Best Homemade Thai Iced Tea

Making Thai iced tea at home is easy! Delicious and refreshing, this Thai tea recipe has a lovely rich layer of sweetened milk.

How to make Thai iced tea


Thai Iced Tea

Thai iced tea is a drink that’s deliciously sweet and refreshing. I’ve always ordered it at Thai restaurants but found out that it’s really easy to recreate it at home. 

The base of this orange drink is tea, spices, and (surprise, surprise!) food coloring. If you’ve ever wondered how the drink is so bright orange, it’s from the red and yellow food coloring that’s added to the Thai tea mix. 

Thai tea comes out a dark red color when brewed but the addition of milk turns it into the bright orange color we’re so familiar with.

Thai iced tea is sweet, contains dairy, and cold so it’s the perfect drink to have with spicy food.

Tips on Making the Best Homemade Thai Tea 

  • There’s a lot of sugar in Thai iced tea.
    I tried making this Thai iced tea recipe with less sugar and it really didn’t taste the same as the ones I would get at Thai restaurants. Don’t skimp on the sugar.
  • Don’t replace evaporated milk with half & half.
    I first made the drink with half & half but it was missing something. That something was evaporated milk. 
  • Use strong brewed tea.
    Since the Thai tea gets diluted in the ice, you want to brew the tea strong otherwise it tastes too watery. I wanted to get some good tea in with the cheap Thai tea mix so I added in black tea.

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Best Thai tea mix

Thai Iced Tea Mix

The easiest way to make Thai iced tea at home is with a Thai tea mix. It’s a packaged blend of black tea and spices so it takes the guesswork of trying to create an authentic flavor.

When I was first testing out the recipe, I couldn’t figure out why the Thai iced tea didn’t taste so great. Fred, the chef at my favorite tea spot, Te Company, (subscribe to his YouTube channel!) suggested I add black tea to the Thai tea mix to boost the tea flavor. It worked!

Does Thai Tea Have Caffeine?

Yes, there is caffeine in Thai iced tea. The base of the Thai tea mix is black tea and black tea contains caffeine.

If you’re sensitive to caffeine, I wouldn’t drink this too late in the day.

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Thai iced tea ingredients

What I Used to Make The Best Thai Iced Tea

Thai tea ingredients

How to Make Thai Iced Tea

There are two parts to this Thai iced tea recipe. The first is brewing the tea and the second is whipping up the sweet, creamy froth that sits on top of the drink.

Let’s start with the tea.

Put Thai tea mix, black tea, and sugar in a teapot. Add hot water and steep for 5 minutes.

How to make Thai iced tea

Strain the tea and let it cool for about 30 minutes.

The tea should be a really dark red color.

The tea stains LIKE CRAZY. If you spill even a drop, make sure you wipe it up quick.

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Thai iced tea recipe

I love these Weck tall jars and they’re perfect for storing tea in the refrigerator.

I use them to store cold brew iced tea all summer long. 

Thai tea recipe

While the tea is cooling, make the milky froth. 

Stir together sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk in a container and freeze for about 15- 20 minutes.

Thai tea ingredients

You’ll know the milk mixture is ready when you see a crystallized layer forming around the sides.

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Thai iced tea recipe

Use a handheld milk frother to whisk until the sweetened milk nearly doubles in volume. It should look nice and fluffy. 

Resist the urge to drink this as is. 

Ok, now it’s ready to combine the two to make this incredibly refreshing drink.

How to make Thai iced tea

Fill a cup with ice and pour in the cooled down tea. If you want it to be more authentic, use crushed ice since that’s how it’s usually served in Thailand.

Leave some room at the top of the cup for the froth.

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Homemade Thai iced tea

Since we just whipped the milk, it’s light and airy and will sit on top of the tea. Well, for a few seconds anyway.

It’ll slowly make its way down the drink, turning the dark red to a bright orange.

Thai iced tea recipe

It’s so pretty to see the color change.

Thai tea recipe

Stir before drinking so that the tea is mixed well with the milk.

Thai iced tea

The Best Homemade Thai Iced Tea

The Best Homemade Thai Iced Tea

Yield: Makes 2 servings

A sweet and refreshing Thai iced tea recipe you can make at home.



  1. Put Thai tea mix, black tea, and sugar in a glass teapot and add hot water. Steep for 5 minutes then strain out the tea leaves. Let cool for about 30 minutes.
  2. Combine sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk in a container. Freeze for 15 - 20 minutes until milk starts to solidify along the edge of the container.
  3. Use a handheld milk frother to whisk the semi-frozen milk mixture until it nearly doubles in size.
  4. Fill two cups with ice, pour tea into each, leaving room for the milky froth. Pour on the froth to each cup, which should sit on top of the tea for a few seconds before it makes its way down the cup.
  5. Stir tea and froth before drinking.


Do not replace evaporated milk with half & half.

I used dark brown sugar but white sugar will also work.

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  • Jeanne
    8 months ago

    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

    • Meg
      7 months ago

      Arbor Tea has a nice thai iced tea mix that does not have artificial colors

    • Oh, How Civilized
      7 months ago

      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!

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