FoodExploring the delight of Thai iced tea: A summer refreshment revolution

Exploring the delight of Thai iced tea: A summer refreshment revolution

Thai tea - Delicacies
Thai tea - Delicacies
Images source: © Getty Images

20 June 2024 17:24

When the heat is unbearable, and the sun is blazing, the last thing we think about is a cup of tea. It's different with refreshing drinks, which take the lead. These two worlds are connected by Thai iced tea with milk.

Iced coffees in various forms are well known, but teas remain somewhat in the shadows, especially those that are less standard, different from the usual cold drink with ice. In Thailand, you can find this tea practically on every corner. It’s worth bringing this habit to the UK and reaching for it to quench your thirst on a hot summer day.

Thai iced tea - a recipe for a refreshing drink

You’ll find this refreshing drink everywhere - from restaurants to street stalls. The base is strong black tea, usually Ceylon or a local variety. Spices or floral notes are sometimes added for flavour, but the secret lies in a completely different ingredient.

Thai tea - Delicacies
Thai tea - Delicacies© Canva | Muhammad Alfan Setyawan

It’s condensed milk, which is not commonly associated with beverages. It’s this ingredient that gives the tea its unique character. As if that wasn't enough, sellers in Thailand often sweeten the drink even more with sugar. The tea is brewed hot, which helps the ingredients dissolve well. It is then poured into a cup filled with a lot of ice. To mix and cool the tea properly, sellers pour it from one cup to another, putting on a little show for the buyers.

The iconic Thai iced tea is easy to recreate at home. You don’t need to bother pouring; just let the drink cool down.


  • 1.5 tablespoons of black tea, e.g., Ceylon
  • 500 ml of boiling water
  • 120 ml of condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • An anise star (optional)
  • 1-3 tablespoons of thick coconut milk


  1. Pour boiling water and anise over the tea leaves. Brew longer than usual to get a strong infusion.
  2. Strain the tea into a pot. Add condensed milk and sugar.
  3. Prepare a second empty pot. Pour the infusion repeatedly from one pot to another, preferably from a height. This not only mixes the tea but also creates a spectacular show. Of course, you can skip this step and wait for the mixture to cool down.
  4. Once the drink is mixed and slightly cool, pour it into tall ice-filled glasses. Top with a spoonful of coconut milk.

You can also replace coconut milk with a bit of whipped cream. Enjoy!

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