Thai tea

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Thai iced tea as served in an eatery in Thailand

Thai tea (Thai: ชาไทย, RTGScha thai, pronounced [t͡ɕʰāː tʰāj]) is usually known as a Thai drink made from Ceylon black tea, milk, and sugar. Thai tea as it is consumed in Thailand is not typically brewed with spices, though many English language recipes inspired by Thai tea include ingredients such as star anise or cardamom to enhance the flavor. It is served either hot or cold. Thai tea is popular in Southeast Asia and is served in many restaurants that serve Thai food.[1] When served cold it is known as Thai iced tea (ชาเย็น, cha yen, [t͡ɕʰāː jēn] ; lit.'cold tea'). Although Thai tea normally refers to Thai iced tea, there are also other kinds of tea which can be referred as Thai tea. For instance, the Thai traditional herbal teas which is formulated based on Thai traditional medicine can also be called Thai tea.[2] Thai Oolong tea, which is oolong tea steamed with ginger (Zingiber officinale), lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), and celery, can also be referred to as Thai tea.[3]


The drink is made from strongly brewed Ceylon tea, or a locally grown landrace (traditional or semi-wild) version of Assam known as bai miang (ใบเมี่ยง).[citation needed]

The tea is sweetened with sugar and condensed milk and served chilled. Evaporated milk, or whole milk is poured over the tea and ice before serving to add taste and creamy appearance. In Thai restaurants, it is served in a tall glass, but when sold from street and market stalls in Thailand it may be poured over the crushed ice in a plastic bag or tall plastic cups. It may also be made into a frappé at some vendors.

Tapioca pearls can be added to Thai tea to make a bubble tea.

Variations of Thai tea[edit]


  • Dark Thai iced tea (ชาดำเย็น, cha dam yen, [t͡ɕʰāː dām jēn]) – Thai tea served chilled with no milk content, sweetened with sugar only. The concept is based on traditional Indian tea, which is used as a main ingredient.
  • Lime Thai tea (ชามะนาว, cha manao, [t͡ɕʰāː mā.nāːw]) – Similar to dark Thai iced tea, but flavored with lime and sweetened with sugar. Mint may also be added.


In Thailand, Thai hot tea is often drunk in the morning, frequently with pathongko (ปาท่องโก๋, long strips of fried dough):

  • Thai hot tea (ชาร้อน, cha ron, [t͡ɕʰāː rɔ́ːn]) – Thai tea with sugar and milk content, served hot.
  • Dark Thai hot tea (ชาดำร้อน, cha dam ron, [t͡ɕʰāː dām rɔ́ːn]) – Thai tea served hot with no milk content, sweetened with sugar only.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History of Tea in Thailand".
  2. ^ Tipduangta, Pratchaya; Julsrigival, Jakaphun; Chaithatwatthana, Kritsaya; Pongterdsak, Nusrin; Tipduangta, Pramote; Chansakaow, Sunee (2019-07-02). "Antioxidant Properties of Thai Traditional Herbal Teas". Beverages. 5 (3): 44. doi:10.3390/beverages5030044. ISSN 2306-5710.
  3. ^ Rujanapun, Narawadee; Jaidee, Wuttichai; Duangyod, Thidarat; Phuneerub, Pravaree; Paojumroom, Napassawan; Maneerat, Tharakorn; Pringpuangkeo, Chuchawal; Ramli, Salfarina; Charoensup, Rawiwan (2022-03-07). "Special Thai Oolong Tea: Chemical Profile and In Vitro Antidiabetic Activities". Frontiers in Pharmacology. 13: 797032. doi:10.3389/fphar.2022.797032. ISSN 1663-9812. PMC 8936575. PMID 35321328.

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