What Is In A Thai Iced Tea?

Thai iced tea, also known as “cha yen” in Thailand, is a delightful and refreshing beverage that has gained popularity around the globe due to its distinctive flavor profile and vibrant appearance.

This sweet and creamy beverage, commonly served in Thai restaurants, street stalls, and cafes, is a delightful combination of strong black tea and condensed milk or coconut milk. Not only does Thai iced tea quench your thirst, but it also provides a genuinely unique taste experience. This article, will explain what is in a Thai iced tea.

What Is Thai Iced Tea?

Thai Iced Tea is a refreshing beverage with brewed black tea and spices such as vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise served over ice. It is typically served with sweetened condensed milk and has a distinctive orange hue. This beverage is standard in Thailand but has become popular in Thai restaurants abroad.

What Is In A Thai Iced Tea?

1. Black Tea

Thai iced tea is typically prepared with a robust, dark variety of black tea. Frequently, orange-colored, traditional Thai tea leaves are utilized.

These leaves have undergone special processing to produce a rich and aromatic tea. If you are still looking for Thai tea leaves, you may substitute Ceylon or Assam.

2. Sugar

Thai iced tea has a reputation for being saccharine. It is enriched with sugar crystals. The amount of sugar used can differ significantly based on individual preference.

Some recipes call for several tablespoons of sugar per serving, but you can make the beverage as sweet as you desire.

3. Condensed Milk

The unique characteristic of Thai iced tea is sweetened condensed milk. This sweet and viscous milk gives the tea its creamy texture and distinctive flavor.

Traditional recipes call for a substantial amount of condensed milk. Although evaporated milk and half-and-half can be substitutes, they produce different taste levels.

4. Ice

Thai iced tea, as its name implies, contains ice. It is served over ice, making it a refreshing and soothing beverage.


1. Brew The Tea

Brew the Tea: To begin, brew a potent quantity of black tea. Either loose-leaf tea or tea sachets may be utilized.

Thai tea leaves are steeped in boiling water for several minutes, whereas other black teas can be soaked for a comparable period until the tea is highly concentrated and dark.

2. Sweeten The Tea

Add sugar to the tea while it is still hot to make it taste better. Add the sugar to the tea that is already hot and stir it in until it is all mixed in.

As was already said, the amount of sugar can be changed to suit each person’s tastes. The end result should be a strong, sweet tea.

3. Chill The Tea

Allow the sweetened tea to settle to room temperature before refrigerating it. Once it is no longer hot, you can cool it further in the refrigerator.

4. Serve Over Ice

Fill a tall vessel with ice and serve over ice when ready. Pour the chilled, sugary tea over the ice. Leave some space at the glass’s rim.

5. Add Condensed Milk

Pour a generous quantity of sweetened condensed milk over the tea’s surface. The condensed milk will descend to the bottom and create layers.

6. Stir And Enjoy

Stir the tea and condensed milk together before consuming. This will combine milk’s luscious richness with tea’s robust flavor.

The resulting Thai iced tea is creamy, sweet, and invigorating.


Infuse and filter the tea. Allow it to settle to room temperature before transferring it to a container or pitcher with a seal.

Refrigerate for up to seven days. Add sweetened condensed milk immediately before serving.

Possible Variations

  • Adjust sugar: When you use a Thai Iced Tea recipe, you can completely change how sweet the drink is. You can change the amount of sugar to your liking or use cheese that hasn’t been sweetened.
  • Change milk: Change the milk to whole milk, half-and-half, or unsweetened condensed milk. For a dairy-free alternative, coconut milk is an excellent choice. Just remember to add additional sweetener if necessary.
  • Add citrus: This tea pairs well with lemon, lime, or orange slices. A touch of citrus enhances the flavor of other ingredients.
  • Iced Thai Tea Latte: Some variations of Thai iced tea include a dose of espresso or strong coffee, resulting in a hybrid known as “Thai tea latte.”
  • Toppings: Like bubble tea, some people enjoy adding garnishes to their Thai iced tea, such as tapioca pearls or boba.

Difference Between Thai Tea And Milk Tea

Milk tea is a popular iced or heated beverage traditionally prepared with black tea. The term “milk” encompasses sweetened condensed, reconstituted, whole, and non-dairy milk. Thai tea is a variety of milk tea containing a specific blend of black tea, spices, sugar, and evaporated and/or condensed milk.


  • Utilize a robust tea like Ceylon, Assam, or Keemun. Alternatively, you can use four tea bags of strong black tea or four tablespoons of caffeine-free rooibos tea to prepare Thai iced tea.
  • This recipe can be made vegan by substituting the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk with coconut cream and coconut milk.
  • This Thai tea’s flavor can be adjusted according to personal preference. This recipe is not as sweet as some Thai iced tea mixtures, but the sugar can be increased or decreased as desired.

Thai iced tea is a flavorful concoction that depicts the essence of Thai cuisine through its intriguing aroma, striking color, and undeniable flavor. With its solid tea base and creamy richness, this beverage offers a harmonious balance of flavors, making it a must-try for those seeking to explore the diverse world of global drinks.

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