it with and it was a success. Some readers enjoyed using this brand of  thai tea mix called ” The Original Thai Iced Tea Mix”

Here’s a tea filter that can also be helpful as well. We usually make large batches, so we just simmer the tea leaves in the hot water. 

 

Using organic black tea bags instead of the Thai tea mix: If you don’t have Thai tea mix or you prefer not to have the yellow food dye in the mix,  then you can certainly use this organic thai black tea. We also tested another version with pekong black tea bags and the flavor was still great. Only thing missing was the brilliant orange color and the subtle hint of sweet vanilla.

Either way, find your way into the kitchen to make yourself a batch of this restaurant style thai iced tea that’s homemade. Make yourself a big batch asap. We’re not joking. Make this now and let us know what you think. And remember, make it your own and play with the different levels of sweetness and creaminess.

Thanks Auntie Chung for the homemade Thai iced tea inspiration.

-diane

Fill the glass to about 3/4 of Thai tea mix

Easy Thai Tea Recipe (Thai Iced Tea) from White On Rice Couple

add half & half, it makes it creamy good. give a stir.

Easy Thai Tea Recipe (Thai Iced Tea) from White On Rice Couple

drink up lots of it and make more.

Easy Thai Tea Recipe (Thai Iced Tea) from White On Rice Couple

Update! Here’s a Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe for all you iced coffee fans!

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Thai Iced Tea Recipe

Yield: Serves 4-6

Total Time: 1 hour

Please read the post about this Thai tea recipe. It discusses the brands and different methods on how to make it to get the orange color, as well as photographs to illustrate the process. When we made our Thai Tea mix from the Pantai Thai Tea Mix bag, we reduced their suggested sugar amount by about 20% to our own personal taste.

Ingredients:

Thai Tea Mix Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (80g) Pantai Thai Tea Mix or 4 Black Tea bags
  • 4 cups (950ml) Water
  • 3/4 cup (150g) Sugar

Thai Tea Assembly:

  • Pre-made Thai tea mix (see above)
  • half and half (some folks also use coconut milk, whole milk, sweetened condensed milk)
  • ice

Directions:

Thai Tea Mix directions

  1. Bring water to boil and add the thai tea mix or the 4 black tea bags. Add sugar and gently stir to completely dissolve sugar. Gently boil tea for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Allow tea to steep for at least 30 minutes and allow it to cool. The more concentrated the tea flavor, the better the Thai tea tastes.
  3. If you are using the Thai tea mix, strain the tea leaves. Set finished Thai tea aside to cool.
  4. If you are using black tea bags, remove the tea bags and set aside finished Thai tea to cool.
  5. You can make this ahead of time and have the Thai tea chilling in the fridge.

Assembly directions

  1. Fill glasses with ice.
  2. Fill glass with about 3/4 full of the Thai tea mix. Then top off remainder of glass with half and half.
  3. Stir and enjoy.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

Hello! All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you. And remember in making the recipes, if using table salt instead of kosher or sea salt, make sure you reduce the salt amount.



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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Donald @ Tea Time July 31, 2013 at 2:01 am

Yeah, tea looking like coca cola, i making that now. Of course ICE is must have to doing that correctly.

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2 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 31, 2013 at 4:27 am

Love this!! totally giving this a try!

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3 Putputt July 31, 2013 at 4:43 am

Ahh, my husband LOVES Thai iced tea! Will have to try this soon!

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4 Shellina July 31, 2013 at 6:01 am

I totally forget about Thai iced tea, too! I’ve made it before (it was guest posted on my blog a while ago) and loved it, but I’d forgotten how amazing it is! Thanks for the reminder. ;)

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5 Averie @ Averie Cooks July 31, 2013 at 8:40 am

This is gorgeous! There was a Thai ice tea I saw on either Saveur or Bon Appetit’s website and pinned it last week. Yours is of course prettier than theirs! But now, I am craving making this again. And need to. Pinning this to keep reminding myself :)

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6 Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today July 31, 2013 at 8:41 am

I remember it! I loved it and need to make it at home. I pinn it so I won’t loose your recipe.

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7 Bee July 31, 2013 at 11:13 am

Your auntie’s comment just reminded me about my high school days during international food booths fundraising. My mom made a large pot of Thai tea brew that filled one gallon after another. Me and my brother brought the many gallons of Thai iced tea (sugar and creamy part already mixed in) to contribute to our booth (we’re Thai by the way). The tea was a popular item and helped raised a lot of money. And it didn’t cost very much money or time to make!

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8 Radhika @ Just Homemade July 31, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Thai tea is my absolute favorite, especially with bobba
Have always wanted to make at home. you make it seem simple.

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9 jennylou July 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm

you can also make it sweeter and vegan by using coconut cream in place of sweetened condensed milk

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10 Susan July 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Are there any health issues re: the yellow dye in the prepackaged Thai iced tea mix? It is available very cheaply at a local Asian market, but I remembered the ruckus about red food dye and wondered.

