Absolute Best Thai Iced Tea Recipe

4.69 from 82 votes

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Don’t just make any Thai iced tea, make the absolute best one. This delicious and decadent drink tastes even better than the ones you’ve had at Thai restaurants!

  • This recipe uses a Thai tea mix, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk to make it completely delicious.
  • Thai tea mix gives the drink the authentic orange color.
  • A sweet drink, it pairs perfectly with spicy food.
Thai Iced Tea with cream froth in a glass.

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Recipe Highlights

  • Thai iced tea is a caffeinated cold drink made with black tea, spiced with star anise seed, and sweetened with sugar and sweetened condensed milk. Evaporated milk is added to make it creamy. It’s deliciously sweet and so refreshing.
  • To make it taste like the one you get at Thai restaurants, use a Thai tea mix. It’s the only way you can get the exact same flavor since that’s what they use.
  • The brewed tea is a dark red color and adding evaporated milk gives the drink its signature bright orange color. You won’t get the same orange color unless you use the Thai tea mix since there’s food coloring in the mix.
  • It’s a drink that’s surprisingly easy to make at home. It’s the perfect drink to have with spicy food since it’s sweet, contains dairy, and ice cold.

RELATED: Thai Iced Tea with Boba

Ingredient Notes

Thai iced tea ingredients.
  • Thai tea mix: It’s the legit way to get that authentic orange color and taste.
  • Black tea: There’s black tea in the Thai tea mix but I like to add more to give it a stronger tea taste. Any black tea will work including English breakfast tea.
  • Water: Use filtered water for a better tasting Thai iced tea.
  • Brown sugar: You can also use regular white sugar but brown sugar gives the drink a richer flavor.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: Along with the brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk sweetens the drink but also makes it creamy.
  • Evaporated milk: I’ve tried swapping out the evaporated milk with other kinds of milk but it didn’t have the same restaurant-quality taste.
  • Ice: To make the drink truly authentic, use crushed ice instead of ice cubes.

For full ingredients and detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

My Thai Iced Tea Mix Pick

Photo Credit: amazon.com

A very popular mix that makes delicious Thai iced tea.
SHOP NOW

Step-by-Step Instructions

Thai tea mix, black tea, sugar, in a tea pot.

Step 1: Combine Thai tea mix, black tea, sugar, and hot water in a teapot.

Cover and steep. Strain tea leaves and let tea cool.

Whipped milk in a measuring cup.

Step 2: Freeze sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk then whip. Using a handheld milk frother makes it super easy to whisk until it nearly doubles in volume.

Pouring milk in a cup with tea.

Step 3: Pour tea into a cup with ice.

Step 4: Top tea with cold, whisked froth.
Stir before drinking.

Expert Tips

  • There’s a ton of sugar in a Thai iced tea. And if you try to cut down on it, it definitely won’t taste as good. I made the recipe multiple times, with less sugar, but it just didn’t taste the same as the ones in Thai restaurants.
  • The black tea isn’t absolutely necessary since there is black tea in the Thai tea mix but adding it definitely made it taste better. (Thanks, for the suggestion, Fred!)
  • The Thai tea can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to drink, just add in the condensed milk and evaporated milk.
  • The food coloring from the Thai tea mix stains LIKE CRAZY. If you spill even a drop, make sure you wipe it up quickly.

Questions You May Have

Is there caffeine in this drink?

Yes, there’s caffeine in the black tea so there’s caffeine in this drink.

What makes Thai iced tea so orange?

The bright orange color is from the red and yellow food coloring that’s in the Thai tea mix.

Can I make this without freezing the condensed milk and evaporated milk?

Yes! Just stir the two together and pour it into the tea. I freeze the two and whisk so that the drink has a nice, rich frothy topping.

Thai iced tea with cream froth in a glass.

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4.69 from 82 votes

Decadent Thai Iced Tea

By: Jee Choe
A sweet and refreshing Thai iced tea recipe you can easily make at home.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 servings (16 ounces)

Ingredients 

Thai Iced Tea

  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 tablespoons Thai tea mix
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black tea

Cream Froth Topping

Instructions 

MAKE THAI TEA

  • Boil water.
    Bring water to a boil on the stovetop. If using an electric kettle with a temperature setting, set water temperature to 208°F. Use filtered water if possible.
  • Combine Thai tea mix, black tea, sugar, and hot water in a teapot. Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain tea solids and let tea cool for 30 minutes.

