Thai Tea (also known as Thai Iced Tea) or "cha-yen" (ชาเย็น, lit. "cold tea") in Thailand, is a drink made from strongly-brewed assam tea.
Other ingredients may include added orange blossom water, star anise, crushed tamarind seed or red and yellow food coloring, and sometimes other spices as well. This tea is sweetened with sugar and condensed milk and served chilled. Evaporated milk, coconut milk or whole milk is generally poured over the tea and ice before serving to add taste and creamy appearance. However, in Thailand, condensed milk and sugar are mixed with the tea before it is poured over ice and then topped with evaporated milk. At markets, it can be seen to be mixed through pouring the tea at heights of about 4 feet back and forth. This show is part of the selling strategy but there are also professional held competition in making iced tea.
It is popular in Southeast Asia and in many American restaurants that serve Thai food. Although Thai tea is not the same as bubble tea, a beverage that contains large tapioca pearls, Thai tea with tapioca pearls is a popular flavor of bubble tea.
As refrigeration and condensed milk are only recent phenomena, it may be thought that tea has only been drank in Thailand in the last 100 years or so. This is not the case.
In fact, Northern Thailand produces some of the finest loose leaf teas available, and which challenge the more commonly known producers of camellia sinensis such as China, Japan and Taiwan.
Their varietal produces some of the finest oolong teas which are made with Taiwanese tea varietals. Thailand produces some wonderful natural teas, from red, green and oolong, to herbal teas. Each has its own distinct flavor, aroma and color. None of them require additional colors or scents, they are all natural.
- Dark Thai iced tea (Thai: ชาดำเย็น, cha-dam-yen) Thai tea served chilled with no milk content, sweetened with sugar only. The concept is based on traditional Indian tea which is used as main ingredient.
- Lime Thai tea (Thai: ชามะนาว, cha-ma-now) Similar to Dark Thai iced tea, but flavored with lim] as well as sweetened with sugar. Mint may also be added.
Hot Usually, Thai people drink Thai hot tea in the morning, frequently with Yau ja gwai or Pa-tong-ko (Thai: ปาท่องโก๋) as it is called by most Thais.
- Thai hot tea (Thai: ชาร้อน, cha-ron) Thai tea served hot.
- Dark Thai hot tea (Thai: ชาดำร้อน, cha-dam-ron) Thai tea served hot with no milk content, sweetened with sugar only.
- Thai Tea both cold and hot versions, with pictures.
- Thai Tea: Recipes with several versions, including how to mix the powder from scratch.