Fans of Thai iced tea describe it as creamy, sweet, and refreshing. If you’re in Bangkok, you can find this delicious beverage everywhere, and there are even specific street vendors—referred to as “cha yen”—who make a living selling it! Here in the United States, you’ll find this specialty tea in Asian or Thai food restaurants. At Thailand Cuisine, a Thai restaurant with locations in Kahului and Kihei, HI, patrons just can’t seem to get enough, so the owners have decided to share their recipe.
Thai iced tea is made from a special type of tea, called Cha Dra Muer, or “Number One Brand.” You can find it in most Asian food markets here in the states. If not, simply substitute black tea leaves—it just won’t have the signature orange color, which comes from a special yellow dye added to the tea leaves.
Here are the ingredients and tools you’ll need for one serving of Thai iced tea:
- One tablespoon of tea leaves (black or “Number One Brand”)
- Tea sock or tea strainer
- One can of sweetened condensed milk
- One can of unsweetened evaporated milk
- White sugar
Boil water and pour it into a large coffee mug. Place a heaping tablespoon of tea leaves in a tea sock or directly into the mug (you can strain the leaves out when the tea is finished brewing.) Brew for two minutes. Pour the strained tea into a new glass, then add two teaspoons of sugar and two teaspoons of sweetened condensed milk. Stir well to mix. Finally, add two teaspoons of evaporated milk for a creamy consistency.
In traditional Thai food recipes, the iced tea is brewed and mixed hot but enjoyed cold. Take the hot mixture and pour it into a cup or mug full of crushed ice. The ice will help tone down any extra sweetness from the sugar and condensed milk. Sip and enjoy this authentic taste of Thai cuisine!
Thai iced tea is best enjoyed with authentic Thai food, which you’ll find at Thailand Cuisine. There’s something for everyone and plenty of vegetarian food, so stop by and sample some of Hawaii’s best Thai cuisine. Visit the website to browse the extensive menu, call (808) 873-0225 to make a reservation at the Kahului location, or call (808) 875-0839 to reach the Kihei restaurant.