When my boyfriend and I first met and I learned he was Thai, I was thrilled because even though I didn’t know much about Thai food at that point, I knew that I loved Thai iced tea. I asked him if he knew how to make it and he said “Of course!” and started filling two glasses with ice. As he was preparing the drinks, I left the kitchen a minute… only to come back and find him with his laptop on the counter, scouring the internet for “how to make Thai iced tea”.
I never get tired of teasing him about this story, even now that we’ve been together for a few years. We’ve tried to make this tea a few times over the years, but have never been able to get the milk to float on top of the tea like it does in restaurants. So I figured with the start of this blog, it’s about time that he and I both learned how to make a proper glass of Thai iced tea.
From my research, it seems like there are two basic ways to make Thai iced tea. One method calls for mixing the tea with sweetened condensed milk and then layering evaporated milk on top. This method works because the density of the evaporated milk is less than that of the sweetened condensed milk, so it floats! This style of tea is rich and creamy. The other method simply calls for straight Thai tea mixed with sugar and a layer of half and half cream on top. I can’t explain why the half and half floats for this one, but I have a feeling it has to do with the large amounts of sugar and ice also occupying the glass.
I think I prefer the second method with half and half cream, if only because I feel like it’s slightly better for you than the first, so this is the method I detailed below. If you want to try the first method, the only difference is to add 2-3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk to the hot tea and use a little less sugar. Then once it’s cool, top with evaporated milk. Regardless of which way you prefer to make your Thai iced tea, it’s a divine treat and is still one of my favorite Thai drinks.
And the best part is that now I (and my Thai boyfriend) finally know how to make a respectable glass of Thai iced tea…