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How to Make Thai Iced Tea

I am looking for a recipe for Thai iced tea. I'm sure it is simple to figure out but I just thought I'd ask!

Thai iced tea is definitely in a category by itself — a native-grown red-leaf tea spiced with star anise, cinnamon, and vanilla, brewed, sweetened, and served over ice with several tablespoons of evaporated milk or half and half poured on top. The biggest challenge (other than getting used to the evaporated milk) may be tracking down the right tea.

Any decent Thai market will sell loose tea. You can also purchase Thai tea online. In the interest of authenticity, you may also want to have a real Thai tea strainer.

Here's one recipe we like:

Thai Iced Tea
From True Thai (Canada, UK), by Victor Sodsook.


6 cups water
1 cup of Thai tea (cha Thai)
1 cup sugar
1 to 1-1/2 cups evaporated milk or half-and-half


Bring the water to a rolling boil in a large saucepan. Add the tea and remove the pan from the heat. Stir gently to submerge all the tea leaves in the water. Steep for about 5 minutes. The liquid should turn bright orange and have a strong, clean taste with no hint of bitterness. Pour the brew through a coffee filter or a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcher. Add the sugar to the hot tea and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

At serving time, fill tall glasses with crushed ice or ice cubes. Add enough of the Thai tea to fill the glasses about three-quarters full, then float 3 to 4 tablespoons of evaporated milk over the ice in each glass. Serve with iced-tea spoons, so your guests can blend the contrasting white milk and dark tea into the inviting terra-cotta color of Thai iced tea. You can also take shortcuts, by using Thai iced tea mix or Thai iced tea syrup.

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