Refreshing, creamy, and distinctive orange, Thai Iced Tea is easy to make at home and is exactly like the tea you get from your favorite Thai restaurant or on the streets of Bangkok.
When I think of our years in Bangkok, the flavor and color of Thai Iced Tea is an essential part of those memories. There are few pick-me-ups better suited to a steamy tropical afternoon in Thailand than a cup of crushed ice filled to the brim with sweet, rich, bright orange Thai Iced Tea. The memory of sipping these in the bright Bangkok sunshine is one of my favorites
The good news is that this drink is super easy to make at home! No special techniques or fancy equipment needed. If you have a saucepan or a tea kettle, you can make Thai Iced Tea. Here’s how to do it!
- Thai Tea Mix – For a truly authentic Thai Iced Tea, all you need to track down is this mix. If you’ve been to Bangkok, it’s this brand (in large canisters) that you would have seen by Thai Iced Tea vendors. The “mix” can be treated and brewed just like any variety of tea.
- Sugar – Thai Iced Tea is sweet. If you want it to taste “right”, you need to add sugar. Feel free to play with the amount though, starting with less if you prefer a less sweet tea.
- Milk – This tea always has a creamy element from milk. Sweetened Condensed Milk is the most common, but you could also use whole milk, half and half, or coconut milk. Keep in mind that none of these substitutes are sweet like sweetened condensed milk, so you may need to add some additional sugar if you want that classic sweet flavor.
Why is Thai Iced Tea Orange?
Food coloring. Like it or not, the bright, unique color of Thai Iced Tea comes from food coloring in the Thai Tea Mix. On its own, the brewed tea is a deep red. Stir in sweetened condensed milk (or another type of milk), and the tea turns orange.
- Adjust sugar – Thai Iced Tea is very sweet, but you certainly don’t have to serve it this way. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar to fit your preference.
- Change milk – As noted above, feel free to play with the milk you use. For a non-dairy version, coconut milk makes a great addition. Whole milk or half and half work as well. Just be sure to add some additional sweetener if needed.
- Add citrus – This tea is great served with a slice of lemon, lime, or orange. A bit of citrus makes the other flavors really pop!
More Refreshing Chilled Drinks
- Bourbon Lemonade Slush – Sweet and sour bourbon lemonade slush is a refreshingly frozen cocktail that is perfect for making in batches and serving to a crowd.
- Two-Ingredient Green Smoothie – This Two-Ingredient Green Smoothie is made with just frozen mango and spinach and stays fresh (and keeps its bright color) for up to 4 days.
- Cold Brew Coffee Spritzer – Cold brew coffee, sparkling water or tonic and a bit of citrus make these cold brew coffee spritzers the most refreshing caffeinated pick-me-up around.
- Thai Tea Mix – This is the best brand I’ve found for making a truly authentic Thai Iced Tea.
- Tools for making tea – Anything you use to brew and strain tea will work here. A tea kettle and strainer will work just fine here. In Bangkok, this tea is typically made with a Thai-style tea filter (shown in photos above).
Thai Iced Tea
- Saucepan or Tea Kettle
- 6 cups Water
- 1/2 cup Thai Tea Mix
- 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
- 4 Tbsp Sweetened Condensed Milk, plus more to taste (divided, see note)
- Bring water to a boil in a saucepan or tea kettle.
- Remove saucepan or kettle from heat. Combine hot water with tea mix and sugar and stir to combine.
- Cover and allow tea to steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain tea and allow it to cool completely. (At this point you can transfer the tea to the refrigerator for up to a week.)
- When you’re ready to serve, pour tea over ice. Stir in sweetened condensed milk, adding more or less depending on how sweet and creamy you’d like your tea.
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