Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Thai iced tea


wordplay
 Share

Recommended Posts

There is a specific type of tea that is sold in Thai groceries in large plastic bags that contains a very finely ground red-colored tea that when brewed, comes out a brilliant orange/red color to which sweetened condensed milk is added after pouring into glasses with ice.

I've gotten this red tea on my clothing by accident during brewing and it stains like a !@%^&

Its great tasting stuff. If you don't have sweetened condensed milk or think its too sweet, try half and half instead. It works pretty good.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've gotten this red tea on my clothing by accident during brewing and it stains like a !@%^&

It'll do the same thing to your fingertips as well. Been there, done that. Took three days for my hands not to look jaundiced.

But yes - it's a big plastic bag that says "Thai Iced Tea" on it. Quite generic looking but it's definitely the same stuff that I've had served to me in restaurants.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I was curious about this as well...I've always made Thai iced tea from those plastic packages and it tastes just like it does at a restaurant, but like a true eGulleteer :cool: , I'd like to learn how to do it from scratch. So far, I can't get the taste to come out correctly, but I can get the coloring correct (using both yellow and red food coloring)!

I tried using the recipe that phaelon56 posted, but it doesn't quite come out like the way the packaged stuff comes out....there's a missing grassy flavor, and the anise flavorings make it taste too Chinese-y...which isn't bad, but I want Thai. I made a batch of the packaged stuff to compare.

I found another recipe that is basically black tea and equal parts cardamom and cinnamon...but that's not it either. The tea ends up tasting kind of like Earl Grey/Chai. Good, but not what I'm looking for.

Maybe it's the type of tea I'm using? I'm using the whole Chinese black(red) tea.

Or maybe I've gotten used to the cheap quality of the packaged tea!

Has anybody successfully made Thai iced tea from scratch? Did I make the recipe that phaelon56 posted incorrectly? I'm stumped. :unsure:

Edited by lorea (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, I think I'm confused...I read conflicting reports about Thai iced tea...some recipes have several ingredients/spices in it, and some just say to brew Thai tea. I always assumed they just meant to use the Thai tea mix (it is a mix, right?).

Is Thai tea actually a different type of tea? Or is it just the mix? Some say it is called Nam Cha...is that a different variety of tea? If so, is it possible to purchase the whole tea leaves?

What's actually in those Thai iced tea packages, anyways?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i think the secret ingredient is tamarind, maybe even as part of the curing process, but I can't say for sure...

the bright orange tea tastes like soap to me. though perhaps the condensed milk it's often served with cuts that flavor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

*bump*

My sister has a thing about being able to make this at home as well and has tasked me with finding out how. I was in my big Asian grocery yesterday and I looked for anything that might resemble Thai tea. No such luck. After the usual google search, I came up with jillions of recipes for it but no real clue as to the actual tea component. The added ingredients included all or some of: star anise, cardamom, orange flower, cinnamon, cloves, and a good sized kitchen sink. Has anyone learned what is in that bag of red stuff that I am looking for?

Does anyone know how to find the bag of red stuff? Like someone said above, I really think that is what she wants because she wants to duplicate what she gets in the restaurants.

Also, in perusing the various recipes, I find that the creamy bit could be the ubiquitous sweetened condensed milk, half and half, full cream, or coconut cream. Any opinions on those?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm thai and grew up in thai restaurants (my dad owned two and a family friend I moved in with when I came back to the states alone had one) and what we used was loose leaf jasmine tea. You can by it in the asian markets. It comes in a blue canister with chinese on it. Inside is a plastic lid and under that is a bag of loose leaf jasmine tea. I have no idea what the name is. It's very distinctive and ubiquitous to asian groceries store. Every one I've been in has it. It's brewed pretty strong and then sugar and sweetened condesed milk is added. That's the only way I know how to make it. When I lived in Thailand I used to just walk over to the cart and order. They used this long cloth brewing bags (not sure how else to describe it) to brew the tea. I have no idea what they used. Hope this is somewhat helpful. Sorry I don't know anymore.

If I get to an asian store soon I'll try to get a picture of the canister.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, I think I'm confused...I read conflicting reports about Thai iced tea...some recipes have several ingredients/spices in it, and some just say to brew Thai tea.  I always assumed they just meant to use the Thai tea mix (it is a mix, right?).

Is Thai tea actually a different type of tea?  Or is it just the mix?  Some say it is called Nam Cha...is that a different variety of tea?  If so, is it possible to purchase the whole tea leaves?

