Recipe For Thai Iced Tea (Tra Thai in Vietnamese)


Thai iced tea (trà Thái in Vietnamese) is my favorite drink whenever I go to a phở house. I really like the contrast of flavors and temperatures between the hot broth and the cold tea.

The procedure for making trà Thái is similar to cà phê sữa đá (iced coffee). The tea is brewed for a long time to achieve a strong flavor, then sweetened with Asian rock sugar and condensed milk. It’s served chilled with a lot of ice and a splash of evaporated milk.

1. Info for Thai Iced Tea (Tra Thai in Vietnamese)

  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Servings: 2
  • Calories: 237kcal

2. Ingredients for Thai Iced Tea (Tra Thai in Vietnamese)

  • 5 teaspoons loose Thai tea (see tips)
  • 1 star anise , slightly crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamarind seeds, crushed
  • 2-1/2 cups water, nearly boiling
  • 5-6 tablespoons condensed milk, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons evaporated milk, to taste
  • 1 piece Asian rock sugar, about 2 inches
  • 2 cups ice cubes, or crushed ice

3. Directions:

  1. To start with, always use filtered water. You don’t want a chlorine taste. Add the star anise, tamarind seeds. Heat up the water, but don’t bring it to a full roaring boil, around 200-212°F. The water should basically be bubbling. Add the black tea and rock sugar. Steep for about 12 minutes, no more than that. The brewing time shouldn’t take too long otherwise it will alter its flavor and might bring a bitter acidic taste. Filter the tea through a fine mesh sieve or fine muslin cloth.
  2. Add the condensed milk; it’ll turn the tea into a nice caramel color. Stir well until everything is dissolved. Let the tea completely cool to room temperature.
  3. Pour into 2 tall glasses filled with ice cubes. Top with evaporated milk.
  4. Finish with a bubble tea fat straw, a little cocktail drink umbrella  or simply a sprig of Vietnamese mint for decoration.
  5. You can serve this drink with rau câu, it’s the Vietnamese jello cake I got for my birthday, some bánh khoai mì nướng (cassava coconut cake) or some chocolate filled sticky rice balls with coconut.
  6. Relax and enjoy!

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