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Thai iced tea

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I've always loved this drink and am interested in feeding my cravings for it more frequently at home. What's your favorite recipe? And is there a specific brand of tea that I should use?

thanks!

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The most detailed site I've found is

Blue Ray Thai Iced tea recipes

It gives detailed instructions on making the tea itself and the offers a variety of recipes that can be made using the tea as a base and adding in a variety of other liquids etc.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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?

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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.

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*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?

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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.

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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:

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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:

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