MAKE CREAM FROTH TOPPING

  • Combine sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk and freeze for 20 minutes.
    The milk mixture is ready when you see a crystallized layer forming around the sides.
  • Whip sweetened milk mixture.
    Use a handheld milk frother to whisk until the slightly frozen sweetened milk nearly doubles in volume.

ASSEMBLE DRINK

  • Divide each component into two cups.
    Into cups of ice, pour cooled down tea, and top with milk froth. Stir before drinking.

Notes

  • There’s a ton of sugar in a Thai iced tea. And if you try to cut down on it, it definitely won’t taste as good. I made the recipe multiple times, with less sugar, but it just didn’t taste the same as the ones in Thai restaurants.
  • The black tea isn’t absolutely necessary since there is black tea in the Thai tea mix but adding it definitely made it taste better. 
  • To make the drink truly authentic, use crushed ice instead of ice cubes.
  • I’ve tried swapping out the evaporated milk with other kinds of milk but it didn’t have the same restaurant-quality taste. Stick with the evaporated milk.
  • The Thai tea can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to drink, just add in the condensed milk and evaporated milk.
  • The food coloring from the Thai tea mix stains LIKE CRAZY. If you spill even a drop, make sure you wipe it up quickly.

Nutrition

Calories: 196Carbohydrates: 29gProtein: 6gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 109mgPotassium: 268mgSugar: 29gVitamin A: 206IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 241mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American, South African
Tried this recipe?Mention @ohhowcivilized or tag #ohhowcivilized!

About Jee Choe

Welcome! I'm a certified Tea Sommelier and a self-proclaimed bubble tea and iced tea master. I'm all about making tea EASY and DELICIOUS.

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9 Comments

  1. Hi, I love your tea recipes, But i tried it with the Evaporated milk, and with fresh dairy milk, and I actually really like it better with fresh dairy milk. So Tip or secret number two doesn’t really apply to everyone.

    1. I agree about the evaporated/condensed milk secret that another person posted. I use a little extra sugar in the brewing and add a 50-50 mixture of half and half and real coconut cream. Please try it like that, it will blow your mind! I’ve never put anything more amazing in my mouth. Also, please tell me. Please. What in the heck does the color of a food have anything to do with the taste of it? I truly and honestly believe that lab produced food colors are not a healthy choice for our bodies. They’re chemicals, not food. And they don’t change the way something tastes. Just saying.
      I did use the brand of Thai tea you recommend, and I must say it is absolutely delicious!

      1. There’s an old Chef’s saying; “You eat with your eyes first!”
        But the question is, at what price?
        I find it interesting that if you Google Thai iced tea, there’s a lot of discussion about the possible health issues regarding the coloring, but not much talk about the butt-load of sugar involved in the process (just read the calorie content on a can of condensed milk!).
        I like the idea of the coconut cream you mentioned.
        Maybe try and substitute it for the condensed milk.

  2. I’ve seen so many recipes but this is by far the most authentic that I’ve seen. It came out looking exactly like in the restaurants. Thank you!!

  3. Hi. Why did you let the tea sit for 30mins?:o and my thai tea mix is in teabags. 2 tablespoon is equivalent to how many teabags? Thanks

    1. Hi Alvin, I’m letting it sit out for 30 minutes so it can cool down a bit so that it’s not hot. A tea bag usually contains 1.5 – 2 teaspoons of tea so I would use 4 tea bags.

  4. I remember being a little kid and getting thai tea in Bangkok from the local street vendor, steeped in that long cap-like cloth strainer and pulled back and forth to make it a touch frothy. I will definitely give the extra spoonful of black tea a try. I found that 1/8 tsp of vanilla really brings out the flavor and adds that certain olafactory aroma one finds in really good Thai Tea. The ingredient can be found in some premade mixes.

    I’m on the lookout for a really good thai tea without the fd&c coloring. It doesn’t add any flavor and my body reacts to the petrochemicals in not the best way. Please let us know if you find one that meets your approval! xo

    1. Hi Jeanne, the premade mix I used already had vanilla in it so I didn’t add any more. But good note! I haven’t seen any Thai tea without the coloring so I don’t have one to suggest but I’ll be on the lookout!