My obsession with Thai iced tea started when I spent my spring break in Thailand. As a caffeine addict, the instant powdered coffee in Thailand didn’t cut it for me. Forced to find another source to fuel my mornings, I turned to iced tea, which was present on every street corner we passed. Daily temperatures above 100°F made it forgivable to tote large plastic cups of Thai iced tea at all hours of the day, eventually forming a deep obsession that I couldn’t kick.

Besides my physiological need for tea, it was brewed fresh, powder-free, and dirt-cheap  — less than 50 cents a cup. By far the best cup of Thai tea I consumed the entire trip was at a small rural bus station where I watched the owner of the kiosk brew fresh tea with a generous helping of condensed milk. As I turned back to deliver the tea to my friend, the bus we were supposed to board was departing the station. Even though we were stranded, the tea was worth it.

When I got home, I broke out the tea I purchased at a Thai grocery store, and attempted to recreate the sweet iced drink that kept me safe from drowsiness and the sizzling heat. Brewing Thai iced tea at home is super easy and will take you to a summery place, despite the remaining weeks of school.

Thai Iced Tea

  • Prep Time:2 minutes
  • Cook Time:5 minutes
  • Total Time:7 minutes
  • Servings:1
  • Easy


  • 2 bags (or 2 tablespoons loose-leaf) black tea
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup half and half
Photo by Irene Kim
  • Step 1

    Fill kettle with water and place on high heat until water reaches a rolling boil.


    Photo by Irene Kim
  • Step 2

    Place tea bags in a clear glass cup and pour 1/2 cup of water over bags. Let steep 3-5 minutes until tea reaches a dark orange color.

    #SpoonTip: If you don’t have Thai tea, Irish breakfast tea is very similar in flavor. 


    Photo by Irene Kim
  • Step 3

    Discard tea bags and pour in sweetened condensed milk so that the cup is half milk and half tea.


    Photo by Irene Kim
  • Step 4

    Stir well to fully incorporate.


    Photo by Irene Kim
  • Step 5

    Fill another glass with ice and pour in half and half.

    Photo by Irene Kim
  • Step 6

    Pour tea mixture over the top and stir. Enjoy.

    Photo by Irene Kim