Absolutely the Best Thai Iced Tea Recipe

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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!

Thai iced tea with cream froth in tall cup

Thai Iced Tea

Thai iced tea is a drink that’s deliciously sweet and refreshing.

  • Surprisingly easy to make at home.
  • The base of a Thai iced tea is tea, spices, and (surprise, surprise!) food coloring.
  • The bright orange color is 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 bright orange.
  • Thai iced tea is sweet, contains dairy, and cold so it’s the perfect drink to have with spicy food.
  • There’s caffeine in Thai iced tea.

RELATED: How to Make the Best Bubble Tea

Three Secrets to The Best Thai Iced Tea

SECRET #1: Lots of sugar
There’s a ton of it in a Thai iced tea. And if you try to cut down on it, it definitely won’t taste as good.

SECRET #2: Evaporated milk
The Thai iced tea definitely won’t have the same restaurant-style taste without the evaporated milk. Don’t swap this out for another dairy like cream thinking it’ll taste as good — it won’t.

SECRET #3: Thai tea mix
It’s the legit way to get that authentic orange color and taste.

My Iced Tea Mix Pick:

Thai Iced Tea Tips

  • To give this Thai iced tea a stronger tea flavor, I added some black tea to the Thai iced tea mix. (Thanks, for the suggestion, Fred!)
  • The Thai tea can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to drink, just add in the condensed milk and evaporated milk.
  • To make the drink truly authentic, use crushed ice instead of ice cubes.

Free iced tea cheat sheet

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Thai iced tea ingredients

What You’ll Need

Thai tea in tall glass containers

How to Make Thai Iced Tea

There are two parts to this drink:

  • Thai tea brewed strong by adding in black tea.
  • Sweetened condensed milk froth to make it completely decadent.

STEP 1: Boil water.

Tea tastes better when it’s made with the best water. Use filtered water if you can.

Bring 2 1/4 cups of water to a boil on the stovetop. If you’re using an electric kettle with a temperature setting like I do, set the water temperature to 208°F.

STEP 2: Combine Thai tea mix, black tea, sugar, and hot water in a teapot.

STEP 3: Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.

STEP 4: Strain tea solids and let tea cool.

The tea should be a really dark red color.

NOTE: The food coloring from the Thai tea mix stains LIKE CRAZY. If you spill even a drop, make sure you wipe it up quickly.

I use these Weck tall jars to store cold brew iced tea all summer.

STEP 5: 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.

STEP 6: Whip sweetened milk mixture.

Use a handheld milk frother to whisk until the slightly frozen sweetened milk nearly doubles in volume.

Time to assemble the drink!

STEP 7: Divide each component into two cups. Fill cups with ice, pour in tea, and top with milk froth.

Fill a cup with ice and pour in the cooled down tea. Leave some room at the top of the cup for the froth.

Top the drinks with the light and airy whipped milky froth. 

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

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

Related

Easy Thai Iced Tea

Easy Thai Iced Tea

Yield: Makes 2 servings

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

Instructions

  1. 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.
    (Filtered water is best.)
  2. Combine Thai tea mix, black tea, sugar, and hot water in a teapot.
    Use a teapot with a strainer to make it easier to filter tea.
  3. Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
  4. Strain tea solids and let tea cool.
    About 30 minutes should be enough time for the tea to cool.
  5. MAKE SWEETENED MILK FROTH:
    While tea is cooling, make the sweetened milk froth.
    Combine sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk and freeze for 20 minutes.
    You'll know the milk mixture is ready when you see a crystallized layer forming around the sides.
  6. Whip sweetened milk mixture.
    Use a handheld milk frother to whisk until the slightly frozen sweetened milk nearly doubles in volume. It should look nice and fluffy. 
  7. ASSEMBLE THAI ICED TEA:
    Divide each component into two cups. Fill cups with ice, pour in tea, and top with milk froth.
    Stir before drinking.

Notes

  • Do not replace evaporated milk with cream or half & half.
  • I used dark brown sugar but white sugar will also work.

8 thoughts on “Absolutely the Best Thai Iced Tea Recipe”

  1. 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

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  2. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  3. 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!!

    Reply
  4. 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.

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply

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