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Thai Iced Tea

Thai Iced Tea

Featured Spices
2 quarts cold water
8 finely crushed star anise pods
1 grade A Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean
1 pinch of ground clove
1 pinch of ground Saigon cinnamon
1/2 cup Chinese black tea leaves
red or yellow food coloring (optional)
1 cup sugar
Half and Half or Sweetened Condensed Milk

Creamy and bursting with flavor, there’s nothing quite like Thai iced tea. This refreshing drink is becoming more popular here in the states, and is super easy to make at home. First we steep black tea leaves in water spiced with anise, vanilla bean, clove and Saigon cinnamon. Then we add a completely subjective amount of half and half or condensed milk. (You can also use coconut milk or—if you like your tea less sweet—evaporated milk.) Add red or yellow food coloring to create the characteristic orange Thai iced tea color. Pour over ice and there you have it! You can whip up a sweet batch in just a few minutes.

Making Thai iced tea

Use a sharp knife to slice open the vanilla bean lengthwise down the center. With your blade, scrape the caviar out of the bean and set it aside. Discard the pod or use it in other recipes.

Use a mortar and pestle to grind any whole spices.

Bring the water to a boil.

Add the following:
crushed anise pods
scraped caviar from within the vanilla bean
ground clove
ground Saigon cinnamon
tea leaves

Let the water boil for 3 to 5 more minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and food coloring (optional). Allow to cool until just tepid. Drain the tea and pour it over plenty of crushed ice. Top with half and half or sweetened condensed milk.

Enjoy!

Notes: if you’re using sweetened condensed milk in the recipe, adjust the amount of sugar so that your final drink is not overly sweet. The biggest mistake of brewers new to Thai iced tea is over-sweetening by using both condensed milk and the full amount of sugar. Tell us what your favorite ratio of sweetener to cream is. When it comes to vanilla, tastes differ. Use more or less, depending on your preferred level of pure vanilla flavor.

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Thai Iced Tea
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