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One of the most popular tea trends is Thai tea, a creamy and decadent dessert tea that is served in Thai restaurants and boba tea shops. There are many different versions of Thai tea, but all Thai tea recipes are made with black tea, sugar, and milk.
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Thai tea is typically very sweet. When you make it yourself, you can adjust the levels of sweetness to suit your personal preference, or skip the sweetener altogether, because this rich and creamy tea is flavorful enough to stand on its own without adding a ton of sugar. For the sweetener in this recipe, I have used agave nectar, because it has a lower glycemic index than other sweeteners, and it has no weird aftertaste like stevia. However, you can also use maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey.
Just as there are countless versions of chai, there are also many different recipes for Thai tea. Along with black tea, authentic recipes often contain spices such as cardamom and cinnamon, while other recipes are flavored only with vanilla. I have included both vanilla and spices in this Loose Leaf version of Thai tea, but feel free to experiment with spices and proportions. Often enjoyed over ice, Thai tea can be served either hot or cold.
Traditional Thai tea is a rich orange color. The bad news is that the orange tint comes from artificial food coloring, which is not beneficial at all, so we are definitely not adding it to this recipe. However, if the color is one of the things that you love about drinking Thai tea, you can add a pinch of safflower petals, which will give your tea a natural orange hue without any artificial chemicals.
When you’re ready, let’s head into the kitchen and make some Thai tea!
Recipe serves 2
You will need:
- 2 T organic loose leaf black tea (I prefer bold black tea, such as Assam, but China black is also a flavorful choice)
- 2 c water
- 2 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 star anise pod, lightly crushed (optional)
- 1 cinnamon stick, crushed
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup coconut milk, half and half, or condensed milk (or any other type of milk that you like; the thicker, the better)
- 2 T organic agave nectar (or to taste)
- Optional – ½ teaspoon of safflower petals (to add a natural orange color)
- Stainless steel covered saucepan
- Fine mesh stainless steel strainer, or this cotton sock-style tea strainer
Boil the water in the saucepan, and add all the ingredients except for the milk. Stir together, cover the saucepan, and simmer over medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh or sock-style tea strainer. Refrigerate the tea until cool.
Fill a tall glass with ice
Pour in the tea, filling the glass 2/3 of the way
Fill the rest of the glass with the milk. Give the tea a good stir, and enjoy!