June 24, 2021

Takeout Thai Tea at Home

I could suck down Thai tea by the gallon if given the opportunity, but my takeout place doesn’t sell it by the gallon and I probably can’t afford that anyway. So I’ve started making it at home to satisfy those sweet and lightly spiced tea cravings.

Making Thai tea might seem mysterious but it’s really not. It consists of two major steps. 1. Brewing the tea (which is just like brewing any other tea) and 2. Sweetening it and adding dairy. Sure, there are endless combinations of sweeteners and dairy additions — but this recipe provides you the simplest recipe to get from craving to drinking Thai tea at home in the quickest amount of time.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

If you’ve got an international or Asian market nearby, they may have a Thai tea mix on hand. If not you’ll have to look for it on the internet, which is easy enough to find. Of course, everyone has their own brand preference, so try out a few different ones.

Some are sold in single-serving bags, but I buy them by the pound — typically in the bags that have very little English and a good deal of Thai on them. That’s what the restaurants are buying, and that’s absolutely what we’re shooting for here. If you can’t get enough of this glorious tea (or you have a friend you can split it with), I’d suggest you do the same.

Recipe Notes

Depending on how much or little tea you intend to drink over a few days, you can scale this recipe up or down easily. When you’re ready to step your game up, think about whipping your milk for a thick foamy topping or turning your tea into a Thai tea frappuccino.

I’ve never had warm Thai tea, but I’m sure it’s also delicious. When the temperatures start to drop I’ll be making Thai tea lattes and dreaming about the summer heat.

Takeout Thai Tea at Home

Chill out with this easy Thai tea recipe that tastes exactly like it came from your favorite takeout restaurant.

  • Thai Tea Mix: 1/2 cup
  • Sugar: 1/3 cup
  • Water: 2 quarts
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: 1/2 cup
  • Whole Milk: 1/2 cup
  1. Brew the tea! Bring two quarts of water just up to boiling then remove from heat. Add the 1/2 cup of tea directly to the hot water. Let steep for 15 minutes. If you brew the loose tea directly in the water you’ll have to strain it out with a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth later. Or you can use large tea filters. I usually get about 1/4 cup of tea into a large tea filter and use two of those for this brew. If you use the tea filters, do not squeeze them when removing them from your tea. Just hold them and let them drain for a minute or two before disposing. Your tea will be strong enough, and you don’t need to stain your hands orange.
  2. Add 1/3 cup of sugar while your tea is still hot/warm and stir to dissolve. I use basic granulated sugar, but feel free to experiment with your own sugar choices.
  3. Chill your tea! I like my tea icy cold, so I let it get all-the-way cold before I drink it. But if you really need your tea as soon as possible, at least let it get to room temperature before continuing so it doesn’t melt all of the ice and get watered down.
  4. While your tea is cooling, mix your milks. I use one part sweetened condensed milk to one part whole milk by volume. I make it in a large enough batch to use for several drinks so I don’t have to mix it up every time. After you’ve tasted the tea, you’ll know how to adjust the ratio for your tastes. Maybe you’d like it less sweet? Use more milk in your mix. Maybe you’d like it a little creamier? Use half and half or heavy cream instead of milk. Maybe you don’t do dairy, and you want to use a dairy substitute like coconut milk or oat milk — go for it!
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