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11 White on Rice Couple July 31, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Susan- If there is a concern, then you can make it with the black tea bags. The recipe has both options.

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12 Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence July 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Thai Tea is one of my faaaaavorites. It’s the perfect counter to a fiery Thai curry :)

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13 Karen July 31, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Ooooooh, Thai Iced tea is really good stuff! I definitely have to try this. funny, just yesterday my brother was talking about making Thai Iced tea at home. Thanks!

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14 Abbe@This is How I Cook July 31, 2013 at 8:29 pm

I believe I might have to make a change. Iced coffee for iced tea, please!

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15 Marilyn @ Pink Martinis and Pearls August 1, 2013 at 6:35 am

This was a great post, couple. I love Thai tea but knowing how it satisfies both my sugar and fat tastes, I always felt it was one of those decadent treats better left unknown. Now I know and I’m glad I do. It wasn’t that scary after all especially with the consideration of altering the sugar and dairy but if one is going to do it, I say go for the gusto and the half and half. Beautiful images, as always.

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16 Grace August 1, 2013 at 7:03 am

Beautiful photography (as usual)

http://polaroidsandpuds.blogspot.co.uk/

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17 Angie | Big Bear's Wife August 1, 2013 at 8:50 am

those photos are gorgeous!

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18 Andrea August 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm

This is the one I bought…..cheap on Amazon.com…..delicious

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19 DessertForTwo August 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm

This is just beautiful. I always wondered what gave it that gorgeous orange glow. Now I know. Thanks :)

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20 Jamie August 1, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Mmmmm! Must try! Can you please tell me the name of the Thai restaurant that you visited in Chicago so I can go there too? Thanks!

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21 White on Rice Couple August 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Jamie- we ate at Opart Thai House. The food was very good, but the service was terrible. It’s definitely worth the visit if you’re hungry. And patient.

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22 :D August 2, 2013 at 5:57 pm

How do you make just regular hot plain Thai tea?

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23 Bill October 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm

“Cha yen” is Tea with Milk; “Cha dum yen” is tea without milk, just skip the milk!

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24 Winnie August 3, 2013 at 7:49 am

Love Thai ice tea! Yours is gorgeous…interested to try it with the coconut milk!

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25 Kate August 3, 2013 at 11:17 am

When I clicked on the link for the Thai tea you recommended…it says that the ingredients are just green tea and food dyes. Would it taste the same with regular green tea? Looks amazing, but I don’t want the color to be added dyes. Still tempted, though.

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26 White on Rice Couple August 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Kate- you can certainly make it with regular green tea. Essentially it would be a green milk tea, which is also very popular at many tea and boba shops. Enjoy!

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27 kelle thorsen August 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm

You’ve inspired me, again!! Totally headed to my asian market to begin my quest :) Thank you!!

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28 Dina August 4, 2013 at 7:22 am

I love Thai tea. will have to try making it!

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29 Row August 4, 2013 at 10:49 am

Wow, now I can make my own Thai iced tea… awesome! Thanks!

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30 pam (Sidewalk Shoes) August 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Oh, this looks so good!

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31 dervla @ The Curator August 7, 2013 at 7:20 am

mmmm now i’m craving Thai food and iced tea. I can visualize dinner tonight already. Score!

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32 jengd August 8, 2013 at 7:22 am

I actually got the tea mix and I’m just about to make it. Question though. The bag only says to add 2-3t of sugar per serving. At most that’s only about 1/4c of sugar for the 4 serving recipe above. You mention 3/4c is cutting back on their recipe. I’m confused. :)

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33 White on Rice Couple August 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I’d go with what you package says. We were basing our comments and recipe in regards to what the bag we bought had instructed.

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34 C. Brown August 18, 2014 at 10:32 pm

I had glanced over this and forgot about it. Yet knew I was going to try green papaya salad and thought Thai iced tea would be perfect. So I headed to the Asian market down the hill – and found the same exact tea! (It was actually the only Thai iced tea they carried. None of that instant powder stuff, either!)

Anyway, if you use sweetened condensed (which I put on the bottom instead of on top!), you won’t need any sugar whatsoever.

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35 Jessica @ Floptimism August 10, 2013 at 7:59 am

Hello! I write a weekly post on my blog called the Weekend Wrap-Up, where I share some of my favorite web finds from the past week. I thought the pictures of this Thai iced tea were so stunning, I featured them on this week’s post! I wanted to thank you for such a beautiful recipe and have included the link to the wrap-up in case you’re interested. Enjoy your weekend!

http://floptimism.blogspot.com/2013/08/weekend-wrap-up.html

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36 Rose August 12, 2013 at 8:47 am

I have been making this recipe for almost a week straight now. It is incredible how easy it is to make! I live in San Jose and found a Vietnamese market in downtown and found the exact Thai Tea Mix from this recipe. I will be making a trip to stock up on more mix in a couple hours. Definitely looking forward to saving so much money! Thanks so much for this recipe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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37 Rose August 12, 2013 at 8:50 am

Forgot to mention that I followed this recipe exactly and the result was amazing. So delicious and probably better than restaurants and Tapioca Express since there is so much love in it. Need to start saving milk jugs and add Thai Tea!

