Thai Iced Tea: A Popular Drink in Southeast Asia

Thai tea is a beloved drink in Southeast Asia that is typically made from Ceylon black tea, milk, sugar, and spices such as cardamom and star anise. It can be served hot or cold, with the cold version known as Thai iced tea. However, there are other types of tea that can also be referred to as Thai tea, such as Thai traditional herbal teas and Thai Oolong tea.

Ingredients and Serving Style

To make Thai tea, strongly brewed Ceylon tea or a local version of Assam called bai miang is sweetened with sugar and condensed milk, then served chilled with evaporated milk, coconut milk, or whole milk. Street vendors often pour it over crushed ice in plastic bags or tall plastic cups. Some vendors even turn it into a frappé. Tapioca pearls can also be added to make bubble tea.

Variations of Thai Tea

There are several variations of Thai tea, including:


  • Dark Thai iced tea: Thai tea served chilled with no milk content, sweetened with sugar only. This concept is based on traditional Indian tea.
  • Lime Thai tea: Similar to dark Thai iced tea but flavored with lime and sweetened with sugar. Mint may also be added.


  • Thai hot tea: Thai tea with sugar and milk content, served hot. It is often drunk in the morning in Thailand, frequently with pathongko, long strips of fried dough.
  • Dark Thai hot tea: Thai tea served hot with no milk content, sweetened with sugar only.


Thai tea is a versatile and delicious beverage that can be enjoyed in various forms. Whether you prefer it hot or cold, with milk or without, there’s a type of Thai tea for everyone to try.

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