Recipe: Thai Iced Tea

There’s nothing sweeter than a good love story; and there’s no love story more refreshing than Thai Iced Tea. This is the love story of extra strong Ceylon tea, brewed until deeply blushing.

The rouge dissolves like a faint, as sweetened condensed milk swirls into the mix.

If you think that’s all there is to Thai Iced Tea, you’d be half right.

For many people, that’s all they desire.

But every love story needs a little spice, so today we’re going the extra mile, by including one of the little optional additions that give each pitcher ultimate romance … like a few stars, to brighten the mood.

Star Anise glitter as brightly as any in the sky…  don’t you think?

This is a drink that will cool you after a bite of spicy Thai food. It will calm you after a stressful day.

And, if you sweeten it as much as they do in Thailand, it just might make your eyes pop out.

In a good way.

Note: Some people like to add orange food coloring, while others keep it au naturel. The choice is yours!

Makes 1 1/2 quarts


8 Ceylon Tea Bags
4 star anise pods
6 cups boiling water
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk, to taste (I suggest 1-3 Tbsp per 1 cup serving, though of course you could add quite a bit more)


Before we begin, remember this Thai proverb:

“The sweetness of food doesn’t last long, but the sweetness of good words do.”

Brew tea with anise pods and boiling water. Let sit for about an hour, until mostly cooled, then strain out the tea and anise.

Stir in the sweetened condensed milk. Refrigerate until very cold (at least a few hours), then serve over ice.
So, so simple. 

There’s only one thing left to do.

Sip in a shady spot, with a dreamy sort of view.

Phraya Nakhon Cave in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Changwat Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand. Photo by Niels Mickers.

Phraya Nakhon Cave in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Changwat Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand. Photo by Niels Mickers.

Thanks, Thailand.

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  1. Would there be any other spices that you could use if you dislike star anise/aniseed? Eg cardamom/cinnamon?

  2. Thank you for this. A few things I learned…don’t let it steep over night. As the anise scent is strong…but the taste wasn’t. I also found that I needed to add a sugar or sugar substitute as it was not as sweet as the Thai teas I have had a various restaurants. BUT – I have a recipe thanks to you! That is awesome and there is a new two quart glass container filled with this goodness in my refrig. Perfect Father’s Day treat.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Aah, in that case if suggest more sweetened condensed milk. – my recipe is definitely less sweet, but nothing a few more drizzled of sweetened condensed milk won’t cure :) have an awesome father’s day.

      • Thanks Sasha…and you know what…I doubled the amount of tea and such, but did not double the condensed milk…um…maybe I need to try this over again. LOL

  3. Star Anise! That’s the flavor I was missing. I recently got a Thai iced tea at a restaurant and wasn’t sure of the spice they’d added. I didn’t get a strong licorice flavor, so maybe there was another spice as well. I’ll give this recipe a try, especially now that summer is upon us.

  4. What a great summer drink! Do you know where I can find star anise?

    • Sasha Martin says:

      I think you can get it most grocery stores in the spice aisle, but if not, try whole foods… I got it there in bulk. Also, your local Asian market should have some!


  1. […] blog for healthy recipes).  They were delicious and super easy to make.  Just for fun I also made Thai iced tea using a recipe from my friend Sasha at the amazing Global Table Adventure.  […]

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