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38 AriAna September 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm

This was brilliant! I have used the “Thai Tea mix” but didn’t have it on hand. Made it using Black Tea… Of course I chose the one day I had no milk, half and half or anything I could use. So I thought… I opted for International Delight French Vanilla Creamer (Diluted with water or else it would have been too sweet for me.) Great Taste! Had the light vanilla flavor that was missing since I didn’t have the Thai Tea Mix! :) Love you site!!!

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39 kyle October 23, 2013 at 9:21 am

Hi, nice website and beautiful pictures!

Just wondering about the amount of thai tea mix to water ratio, 1 cup to 4 cups of water seems very concentrated. With the addition of steeping for 30 min.s, I would imagine the taste would be very strong. Is the ratio correct?

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40 White on Rice Couple October 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm

That is what the instructions were for the brand of tea we bought. Each brand may vary, but it was quite delicious. I think it needs to be a bit concentrated to stand up the other ingredients.

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41 Aly January 20, 2014 at 11:22 pm

amazing recipe!! Thanks!

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42 Sheila January 31, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Just made this…exactly as instructed…and it was deliciously yummy! I was struggling with the instructions on the package. It didnt indicate a brew time which you did and this was the perfect amount of sugar.

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43 Erin February 5, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve looked all over for a Thai tea recipe that tasted like what you get in restaurants. I’ve bought vanilla beans, tried every “milk” variation, and so on–but your recipe has been the best. Thank you so much!

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44 Selina February 5, 2014 at 7:50 pm

How did you drain the tea? I’ve seen a few videos that use cloth sieves but I wouldn’t have the slightest clue in how to wash that or if it’s even necassary.

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45 White on Rice Couple February 10, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Just with a fine mesh strainer. You don’t have to if you don’t mind the leaves. Some cultures don’t strain tea leaves out of their tea.

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46 C. Brown August 18, 2014 at 10:34 pm

I was actually thinking of buying a big French press and doing batches…

I made a mess when my sieve (which was really my flour sifter), which was way bigger than the glass, leaked tea all over the counter!

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47 QuantumCake February 6, 2014 at 10:57 am

Hello! I’ve never tried this kind of beverage but I like to experiment (professional deformation, like we say at my home) so I’ve decided to add a little bit of Bourbon vanilla extract and a quarter of a teaspoon of powdered saffron, for a more distinct taste, to my black tea. Finished with coconut milk it was pretty amazing, I have to say.

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48 Barbara April 29, 2014 at 6:05 pm

The same day I read your post (three days ago) I ordered the tea from Amazon. It arrived today and it’s steeping as I type this comment. I’ve only had Thai Iced Tea once but I LOVED it and seeing your post reminded me how much. I was thrilled to find out I could make it at home. Thank you so much for sharing!

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49 Giddie May 10, 2014 at 3:32 pm

I wonder… if horchata would work for the creaminess part…. the spices in that with the spices of Thai tea seems to me would be a great combination.

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50 Dana May 25, 2014 at 10:22 am

Looking forward to giving this a try. Jotted your fab recipe down with my own notes so my Thai-food-loving friends and I can pamper our palates at home, too. Thank you!

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51 Mae July 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Just made this. Used the tea that was linked, followed the recipe here except I reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup (I’m not a fan of sweet tea and there’s diabetics around me ), and used condensed milk because I had a can handy and only other thing that was handy was some skim milk. Was still rather sweet (for my tastes), but I think that was mostly because of the condensed milk. I’ll be re-trying this later with either cream or half-and-half, whichever will have more use around the house. Other than that, really liked it.

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52 Jim July 18, 2014 at 12:19 am

Steeping tea for that length of time will build up the tannins in tea. An alternative method is to use black tea, but double the amount of tea bags. Steep for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, and a few drops of vanilla extract. I’ve also used almond extract for very good flavor too. Less sugar if you’re using sweetened condensed milk. I’ve found it best with half sweetened condensed milk and half coconut milk. You get a smooth rich texture with a hint of coconut.

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53 C. Brown August 18, 2014 at 10:38 pm

I steeped mine for about an hour when I went to the store to pick up things I needed for green papaya salad and larb and then another hour when I prepared same. The tea turned out great: no bitterness or other issues associated with too much tannin.

I didn’t use any sugar when I added sweetened condensed.

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54 Rebecca - FoodFlav October 20, 2014 at 9:01 am

So excited to try for breakfast! Thanks alot :)

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55 Elge Premeau September 1, 2014 at 3:22 pm

That “doh”/”ah-ha” moment? I call it a “D-aha moment”.

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56 Rebecca - FoodFlav October 20, 2014 at 7:09 am

Every recipe of your’s has been delicious. Thank you for helping me on my journey.

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