How to Make Thai Iced Tea – 2 Methods

How to make Thai iced tea

Thai is one of the most popular teas in the world. This refreshing tea is more flavour than regular iced , sweeter and more aromatic. Find out what's the secret behind its vividly orange colour and delicious flavour AND, make it at home even if you don't have a Thai Iced Tea mix.

What is Thai Iced Tea?

Thai iced tea is a originating from Thailand. It's actually a very simple iced tea. Part of its charm lies exactly in its simplicity. It's also one of the easiest milk teas to make at home that can taste as authentic as it would from a Thai restaurant. And the reason for this is very simple – you can use a Thai Tea Mix.

Thai Iced tea is made with black tea and milk, sugar and vanilla.

If you don't have a Thai tea mix, you can still make an authentic tasting drink. However, it may not be as vividly orange. There's a solution to that too, and we'll come to this soon.

What makes Thai Iced tea different from other popular milk teas?

  • It's always served over ice
  • It's always made with vanilla and black tea
  • It doesn't contain a layer of froth
  • There's no pulling method like with , Hong Kong milk tea or Teh Tarik
  • Unlike others, colour is enhanced with food colouring
  • There's a special pre-made mix, so you don't need to make it from a scratch

Now that you know what Thai iced tea is, let's see which ingredients you'll need to make this delicious drink at home.

Two ways of making Thai Iced Tea

There are two ways you can make Thai Iced tea:

  • With a pre-made Thai Tea mix
  • Without a pre-made Thai Tea mix using pure black tea leaves

Whichever way you choose, you can get a perfectly delicious drink. Brewing method, temperature and steeping time will all stay the same, regardless of which basic ingredients you are using. However, having a pre-made Thai Tea mix can definitely save you some time and you can have it in a matter of minutes.

So, what exactly is a Thai Tea mix?

What’s in Thai Tea Mix?

Thai Tea Mix is a flavoured and sometimes sweetened black tea made specifically for brewing Thai Iced tea. It's not an instant tea though, so you will need to steep it.

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It's made with very small broken black tea leaves, vanilla food flavouring and food colouring and sometimes sugar. Even the types that contain sugar, won't be overly sweet and you will probably need to add more – unless you prefer unsweetened drinks.

What's important to mention is that if you want to avoid artificial colourings, it may be better to make Thai milk tea from a scratch. Colouring used in Thai Tea Mix is Sunset Yellow FCF, also known as E110 in Europe that may be linked to some health concerns.  

Since tea leaves in Thai Tea mix are very small, they will infuse into a bolder tea than you would typically get from unbroken tea leaves. If you are using a substitute, choose teas that are small as well. These types of teas are quite common among loose tea leaves in supermarkets, while teas from specialty tea stores will mostly have larger leaves.

Thai Tea mix is available on Amazon and from many Asian grocery stores. One bag of tea will be enough to make at least 100-200 glasses of Thai Iced tea. This blend is also available in tea bags.

Is Thai Iced Tea the same as Thai Milk tea?

Thai Iced tea is always made with milk, so we can technically call is a Thai Milk tea too. However, what's nowadays considered a milk tea is a tea served with boba pearls. To make Thai Milk tea, simply add brown sugar boba pearls into your tea – it will taste absolutely delicious.

How Much Sugar for Thai Iced Tea?

Thai iced tea is typically really sweet. Pre-made Thai iced tea mix already contains some sugar, but most of the sweetness comes from condensed milk and sugar that's added later. Some recipes will require you to use almost 6 teaspoons of sugar per cup of tea, while others will recommend less. It's likely that you will need to add more sweetness, but start with 1-2 teaspoons and adjust later.

Thai Iced Tea Calories

Given all the sweetness and milkiness, Thai iced tea may also be calorie rich. When making it at home, you can adjust the sweetness and add more or less condensed milk, thus change the calorie content.

Some Thai tea blends will already contain sugar, but that amount will usually be negligible. This means you may only get a couple of calories per 1-2 teaspoons of tea mix.

Next, each teaspoon of white granulated sugar will add 15-20 calories (depending on how much you scoop out) and a tablespoon of condensed milk will provide an additional 60 calories. A tablespoon of half and half will add 1/3 of that, same as evaporated milk. Since condensed milk already contains sugar, it will add more calories to your tea than evaporated milk.

thai iced tea

The Ingredients You Will Need

To make this delicious, iced tea at home you will need either:

  • Thai Tea mix + condensed milk + water + ice + sugar
  • Black tea leaves + condensed milk + water + ice + vanilla flavouring + sugar
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Following recipes are for one serving of iced tea, so multiply the ingredients with the number of glass you want to make.

