Thai Iced Tea Recipe

Thai iced tea

This Thai iced tea recipe uses Ceylon tea as a base, with a mixture of spices, served with condensed milk and coconut milk. It is creamy, decadent and absolutely delicious.

When I researched Thai iced tea, I had originally been going to suggest buying one of various brands of already mixed teabags. These are the teabags used by most Thai restaurants. But then I found out that most of these brands contain orange food colouring, which is where the typical orange colour of Thai iced tea comes from.

I don't really like that idea!! On further research, it seems that the orange colour is used in an attempt to make cheap tea look like Ceylon tea. So I decided that just using Ceylon tea would be the way to go! This Ceylon Tea from Adagio is a particularly good one.

Thai tea is not an exact recipe, and so this is just my version based on the general ingredients found in most recipes. Perhaps the most unusual ingredient - and the one that makes it so distinctive in taste is the condensed milk.

I used sweetened condensed milk, so there is no need for any further sweetening. The added advantage to using condensed milk is that we get to make toffee with the left overs. :-)

Various spices can be used, and we tried a few variations including ginger, nutmeg and tamarind. But the mix below came out top for me.

Thai Iced Tea Recipe

6 tsp Ceylon tea leaves
4 cups water
4 star anise
5 cloves
10 cardamon pods
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup of coconut milk.

  • Put the spices into a pestle mortar and roughly pound them. They just need to be very slightly broken up rather than crushed.

  • Measure the water into a saucepan with a lid and put the spices into the water. Put the pan on a high heat to boil.

  • Whilst it is coming to the boil, put 4 or 5 tsps of Ceylon tea leaves into your teapot.

  • Make sure that the water just comes to the boil, and then pour the water and the spices straight over the tea leaves in the pot. Set the timer for 5 minutes.
Thai iced tea
  • Meanwhile, prepare the pitcher. Put 12 cubes of ice into the bottom of the pitcher.

  • As soon as the tea is ready, pour it directly over the cubes of ice. Leave the tea to go cold. This only takes about 20 minutes.

  • Once it is cold, put it in the fridge for 45 minutes to get properly chilled.

  • When you are ready to serve, mix together the condensed milk with the coconut milk and pour into a serving jug.

  • Put some crushed ice into your glasses and pour the Thai iced tea over the top to about half way up the glass, and then top with some of the milk. 

  • Drink straight away! Like all iced tea, Thai iced tea quickly becomes diluted, and I much prefer it when it's still quite strong.

Serve with

This Thai iced tea recipe tastes great with all things chocolate, although I prefer it with things that are not too rich, since the tea itself is quite rich. Try it with English chocolate cake, or chocolate eclairs.

Whatever treat it is only needs to be small! This tea is definitely an occasional treat for me.