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How is Tea Prepared in Thailand?

How is Tea Prepared in Thailand?

What is Thai tea?

Thai tea, or cha yen, is a famous Thai beverage that has made the whole world go wild for its distinctive taste and envigorating properties. It’s made up of robust black tea, spices, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk and is available hot or cold.
What is Thai tea?

The art of Thai tea

In Thailand, Thai tea creation is an activity of skill done by Thai street vendors. In the street, the tea is made in a big pot and then “pulled” at length into a glass, resulting in a frothing drink.

Types of Thai Tea

Types of Thai Tea

Several types of Thai tea made from strong black tea and mixed spices offer various flavor profiles and preparation methods. The most popular one is Thai iced tea, or Cha Yen, while Thai milk tea, or cha dum yen, is also high in demand, as it is the same as the former, but without the ice. Thai boba tea is a Taiwan-based milk tea drink that incorporates chewy tapioca balls, and Thai locals particularly love it.

What is Thai Tea Made of?

The Thai tea made from strong black tea, often Ceylon tea, and several spices are added, including star anise, tamarind, and orange blossom. The combination is generally sweetened with sugar and some condensed milk poured on top.

In modern times, a pre-blended tea mix is often used for convenience by busy individuals. This pre-packaged blend includes the necessary tea leaves and spices compressed into a single portable package, allowing hurried folks to effortlessly prepare Thai tea at home even on their most hectic of days.

The Process of Crafting Thai Tea

There are two main ways to prepare Thai tea: using a pre-made Thai tea mix or with loose tea leaves.

The Process of Crafting Thai Tea

Using Thai Tea Mix:

This is the simpler method. Here's a basic rundown:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a pot.
  2. Add Thai tea mix, sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Gently boil the tea mixture for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let it steep for 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours for a stronger flavor.
  5. Strain the tea and refrigerate it until chilled.
  6. Serve over ice with some sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk on top.

Using Loose Tea Leaves:

For a more traditional approach, you can use loose Thai tea leaves, which may require additional spices like star anise, cardamom pods, and cloves. Here's a general guide:

  1. Steep loose tea leaves with hot water (around 5 minutes) along with spices if desired.
  2. Strain the tea and add sugar and salt.
  3. Let the tea cool down to room temperature and then refrigerate for a few hours.
  4. Serve chilled over ice with sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk.

You can find recipes with more specific measurements online by searching for "Thai iced tea recipe".

Creating Thai tea involves simmering the included tea and seasonings mixture for approximately five minutes to adequately extract their flavors. The brewed tea is then strained into a tall glass vessel, at which point sweetened condensed milk is judiciously added drop by drop to achieve the perfect creamy balance. For those desiring a chilled version, the next step would be adding several ice cubes to properly chill the beverage. The resulting drink is as visually stunning as it is refreshingly delightful to consume, a tasty treat equally suited to leisurely relaxation or fast-paced fun.

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Thai tea represents far more than a simple drink in Thailand - it epitomizes the very culture itself. Whether a dedicated tea aficionado or casual imbiber, sampling Thai tea is an absolute must for any visitor to Thailand. So the next time plans take you to Thailand, be certain to partake of this delicious and reinvigorating beverage without exception!

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