What's actually in those Thai iced tea packages, anyways?

I've been somewhat obsessed with this stuff since I had my first glass in the late 1980's. I asked the owner of a local Thai restaurant, what kind of tea he used, and he said, "Just Thai tea." :blink:

After finding some in an Asian grocery, and understanding that it was not like anything I'd ever seen before, some friends and I seriously considered finding a lab and having the stuff analyzed. I guess I should have done that 20 years ago! :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did a little hunting around and found a photo of the mysterious Thai red tea:

http://kousuzuki.ld.infoseek.co.jp/japan%2...chaayen4221.jpg

Sorry about the low res photo. As far as I can tell, it's just the brewed tea and sweetened condensed milk.

EDIT: Here's a link to an online source for Thai red tea leaves. If anyone has this, they should be able to read off the ingredient list.

http://importfood.com/thaiicetea.html

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

the red colour is usually annatto, the natural dye that is used to colour cheese in the US.

are you looking for taste, or optic? taste-wise, yes, a stronger black tea with sweetened condensed milk is the base. colour-wise, I've seen everything from carrot to a chemical orange agent used (stop & think - what gives mint jelly it's green hue?)

go for the taste.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

In the hopes of solving this issue as I would love to be able to make thai iced tea at home without buying some ready made mix, I'm reviving this thread with the hopes that it will catch the eye of someone who knows those mystery that is thai iced tea.

Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

I found a box of tea bags at my local asian grocery that said Thai Tea on the side in English, so I snapped it up, figuring I could brew a bag, add some half and half or condensed milk and be done with it. One teabag made a fairly bland-looking pale red tea with hardly any taste. I figured I didn't use enough, so I got a jug and brewed the whole box next. It was stronger, but it didn't taste anything like Thai Tea, either straight, or cut with the half and half or condensed milk. I was very disappointed.

Also, does anybody know an online source for the mix in the big bag? I don't have a Thai grocery close to me, and I've never seen the mix at my local asian grocery. Thanks!

edited: to fix some spelling

Edited by Shamanjoe (log)

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Google is a great resource.

http://www.templeofthai.com/food/beverages/thaitea-3102061126.php

You can also find the same tea on amazon and elsewhere.

The above is the most common brand of Thai tea used. It says "powder", but it's flavoured tea leaves. I do find that the leaves are finer than good quality tea (but if you're adding a bunch of flavouring and colouring, what's the point of using good quality tea?).

I prefer using simple syrup and half and half, but condensed milk or evaporated milk is more traditional, I think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks prasantrin.

I'll have to keep an eye out the next time I go to the store, now that I know what to look for. I'm not big on sweetening the tea at all, actually. I usually ask for light (half and half, milk, whatever they use, etc.) when I order it in a restaurant and then use my straw to drink most of the tea from the bottom of the glass before I mix it. If I can just get the powder, that'll be great.

Oh, and I know Google is a great resource, but I think I didn't have much luck last time because I wasn't searching for Thai tea "powder". Amazing what one little word does to change your search!

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. I just searched for "thai tea" and for both text and images, the reference to or pictures of the leaves commonly used for Thai iced tea come up as early results. But it helps knowing what to look for, I suppose.

But ya, it's not a powder. The leaves are just so fine it appears to be a powder, but they definitely expand when hydrated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to my local Asian market today and spent about 20mins in the tea aisle looking at everything, but I didn't see anything thai tea, not even the crappy stuff I tried the last time. Definitely the internet for me now. I just wanted to search the store to make sure I hadn't missed it before, and in hopes of some instant gratification :raz:

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By Kasia
      Even though I would like to change the situation, the winter is coming. Sooner or later there will be sharp winds, frost and unpleasant moisture. I don't know how you like to warm up at home, but on the first cold day I dust off my home recipe for hot and yummy winter teas.

      You can use my recipe or come up with your own proposals for fiery mixtures. Only one thing should be the same: your favourite tea must be strong and hot.

      Ingredients (for 2 teas)
      Raspberry-orange
      8 cloves
      a piece of cinnamon
      2 grains of cardamom
      4 slices of orange
      2 teaspoons of honey
      your favourite tea
      50ml of raspberry juice or 30ml of raspberry juice and 30ml of raspberry liqueur
      Add 4 of the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom to some water and boil for a while to release their flavour and aroma. Remove the seasoning and brew the tea with this water. Crush two slices of orange with honey. Add the raspberry juice or a mixture of juice and liqueur to the tea. Next add the honey with orange. Mix it in. Decorate the tea with the rest of the cloves and orange.

