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How to make Thai iced tea

What is the best way to make Thai iced tea?

Once you’ve tried Thai iced tea, it's hard to go back to living without it. It is a fun, delicious way to get caffeinated and lets you break up your coffee routine.

You can go to a boba tea shop or Thai restaurant to satisfy your craving, but that can get expensive. The simplest way to get your fix is also the most affordable — learn to make it yourself. If you have everything at home, you can make it anytime.

What is Thai iced tea?

Thai iced tea is a highly caffeinated black tea with a notable orange hue. After the tea is made, it is blended with condensed milk or cream to give it a frothy look and flavor. You mix it with sugar and put the whole thing over ice. It is sweet, cold and somewhat filling, similar to a milkshake.

What are the ingredients for Thai iced tea?

  • Thai tea mix: The loose-leaf black tea is mixed with spices and is packaged in individual or larger bags. Thai tea can also come in a powder.
  • Milk: You can use condensed milk or heavy cream for the proper flavor. It is possible to use lighter milk or nondairy milk products, but it alters the flavor.
  • Ice: Any style of ice can be used, but larger cubes are best.
  • Sweetener: Use sugar or simple syrup if needed. Some Thai tea mixes already contain sugar.
  • Optional — boba: Boba bubbles are optional but can make your treat even better.

How do you prepare Thai iced tea?

Thai iced tea can be made easily at home in less than 15 minutes. This gives you a little time to throw it all together, but if you have instant tea it’ll be much quicker.

  • Gather the ingredients: Take a moment to make sure you have everything you need before making the tea. This can save you frustration if you need to run to the store for heavy cream or boba pearls. Once you have everything that goes in it, get your tallest glass and a wide reusable drinking straw to gulp it all down.
  • Brew the tea: Both powdered and loose-leaf Thai tea need to be steeped in hot water for a little while. With loose-leaf tea, use a filter to remove any leaves before adding the sugar or milk. Both styles of Thai tea have yellow food coloring added to give the drink its dark orange look. If you have time, let the tea cool off in the fridge before mixing.
  • Add sweetener: You can use sugar, artificial sweeteners or simple syrup to sweeten your tea. If you decide to make your own simple syrup, just blend equal amounts of sugar and water. This can be done quickly using the microwave and stirring every five to 10 seconds until the mixture looks like a clear, runny syrup.
  • Make it milky: The most commonly used milks are condensed milk and heavy cream. These thicken and enrich the tea, making it authentically filling. However, if you don’t have these on hand or need a nondairy substitute, you can use whipping cream, milk or nondairy cream to give your tea a similar consistency.
  • Add bubbles: Black tapioca pearls really set off a good milk tea. This isn't a necessary ingredient, but it is a popular one. Add them to the bottom of the glass after the tea but before the ice to avoid the pearls sticking together. This puts the boba in the perfect spot to be sucked up by your wide drinking straw.
  • Don’t forget the ice: The ice is essential in Thai iced tea, and you want a lot of it. Make sure you have plenty if you plan to make multiple iced teas. Fill each glass all the way to the top for maximum chill.

What you need to buy for Thai iced tea

Pantai Norasingh Thai Iced Tea Mix

This is a traditional restaurant-style tea mix with 227 servings per bag. The 16-ounce bag includes instructions for Thai tea and Thai milk tea.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

ChaTraMue Thai Tea Mix

This tea mix has an authentic recipe with easy brewing instructions on the back of the bag. It comes as a powder and is imported from Thailand.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Wangderm Brand Authentic Thai Iced Tea

This restaurant-level Thai iced tea set comes with 65 bags you can make at home. It includes three simple steps' worth of instructions to make the tea and a strainer to remove the tea leaves.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

WuFuYuan Boba Tapioca Pearl DIY Set

These are easy-to-prepare tapioca pearls with good consistency and flavor. The package comes with three reusable metal straws, a straw cleaner, a canvas bag and three bags of boba pearls.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Locca Premium Boba Tea Kit

This kit comes with what you need to make Thai tea, jasmine and black tea. It includes three flavors of loose-leaf tea, tapioca pearls and boba straws.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Erica Redding writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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