Whether you like Thai food or not, you’ll love Thai tea. It’s a delicious, orange-colored, sweetened beverage to freshen you up anytime.
When prepared the right way, it absorbs the delightful flavors from the tea leaves and spices which are countered with sweeteners to offer a balanced taste. Usually, Thai tea consists of green or black tea combined with honey, lemon juice, and spices such as ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, and cloves.
It can be served hot or cold, meaning you can enjoy it year-round. Some people also call it Thai hot tea or ginger tea because of its unique taste from the spices.
It is impossible not to see Thai tea in any Thai restaurant. In fact, there are many versions of this famous tea throughout Southeast Asia.
In addition to tasting great, a cup of Thai iced tea is good for your health. It has many antioxidants that help reduce stress and fight diseases. Furthermore, this drink’s combination of honey and lemon aids digestion and improves immunity.
If you wish to make this famous beverage at home, here’s a traditional Thai iced tea recipe that we love to bits.
Thai Tea’s Historical Background
Although the exact origin of Thai iced tea is unknown, it’s widely believed that it was brewed first in Northern Thailand. Although Thailand’s climate is hot and humid, the Northern provinces are mountainous, so it gets cooler there. To stay warm, locals often drink hot beverages such as tea.
The Northern provinces also happen to be where the best tea in Thailand is grown. So if you’ve tasted Thai iced tea, you know its unique taste.
In addition, you’ll be able to differentiate Thai tea from Northern Thailand because most of the country’s spices are grown. This reason explains why the tea is infused with so many different flavors.
Before now, Thai tea used to be a standard tea mixture in Thailand, but it has gone beyond the Thai borders to various Thai restaurants in various countries, including the United States.
These interesting facts about Thai tea made me inquire more about the succulent Thai tea recipes. I discovered they use tea mix instead of preparing it from the beginning.
Why Is Thai Iced Tea So Tasty?
The first time I tasted Thai iced tea with a mix of sweetened condensed milk, I felt its crispy taste. For a moment, I wondered what could be in this iced tea to make it so tasty.
So, I asked one of the waiters working in the Thai restaurant, and he gave me a simple and detailed answer that interested me. So, I will be sharing my discovery with you.
Generally speaking, you can prepare your Thai iced tea with hot water, evaporated milk, coconut milk, or sweetened condensed milk and ice it with crushed ice.
The answer to why Thai tea is so tasty is simple. It has so many delicious spices. In particular, most people use the following spices in Thai iced tea recipes:
Cardamom: This herb is often used in Indian and Asian cuisine. It adds a slightly sweet flavor, and many believe it to have medicinal properties.
Cinnamon: This is another common spice in Thai iced tea. Cinnamon is a tree bark that’s commonly used in baking and cooking. It can be used fresh or dried, but it’s usually sold in powdered form.
Cloves: Cloves are the dried buds of a flowering tree native to South Asia. Some people use cloves in their cooking or baking, while others use them as a spice.
Ginger: Ginger is another common spice in Thai iced tea. It’s a rhizome (root) that people consume as a spice.
Thai Iced Tea Is Orange – Why Is That?
I used to wonder what makes Thai iced tea orange. Thai iced tea comes in a variety of flavors. Some are green tea, while others are black tea.
The tea used in Thai iced tea is usually black tea or green tea. The type of tea used doesn’t matter as long as you brew it strong with large and unbroken leaves.
The reason that Thai iced tea is orange is because of the spices added to the tea leaves. Many Thai iced tea recipes use pandan, a plant whose leaves are used as a natural food coloring. In addition to adding color to the tea, pandan is a fragrant herb that gives it a unique flavor.
Most tea blends contain a coloring agent, which gives Thai tea its orange color. This artificial coloring is not so new, but if you are wary of such, you should know this.
Some Thai tea mixes have created some of the most iconic beverages in the world. In addition, Thai tea bags are popular among people who want to drink tea at home without leaving the house.
The Top Thai Tea Companies
If you’re looking for an excellent Thai tea brand, you can’t go wrong with a Thai tea Giant Pantai Thai tea mix. This company has a line of delicious teas, including Thai iced tea. Pantai Thai tea mix is one of the top tea brands in Thailand. Other popular Thai tea companies include Cha Thai tea, Panthai tea mix, and Thai gold tea.
Cha Thai Tea Mix: This tea is strong and has an authentic, pleasant aroma and color.
Pantai Tea Mix: I enjoy purchasing Thai Boba milk teas. I decided to prepare it myself because I became sick of frequently using my money to buy. Even before you open the bag, this tea has a powerful and wonderful aroma. Follow the suggested guidelines while brewing since they are solid. It’s pleasurable when I make this tea. It’s also beneficial to drink it on its own with some sugar. I call it authentic Thai iced tea, and it’s sweet.
