Thai Tea: Definition and Meaning

Thai Tea, also known as Thai Iced Tea or “cha-yen” (ชาเย็น, lit. “cold tea”) in Thailand, is a sweet and creamy drink made from strong black tea, sugar, and condensed milk. It is traditionally served chilled and topped with evaporated milk, although other types of milk can also be used. Other ingredients, such as orange blossom water, star anise, crushed tamarind seeds, and food coloring, may also be added to give the tea a unique flavor and appearance.

Thai Tea is popular in Southeast Asia and in many American restaurants that serve Thai food. It is often confused with bubble tea, which contains large tapioca pearls, but it is a different type of tea.

In addition to being served chilled, Thai Tea can also be served hot and is often enjoyed in the morning with traditional Thai snacks.

Variations of Thai Tea

  • Dark Thai Iced Tea (Thai Tea served chilled with no milk and sweetened with sugar only)
  • Lime Thai Tea (Thai Tea flavored with lime and sweetened with sugar)
  • Dark Thai Hot Tea (Thai Tea served hot with no milk and sweetened with sugar only).
Travis Joynson

Travis Joynson

Travis Joynson is the founder and chief editor of the Professional Tea Taster.

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