How to make Thai Iced Tea

Sawasdee Krab! Welcome back everyone to this weeks blog, whew what a week! I have been so busy with work I couldn’t get enough time with a capital ‘T’! 😉

Just too much stuff going on but time for a (hopefully) short blog near and dear to this Thai fanatics heart. Since my recent blog on making Pad Gra Pao worked out well I planned to write this blog with more pics and less words. Like the Miller Light beer commercial with less filling (my yap, yap, yapping) but still have that same great taste (for all things Thai!)

There are few things that I will not turn down without question such as my quailty time (again with a capital ‘T’), listening to my favorite Thai music, a good cup of coffee and last but by no means least a glass of that cool and sweet treat-Thai Ice Tea. Whenever I go out to eat at a Thai resturant here in DC I may not always order a plate of super-human spicy Pad Gra Pao (Thai beef and basil for blog ‘newbies’) but I always have to have a glass of Thai Iced Tea, or Cha Yen in Thai.

It’s the first thing I will order but I am sometimes careful about ordering it in Thai since depending on the tone you use to say it ‘Cha’ could mean ‘Tea’ or ‘Slowly’. ‘Yen’ in Thai means ‘cool’ so said correctly you will say ‘Tea Cool’ universally understood to mean ‘Thai Tea.’ If you say it with the wrong tone however you might say something weird like ‘slowly cool’ in which case your Thai waiter or waitress will just look at you strangely like your some beatnik poet with a thing for adjectives, trust me I know!

Fortunately for me however I have the answer to not only saving myself this embarrassment but also the secret to having Thai Tea anytime I want without annoying my neighborhood Thai resturant hanging around outside their door waiting for them to open just so I can get my Thai Tea fix. Since it is really simple to make I just learned to make Thai Tea myself at home, hence the topic of this weeks blog. This is the brand of Thai Tea that I use which I buy from the Thai market in Maryland I told you about before.

Most asian grocery stores would have Thai Tea leaves you can buy but if not then you can check out where you can order anything and everything online to make Thai food at home and have it shipped directly to you. I know this bends the guidelines a little to post a link to a commercial website but in this case I don’t think our webmaster Richard would mind too much, I hope!

Once you have some Thai Tea leaves you only need sugar and water everything is simple just a bit time consuming. Once you get the hang of it you can have Thai Tea made in just about 20 minutes. Recipes and methods may vary but I’m gonna give you the low down on what works for me. Ready?

First thing I do is fill up my pitcher I use for the tea with as much water as I can get in there. Since most of the time that your making the tea your boiling water the more water you put in, the less water evaporates so you end up with more tea. One thing to pay attention to is that they use very strong dye for the Tea leaves that give Thai Tea its beautiful color. This also means it stains anything it gets on so be careful with any spillage this is not Lipton folks! Really that’s about as complicated as it gets so no need to write this all down, ‘k!

I pour the water in a large pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Usually I can get about three pitchers of Thai Tea out of one bag of powder. See where my thumb is? From there to the top of what’s in the bag is how much you should use, about 1/3 of the bag, to make one gallon of tea.

Once the water starts boiling I add the Tea leaves and set the timer on my microwave for 15 minutes.

Yum, already looks good huh? This is the boring part for most folks. While the leaves boil for 15 minutes you have to constantly stir them. As a Buddhist this is a good time for me to practice my ‘Stirring Leaves’ meditation….

This is the tricky part. Once the tea is done you pour it back into the pitcher. I use ‘the sock’, a funnel and a large fine mesh strainer to catch all the tea leaves so all that goes in is just tea.

Not bad this time actually. Like I said this is the messy part so you can see why I do it in the sink. It took practice to actually get it to go in this good!

This is ‘the sock’. I’ve seen this used in making Thai tea and coffee and they are easy to buy in any asian market. I have no idea what it is called in Thai I just call it ‘the sock’. Actually kinda reminds me of my socks back when I was a teenager lol. Ewwww!

Next you add two cups of suger to the tea for sweetening….