      Lemon-ginger
      8 cloves
      3 slices of fresh ginger
      2 grains of cardamom
      50ml of ginger syrup or 30ml of ginger syrup and 30ml of ginger-lemon liqueur
      4 slices of lemon
      2 teaspoons of honey
      Add 4 of the cloves, ginger and cardamom to some water and boil for a while to release their flavour and aroma. Remove the seasoning and brew the tea with this water. Crush two slices of lemon with honey. Add the ginger syrup or mixture of syrup and liqueur to the tea. Next add honey with lemon. Mix it in. Decorate the tea with the rest of the cloves and lemon.

      Enjoy your drink!

    • By liuzhou
      China's favorite urinating “tea pet” is actually a thermometer.
    • By Johnhouse
      Hello everyone!
       
      I have been working in food and beverage industry for almost 10 years in different countries. I am looking forward to learn new things on this forum to expand my food and beverage knowledge as well as sharing my experiences that I gained in my journey!
       
      Have a good day! ☺️ 
    • By MattJohnson
      I've been a big coffee fan for years, but lately, I've been drinking more tea.
      Where do you get your tea? Do you have an importer you like? An online store you frequent. I've been buying tea from Rishi at stores in the Milwaukee area (they are located in the area too) and have been very happy.
      One of my favorites so far is the Earl Green. Very tasty.
      .... sorry if there is a thread like this already, I did a quick search but didn't see anything....
    • By liuzhou
      This arose from this topic, where initially @Anna N asked about tea not being served at the celebratory meal I attended. I answered that it is uncommon for tea to be served with meals (with one major exception). I was then asked for further elucidation by @Smithy. I did start replying on the topic but the answer got longer than I anticipated and was getting away from the originally intended topic about one specific meal. So here were are..
       
      I'd say there are four components to tea drinking in China.

      a) When you arrive at a restaurant, you are often given a pot of tea which people will sip while contemplating the menu and waiting for other  guests to arrive. Dining out is very much a group activity, in the main. When everyone is there and the food dishes start to arrive the tea is nearly always forgotten about. The tea served like this will often be a fairly cheap, common brand - usually green.
       
      You also may be given a cup of tea in a shop if your purchase is a complicated one. I recently bought a new lap top and the shop assistant handed me tea to sip as she took down the details of my requirements. Also, I recently had my eyes re-tested in order to get new spectacles. Again, a cup of tea was provided. Visit someone in an office or have a formal meeting and tea or water will be provided.
       
      b) You see people walking about with large flasks (not necessarily vacuum flasks) of tea which they sip during the day to rehydrate themselves. Taxi drivers, bus drivers, shop keepers etc all have their tea flask.  Of course, the tea goes cold. I have a vacuum flask, but seldom use it - not a big tea fan. There are shops just dedicated to selling the drinks flasks.
       
      c) There has been a recent fashion for milk tea and bubble tea here, two trends imported from Hong Kong and Taiwan respectively. It is sold from kiosks and mainly attracts younger customers. McDonald's and KFC both do milk and bubble teas.
       

      Bubble and Milk Tea Stall
       

      And Another
       

      And another - there are hundreds of them around!
       

      McDonald's Ice Cream and Drinks Kiosk.


      McDonald's Milk Tea Ad
       
      d) There are very formal tea tastings and tea ceremonies, similar in many ways to western wine tastings. These usually take place in tea houses where you can sample teas and purchase the tea for home use. These places can be expensive and some rare teas attract staggering prices. The places doing this pride themselves on preparing the tea perfectly and have their special rituals. I've been a few times, usually with friends, but it's not really my thing. Below is one of the oldest serious tea houses in the city. As you can see, they don't go out of their way to attract custom. Their name implies they are an educational service as much as anything else. Very expensive!
       

      Tea House

      Supermarkets and corner shops carry very little tea. This is the entire tea shelving in my local supermarket. Mostly locally grown green tea.
       

       

      Local Guangxi Tea
       
      The most expensive in the supermarket was this Pu-er Tea (普洱茶 pǔ ěr chá) from Yunnan province. It works out at ¥0.32per gram as opposed to ¥0.08 for the local stuff. However, in the tea houses, prices can go much, much higher!
       

       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...