Thai iced milk tea is probably one of the most addictive drinks in the world.
I came across this drink only when I was in my late twenties. I was with a group of friends at the Sukhothai Restaurant at the Funan Mall and decided to order one glass of iced Thai milk tea for a try. After taking a sip of it, I thought to myself: what have I been missing out all these years?
I couldn’t forget the taste of it for a long time. While studying in Durham, the guy and I bought one humongous pack of Thai iced tea leave mix back to our hostel from a nearby Thai provision shop. Thereafter, it became a part of every meal that I took for most of my time overseas.
Believe me, this tea drink is very tasty. The black tea leaves do not have such a strong acidic taste as to lead to a stomach churning experience, yet the drink retains a very uniquely roasted and spiced fragrance of star anise, cardamon and tamarind that works so well with milk like none other tea leaves could. It is also one of the rare ones that has to be drunk chilled, not hot or warm – the best choice for every primate living in the equatorial parts of the world.
- Red Thai tea leaf: 1/2 cup (placed inside a cloth sachet)
- Brown sugar: 1 cup
- Water: 4 cups
- Ice: 2 cups
- Evaporated cream or milk: 1 cup
- Add tea leaves and sugar in 4 cups of boiling water. Leave to boil for 3min.
- Switch off heat. Leave tea leaves in water to steep for 30min.
- Remove tea leaves. Chill in fridge for 3 hrs.
- Fill 4 cups with equal amounts of ice, about half full each.
- Pour tea mixture into cups, about 3/4 full each.
- Top with 1/4 cup evaporated milk each to serve.
- Adaptations of this recipe could include varying the type of sugar (gula melaka, brown sugar or white sugar) and the type of milk (low-fat milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk or coconut milk), depending on your personal preference.
- If serving the tea hot straight from the stove, dissolve about 1/2 cup more sugar in the boiling water. Add ice to fill about 3/4 of a cup before pouring in the tea and milk to serve.