Authentic Thai iced tea recipe (cha yen ชาเย็น) – street food style

Authentic Thai iced tea recipe (cha yen ชาเย็น) - street food style
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You’re going to love this authentic Thai iced tea recipe (cha yen ชาเย็น), it’s easy to make and always refreshing. Get the full recipe here:

Thailand has some very famous drinks, including Red Bull and Singha, but there’s nothing more famous throughout the world than Thai iced tea, which is known in Thai better as cha yen (ชาเย็น). The tea is served at Thai restaurants around the world, and many people, especially if they like sweet and creamy beverages, love it. Thai ice tea is often easy to recognize because of its bright orange color and creaminess.

Why wait until you go to a Thai restaurant to have ice tea? Here is an authentic Thai iced tea recipe, Bangkok street food style, that you can make at home right now. There are only a few ingredients that you need, and if you have an Asian supermarket near your home, it should be quite easy to get everything you need. One thing I just want to clarify though is the orange color of Thai iced tea. The tea brand that is commonly used in Thailand is called Cha Dra Muer (ชาตรามือ) – or it’s just known as Number One Brand. It’s black tea that includes a bit of C yellow number 6, which is what gives it the signature color. However, though I have not tried it, if you just use regular black tea for this Thai iced tea recipe, it should still work fine, it just won’t be that orange color.

Anyway, along with black tea, here are the rest of the ingredients you’ll need:
1 tablespoon Thai black tea
1 cup of hot boiling water
2 teaspoons sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons evaporated milk (plus some more to sprinkle on top)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup of crushed ice

The first thing you need to do is steep your tea. There are many ways to do this, but on the streets of Thailand, most Thai iced tea vendors will make their tea using a tea sock, which is almost like a real sock connected to a wire ring. You add the tea leaves to the sock, pour hot water into a cup, and just let the leaves brew for a few minutes. Alternatively, you could just add your tea leave to a cup, pour in the hot water, let the leaves brew for a few minutes, and then strain out the leaves – whatever is easiest for you. Next step is to mix in sweetened condensed milk as well as evaporated milk, and stir it up until it’s a nice creamy mixture. You can also add in some extra sugar, according to your own taste. Just to note, since you will be pouring your hot tea over ice, you can make it a little sweeter than you think, as it will become watered down from the ice.

As an extra step, but it is very fun to try, you can put the tea in one cup, and then pour it, using some elevation to another cup. This is going to create some foam on your tea, almost like froth. This is not necessary, it’s just fun (see video for details).

The next step in this recipe for Thai iced tea is to take a glass, fill it up to the top with crushed ice, and then pour your milky tea mixture over the ice. Give it a quick stir, and then finish it off with another sprinkle of evaporated milk to give it a nice creamy top. Drink you Thai iced tea with a straw, and if it’s a hot day, you’ll surely be satisfied and refreshed. Enjoy.

Get the full Thai iced tea recipe (cha yen ชาเย็น) here:

Music in this video courtesy of Audio Network

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About the Author: Mark Wiens


  1. طيب يا جماعه مافيه بديل عن الشاهي الي يستخدمونه شركه عربيه عشان نلقاها عندنا؟

  2. I cannot STAND this drink. I live in Thailand but I cannot stand the stuff. Saying that I hate condensed milk…and I hate the ridiculous amount of sugar in this thing.
    I usually hate Thai drinks apart from Roselle and Butterly pea teas (with a LITTLE sugar).
    The food though is amazing

  3. I use number 1 thai tea mix. I have already watched countless videos but my iced tea just does not taste like in the restaurant.

  4. Found that Thai tea in my local Asian supermarket. I didn’t think it’d be so easy to make. Thank you for the tutorial!

  5. Just back from a visit, drank plenty of these, has a unique taste which is odd at first but its lovely and has great color, only things i dont like is the amount of sugar and plastic involved. Thanks Mark.

  6. Thx! I am rly adicted to this tea, cha yen is top one, but cha kiayo (green one) is even better. God daymn! I miss Thai so much

  7. In Malaysia we have a similar tea called teh tarik or pulled tea, but sometimes we put in pandan leaf and brown sugar just to give that rustic aromatic taste. You should try it!

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