How to Make Thai Iced Tea with Thai Tea Mix

To make Thai Iced Tea with Thai Tea Mix:

  • 1-2 teaspoons of Thai Tea mix
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar or more
  • A cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of condensed milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of evaporated milk or half-and-half
  • Ice


  1. Steep tea leaves in 200 ml of freshly boiled water for about 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can simmer the tea leaves in a saucepan, which is a preferred way of making Indian chai tea. It will give a stronger tea, but it may also extract more bitterness. If you don't mind balancing out the bitter notes with extra sugar, simmering is a better option.
  2. Fill a tall glass with ice.
  3. Strain the tea into a glass.
  4. Add sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Unlike , sugar will easily dissolve in cold drinks.
  5. Add condensed milk and evaporated milk or half-and-half and stir.

 What if you don't have a Thai tea mix or you don't want to use a tea mix with colourings? You can still enjoy this delicious tea by using simple pure black tea and adding only one extra ingredient – vanilla.

How to Make Thai Iced Tea Without Thai Tea Mix

black milk tea

You can make Thai Iced tea without food colouring and still enjoy the same delicious drink. That's because the food colouring will add the colour only, and not the flavour.

However, these tips will help you get a nicer colour:

  • Choose broken Ceylon orange pekoe tea leaves or Nilgiri broken tea instead of Assam tea – they are likely to brew into a colour that's closer to the original Thai tea
  • Use condensed milk rather than regular milk – it will not dilute your tea like regular milk, keeping it vibrant and creamy
  • Use more tea leaves – more tea leaves mean deeper colour

To make Thai Iced tea without the Thai tea mix you will need:

  • 1-2 teaspoons of black tea leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar or more
  • A cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of condensed milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coffee creamer, evaporated milk or half and half
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavouring
  • Ice

Follow the steps for making Thai Iced tea with a pre-made mix, and simply add vanilla flavouring once the tea is steeped.

Adding Milk Instead of Condensed Milk

While you can add different milk or milk-alternative, keep in mind that the result will be different. Condensed milk, evaporated milk, coffee creamer, canned coconut milk and half-and-half all have a much higher fat percentage than regular whole milk or barista style milk alternatives. You will need to add more for a creamy flavour and the drink will be more diluted. This, of course, doesn't mean it will taste bad, just different. If you want to add milk, triple the quantity and use barista style milk or full fat dairy milk.

Additional Tips for the Perfect Thai Iced Tea

Here are a few additional tips to take your drink from good to great:

  1. Steep your tea longer: To get the perfect bold tea base, steep tea leaves for 5 minutes and use more tea leaves. While the packaging suggests using 2 grams per cup of water, you can use two teaspoons instead of one.
  2. Choose the right tea: Thai milk tea, or any milk tea, is usually made with stronger broken tea leaves, such as Assam or some types of . Thai Tea mix has small broken leaves that infuse into a stronger base.
  3. Mix two types of milk: Condensed milk is usually sweetened, so if you want to add more milkiness and creaminess, add some evaporated milk, coffee creamer or half-and-half instead. That is, unless you prefer a very sweet tea!
  4. Make it vegan: To make a vegan Thai Iced tea replace condensed milk with a vegan coffee creamer. You can also use a regular non-dairy barista milk, or a creamy canned coconut milk.
  5. Make it all natural: You can intensify the colour by adding organic food colourings that are made from natural ingredients. Try to avoid powders such as turmeric or saffron, because they will significantly impact the flavour. Also, you can use the real organic vanilla paste instead of regular vanilla flavourings.

Homemade Thai Iced Tea

Recipe for a drink with or without Thai Tea Mix
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Keyword: Black Tea, Iced Tea, Milk Tea
Servings: 1 300 ml


  • Saucepan or a kettle + cup saucepan if you want to simmer it, kettle and a cup if you want to steep it
  • strainer


  • Steep tea leaves in a cup of freshly boiled water for about 5 minutes or simmer them for 5-10 minutes.
  • Fill a tall glass with ice.
  • Strain the tea into a glass.
  • Add sugar and stir until fully dissolved.
  • Add vanilla flavouring if you are using pure tea leaves.
  • Stir in condensed milk and evaporated milk or half-and-half and serve.

Final Thoughts

Once you learn how to make Thai iced tea at home, you won't need to search for Thai iced tea near me, ever again. With the right ingredients, you will be able to make a super delicious tea you will thoroughly enjoy – any time and every time. Whether you prefer to use Thai tea mix or make it from scratch, adding condensed milk or a dairy-free alternative, the ultimate result will always be the same — incredibly tasty and refreshing drink.

How to make Thai iced tea
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