Thai Iced Tea: Cha Yen

26 Mar

As most of my near and dear friends know, I am a huge tea addict.  I especially love tea because there are so many different types and flavors.  Thai tea is one of my favorites, hot or iced.  This recipe will teach you how to make a perfectly chilled glass of Thai iced tea to enjoy on the upcoming summer days.

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Pri: So, how does it taste?  
R: Teariffic!

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Ingredients: Serves 2.
  • 2 Thai tea bags
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 2 tsp. milk (any fat percentage is ok)
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. sweet condensed milk
  1. Bring 3 cups of hot water to a boil.
  2. Add teabags and let steep for approximately 3 minutes on low heat.  (You’ll know when the tea is done by taste testing it.  You can make it as strong as you like.)
  3. Take teabags out.  Set aside.
  4. Add 1 tbsp. brown sugar and 1 tbsp. sweet condensed milk to each glass.  Mix well.
  5. Add hot tea to glasses in equal portions.  Adding the tea while hot will make it easier for the brown sugar and sweet condensed milk to dissolve.
  6. Whisk with a fork until the brown sugar and sweet condensed milk are dissolved.
  7. Let tea cool (I put it in the freezer to expedite the cooling process).
  8. Add 1 tsp. milk per glass.  No need to mix but you can if you want.
  9. Top with ice.
  • Don’t throw away the tea bags!  Scatter tea leaves (which are acidic) around your acid-loving outdoor plants and shrubs, such as dogwood, gardenia and hibiscus. Keep a sharp eye on your plants when you first begin using tea leaves as mulch. Tea leaves naturally contain fluoride, which, if used to excess, can damage some plants.

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who's the real light brown sugar?

step 2

step 2: you can tell the tea is ready when the water becomes dark brown

step 3: I opened the teabags because I was curious what Thai tea leaves look like

my reaction to the texture of the condensed milk

step 4: sweet condensed milk

step 4: pre-mixing

step 5

step 6: before mixing, you can see the two layers, which is generally how restaurants serve it. My layer of condensed milk is thinner but it still tastes authentic.

step 6: you can see the color begin to change

step 8

the final product! note that the orange color in restaurants comes from either food coloring or annatto, which is a natural source of orange/red when added by seed or extract. I didn't use annatto because it does not change the taste at all.


2 Responses to “Thai Iced Tea: Cha Yen”

  1. Meghna May 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Where do I buy thai tea?

    • Priya Aggarwal May 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

      You can buy it at Ranch 99 or any other Asian market.

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