Thai Gold Tea: The Thai gold tea mix is delicious when you add sweetened condensed milk and brown sugar.
How to Store Thai Iced Tea Properly
Brewing tea mixture is easy. How do you store it properly to maintain the ideal taste after mixing condensed and evaporated milk with other ingredients? Having sufficient knowledge of the proper storage techniques for iced tea can make the Thai tea mix last much longer.
Factors That Affect the Storage of Thai Iced Tea
You need to note certain factors if you want to store your Thai Iced Tea properly. Hence, in the following sections, we will walk you through the critical factors you must take note of when you make Thai iced tea if you want to store it.
Type of Milk Mixture
The best way to retain the taste proper Thai tea bags will give you is to make the required amount of tea you need at once. Storing Thai teas will always make them lose their taste. There’s a limit to how long ingredients like whole milk, coconut milk, or oat milk can last. The type of milk you use in your Thai tea recipe is up to you.
Nevertheless, each type of milk gives a different tea flavor and has its shelf life. Hence, understanding the shelf life of the type of milk you use in your Thai tea recipe is essential in preservation.
Thai Tea Preparation
How you brew the tea significantly affects how you store it. Most people use the traditional Thai method of brewing tea. Hence, if you use the hot water method, allow the hot tea mixture to cool down to room temperature before you put it in a refrigerator to cool.
If you don’t allow it to cool down to room temperature first, the rapid drop in temperatures will cause the condensed milk to cloud, ruining the taste of the tea. In contrast, if you use the cold brewing method, which is rare, you don’t have a problem storing it since it is already cold.
Type of Storage Container
Irrespective of the method you use to brew Thai tea, ensure that you use a clean pitcher or dispenser. While storing your Thai tea, use a glass container to retain the optimal taste you felt when you first tasted the tea. It isn’t uncommon for plastic to absorb and change the taste of Thai teas. Hence, use a glass dispenser over plastic.
Once you store your Thai iced tea properly, it should last for at least two days and stay for up to a week in optimal condition. First, discard any milk tea that starts to smell or turns cloudy. Once the taste is different, the milk in it has probably started fermenting.
It only goes with saying fresh iced tea is the best. Fresh iced tea is free from artificial sugar substitutes, perfectly sweet, and you can add more ice if you want to. Depending on your flavor, you can use vanilla extract, fresh spices, lime juice, decaf black tea, and a rich milk mixture to suit your personal taste.
You must notice that you made more tea than required. If you’re in such a situation, repurpose the Thai tea quickly. The more time goes by, the more its shelf life depreciates. Hence, it would help if you acted quickly. It will be helpful if you have ice cube trays around the house. You can quickly pour the Thai tea you’ve made into the tray and place it in the freezer. Once the ice turns solid, you can remove it and store it in freezer bags. These frozen Thai tea ice cubes can serve as regular cubes you add to a smoothie instead of plain ice.
Most Thai restaurants brew tea and serve it to their customers without artificial preservatives and food coloring. Once you serve your Thai tea mixture, you are sure of this refreshing drink’s taste. These restaurants incredibly protect your health. Furthermore, the bright orange color of Thai iced tea is natural and free of food coloring.
Easy Thai Iced Tea
- 1 cup Thai tea mix
- 4 cup water
- crushed ice
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- Sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cardamom
- A small cinnamon stick
- A small piece of ginger
- Boil 4 cups of water.
- Add 1 cup of Thai tea mix and boil for another 3-5 minutes.
- Add the cardamom, cinnamon stick, and ginger, and let the liquid steep for 20 minutes.
- Remove the tea leaves and spices from the pot and let the liquid cool down. Ensure not to let any solid matter escape into the strained liquid.
- Once the tea has cooled down, you can add the sweetener of your choice. It's common to add honey to Thai iced tea, but you can also use sugar or other sweeteners.
- At this point, you can decide to keep the mixture in the refrigerator for an hour or two or serve it right then with ice. To serve, follow the next step.
- Fill 2 glasses with crushed ice. Pour the cooled tea mixture into the glass till half filled. The ice isn't for show; it will dilute the ingredients' sweetness.
- Add in the sweetener - condensed milk, as needed. You can start with 1 tbsp and keep adding until you achieve the desired taste.
You can patronize many Thai restaurants to enjoy different types of Thai tea. Better still, you can learn to make your Thai tea if you don’t want to buy from public restaurants. You can learn to make Thai milk tea using condensed milk and evaporated milk if you so decide. We have explained how to make That tea with our recipe. You can follow this recipe to make your Thai tea as you like it.