Ever been to a Thai restaurant and seen those tall glasses of Thai iced tea and wondered what was in them and if you could make them at home? Well, here's that allergy-friendly home recipe you've been waiting for.
If you've ever had Thai iced tea you'll know that it's sweet and often creamy. What you may not know is that it's usually made with black tea that appears red when steeped and usually comes from a region in India called Assam. In Thailand this tea mixture is served hot for breakfast and is considered a street food. The black tea we use in our recipe is called Ceylon and is from Sri Lanka. If you'd like to make this recipe but would prefer to avoid caffeine, you can try using rooibos tea, or South African red tea, which is actually herbal tea.
This tea is an awesome way to jumpstart the day but even better when paired with a spiced up Thai dish (such as our Thai Fried Rice, coming soon!). When blended well it's silky and refreshing, sweet and creamy with that appealing blend of spices that bring the tea to another level of awesomeness.
Recipe Tips and Variations:
To make this tea without caffeine, try using rooibos herbal tea, also called African red tea.
To make this tea more authentically Thai, cut out at least half if not all of the sweeteners. Also, try adding a dash of lime juice or a lime wedge and a couple mint leaves to each glass for garnish.
No patience? You can definitely mix everything together in the steeped tea before pouring over the ice. Adding the nondairy milk and garnish last is more for visual appeal than anything else.
We like the dairy milk-like consistency of Ripple nondairy milk or half n' half but you can also use oat or hemp or non-canned coconut milk for similar results. If you use canned coconut milk your drink will be very creamy, almost thick-creamy, but if you're down for that then go for it.
Make your Thai iced tea a cocktail by adding a tablespoon of rum per each glass.
Anise and star anise are two separate spices that should not be substituted one for the other. If you cannot find star anise, you can use cloves as a substitute. You can also add both to your tea blend.
We suggest using whole spices in this recipe so that they can easily be removed once the tea has been steeped. If you can't find whole spices or would prefer to use ground where applicable, be aware that there will be some sediment in your tea that may make your tea spicier or more bitter the longer it sits. The ground equivalent to the spices are: ¼ tsp ground clove, ¼ tsp ground cardamom and ¾ tsp ground cinnamon.
It's necessary to add the sweeteners while the tea is still hot so that they can be fully incorporated into the tea - otherwise they'll sink to the bottom of the glass. You can substitute maple syrup for 1 Tbsp agave syrup or 3 Tbsp coconut syrup.
We love the tea blend Mango Ceylon from The Republic of Tea. The hints of mango give our Thai Iced Tea that extra island-flavored oomph. Try other black tea blends with coconut, papaya, or even raspberry for a fruitier, tropical twist.
You will also need: four tall glasses ¾ of the way filled with ice and four straws
Recipe: Thai Iced Tea Recipe For Coffee Lovers
Skill Level: Intermediate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Assemble Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 (1.5 cups or 12oz each)
4 Tbsp loose leaf black tea or 8 tea bags
2 star anise or 2 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract (optional)
2 Tbsp coconut or cane sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
3 cups boiling water
½ cup ripple nondairy milk or half n' half
Garnishes: mint leaves and lime wedges (optional)
Steep tea, anise or cloves, cardamom and cinnamon in boiling water for 5 minutes.
Strain tea or remove tea bags and whole spices and discard.
Add extracts and sugar and syrup, mixing well to thoroughly combine.
Pour tea into tall glasses ¾ of the way filled with ice.
Add 2 Tbsp of nondairy milk to each glass. Garnish with mint leaves or/and lime wedges. Serve immediately.
If making for future use, can refrigerate for up to five days (remove and discard spices before storing), although we suggest adding the nondairy milk just before serving.
Tried our allergy-friendly Thai Spiced Iced Tea? How did it go? Did you substitute any ingredients? What did you drink it with? Would you drink this instead of coffee? Let us know in the comments section below!