Stir everything well. The tea is still hot so it takes no time for the sugar to dissolve.

Screw on the lid to the pitcher and rinse off the mess on the sides and in the sink….

Voila! You have a pitcher of freshly made, still very hot Thai Tea! For best results you should put the pitcher in the fridge over night to cool. For taste you can use half and half or coffee mate with your Thai Tea as you can see here. Unfortunately to set up this shot I had to make a glass of tea while it was still too hot and it melted the ice so the sharp, distinct line between the tea and the half and half is blurred. Bummer.

That’s the main advantage to using the traditional half and half cream. When you add half and half it is thick enough to form a solid top layer across the top of your class which looks really cool. I used to use my flavored coffee mate since I already have it at home for my coffee though it doesn’t add anything extra to the taste. Whether you use coffee mate, half and half or whatever you prefer only put in about about two spoonfuls, too much and you over power the taste.

When your ready just stir the tea to mix it all then sit back, drink and enjoy. Thai Ramayana stirs are optional. That’s it for this blog so tune in next week for now..



10 responses to “How to make Thai Iced Tea

  1. -put nom kon whan (nom mali) instead of coffemate= cha (nom)yen much more delicious

    -put lime juice and ice but no milk/coffeemate= cha manao, aroy mak ka

    -just tea with sugar= cha dam yen, aroy tee sud

    -or just plain tea with no milk and sugar only ice when thirsty koh aroy.


  2. LOOOL you should have your own Thai cooking show Khun Wit.

  3. Well, this certain regular blogger who goes by the name ‘Wit’ can write about….well..darned anything.
    Geez, when i first came across those fotos i thought i had accidentally stumbled upon some website on ‘How to make yer own druggo chemicals!’
    As for that ‘sock’ of yours, i hope you asked for yer friend’s permission to borrow it first. Darned hope you washed it first too otherwise her ‘sock’ would have given the coffee…..’a distinct aroma’.

    Too right! our certain friend here Mr Wit should be applying for a job at Channel 3 as some kind of Thai Cooking Show Presenter.

  4. Heh. I cheated. I use Nestle Tea Time 3-in-1 Thai iced tea mix.

    Bravo again, Wit. You should indeed do a Thai-Blogs cooking show weekly. 🙂

  5. Hey Guys,

    Some great comments there. I’m beginning to hear a continous theme that I should start my own Thai cooking show but what would I call it? Whipping with Wit? Wit’s Thai Tips??


    Great suggestions to try for ‘something alittle different’..but what is nom kon whan (nom mali)?


    Your right the pics do look a tad suspicious of some illegal druggo activity..better keep up with my pay off payments so Wit’s Kitchen (Wit’s Cook Stop?) doesn’t get shut down! 😉


    Another way to cheat is to use your coffee maker to make Thai Tea but I’m a little leary of that. If something happened to my coffeemaker and I couldn’t make coffee anymore, well that’s one crisis I just don’t want to think about!


    About 20 minutes is correct to make a GALLON of Thai Tea from scratch. Although I admit my skills are no where near excellent like actual Thai street vendors I’d like to see one make that much from scratch in two minutes! It’s not possible, they would have to have some already prepared or make it only by the glass (or baggies) to whip one up in two minutes 😉

    Ok troops, it’s 5 AM time to stumble downstairs to get some coffee brewin’ or I’m a dead loss today.

    More later!


  6. Great drink ……… you said u can make it in 20minutes
    why can the lady who sells it to me make it 2 minutes standing at the side of the road?

  7. Thanks. Nice photos. Could you do papaya “pok pok” next? With photos? Great fun!

  8. I’m still walking with you all the time,no need to promise, no need to swear, just stay with me for long time, that’s it.


  9. i just a case of thai tea in a can, it comes to about $.79 a can. taste good and easy to drink on the go.

  10. Thai iced tea- the easy way

    I found this tea to be very tasty and it is much easiler to make. You might want to try it. I want to send you the picture but could do it.. so here is their web site. Take a look!