How To Make Thai Iced Tea

Thai iced tea is a sweet, refreshing drink which is traditionally consumed hot in the morning and cold in the afternoon by Thai people. However, people living in other countries usually prefer the chilled version of Thai tea. The red-leaved variety of tea used in brewing traditional Thai iced tea grows in Thailand only, and is hard to find outside the country. The tea prepared with these leaves is reddish in colour, and can also be turned a smooth, creamy orange by adding condensed milk. Thai restaurants in the United States usually use regular black tea to prepare Thai iced tea, and use food colouring to give it a typical orange colour. If you are willing to give it a go, making your own Thai iced tea at home is not only an easy task, but also an economical option.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 5 min
Total time: 15 min
Yield: 2 large glasses

Water: 2 cups
Assam tea leaves, or strong black tea: 3 tablespoons
Green cardamom: 4 pods
Cloves: 3-4
Anise: 1 star
Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
Star anise powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Sugar: 1-2 tablespoons
Sweetened condensed milk (for restaurant-style): 2 tablespoons
Stevia (for healthy version): 1 teaspoon
Evaporated milk (for restaurant-style): 3-4 tablespoons
Whole milk (for healthy version): 1/2 cup


  • 1

    Pour two cups of water into a medium sized pot and bring it up to a boil over a medium high flame.

  • 2

    Meanwhile, prepare a tea bag by adding three tablespoons of dried tea leaves (Assam tea or strong black tea), four cardamom pods, and one star anise to a cheesecloth tea bag.

  • 3

    Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat off, and add the tea bag to the pot. Gently stir until the bag is completely submerged, and then let the tea steep covered for five minutes.

  • 4

    Remove the tea bag, and stir in ½ a teaspoon of anise powder. Then, add the vanilla extract, sugar and sweetened condensed milk to the tea.

  • 5

    Stir to dissolve all the ingredients, and allow the tea to cool down until it reaches room temperature.

  • 6

    Once you are ready to serve, take a large glass, fill 3/4th of it with ice cubes, and then pour the tea into it, leaving space for evaporated milk. Lastly, gently stir evaporated milk into your iced tea, and serve immediately.

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