It’s Monday, which means everyone could use some caffeine to get the day started. Even if you’re an early riser there’s something about Monday that just requires an extra boost. And, since it’s summer doing it a cooling way is obviously best. That’s assuming of course that you’re in a hot weather climate. Here in London it’s been humid but cool and rainy. So very rainy. But, with a Thai iced tea I can at least pretend I’m in a tropical climate.
I’ve been thinking about making Thai iced tea for a while now. A few years ago my friend Charlotte and I tried to make it “from scratch” using a recipe I got from a cooking with tea cookbook. When I say from scratch, I mean we used tea bags and spices instead of prepared mixes. This cookbook has successfully taught me to make yummy rooibos cookies, so I felt trusting. However, the end result wasn’t what we wanted. It did taste good, but the flavor was more like an iced chair. And perhaps most importantly, we didn’t get the great effect of cream sitting atop the tea, then slowly mixing into orange goodness. To us, that felt like a key component of Thai iced tea.
It’s probably been over a year since my one-time failed experiment, but recently I started thinking about it again. It could be because Thai food is Ryan’s favorite thing to order for take away. Whatever the reason, I started doing some research to find a great recipe. Do you know what I found? I found that everyone uses a pre-made tea mix! The tea mix uses yellow coloring to give it that orange color. It’s not some fancy spice, it’s just yellow. So I decided to refine what “from scratch” means. If everyone’s using tea mix then who am I to say that’s not scratch or official? I order Panthai tea mix from Amazon, but Original Thai Iced Tea mix would work too (it was just more expensive). Once I had the mix, it was super easy to make. It’s refreshing, delicious, and just as pretty as any tea I’ve had in a restaurant.
One note, I used coconut milk with the tea. This is in part because it was what I already had at home, and in part because I just like it. Feel free to use half and half or sweetened condensed milk if that’s what you prefer.
Recipe adapted from White on Rice Couple.
Messy level: Usually a drink is one spoon, but this one is two. The reason for that is that you have to strain the tea after it steeps. This is requires additional dishes and a little finesse to ensure you don’t spill orange liquid all over your kitchen.
- 5 cups water
- ⅔ - 1 cup Thai Iced Tea Mix (use more or less depending on strength preference)
- ¾ cup sugar
- coconut milk (or half and half or sweetened condensed milk)
- In a medium pot, bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling add the tea and sugar to the pot. Stir a bit to help encourage the sugar to dissolve. Lower the heat so everything is still bubbling, but the bubbles are gentle not vigorous.
- Let the tea steep in the boiling water for 3 minutes.
- Remove pot from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
- Put a fine mesh sieve over a bowl or pitcher. Pour the tea through the strainer to strain the tea from the tea leaves. Discard the tea leaves. [Note: If you don't have a fine strainer, you can line your regular colander with cheese cloth. I think a couple layers of paper towels might also work]
- Let the tea cool in the refrigerator. Alternatively you can serve it immediately over a lot of ice.
- To serve, fill a glass with ice. Fill the glass ¾ of the way full with tea.
- Top the tea with the coconut milk. Enjoy the beautiful look.
- Stir and enjoy!