Recipes with tea

Thai Iced Tea – Cha Yen (??????)

November 11, 2015
How to make thai iced tea - cha yen

The famous Thai Iced Tea – Cha Yen (??????) has been on my Tea – Do list for the longest time. I was missing the single most important ingredient, that being the authentic Thai tea mix. But thanks to my husband all hope is not lost. He was darling enough to get me some from his trip to Thailand (Yay!!).

thai iced tea - cha yen

A rich, sweet milk tea with colors resembling the fragmented rays of the bright sun. With its unique color, aroma and flavor this dreamy drink is sure to leave you wanting more.

Thai Iced Tea – Cha Yen

Thai Iced Tea – Cha Yen

Why is Thai iced tea so Orange?

The lovely orangey hue of the tea is what struck me first. Thai tea is usually black tea along with the flavoring of star anise or licorice, traditionally colored with tamarind. Nowadays, orange food coloring is more common.

I used the ‘Thai Tea Mix Number One Brand’. The ingredient list showed Tea (Camellia Sinensis), FD & C Yellow #6.

Sunset Yellow FCF (also known as Orange Yellow S, or C.I. 15985) is a petroleum-derived orange azo dye. When added to foods sold in the US it is known as FD&C Yellow 6; when sold in Europe, it is denoted by E Number E110.

Sunset Yellow is banned or restricted as a food additive in Norway, Finland, and Sweden. – Wiki

Thai Iced Tea – Cha Yen
The presence of food colorants is definitely unsettling. This drink is an obsession and drinking large quantities of food additives can definitely do you no good.

You can alternately prepare the tea with regular black tea and the addition of spices like star anise, clove, and cardamom. The only thing missing would be that earthy orange color.

Why is Thai iced tea so sweet?

When you make your tea blend make sure you add slightly more sugar than your normal liking. Taste test it when it’s hot and you should be looking for a taste both sweeter and stronger than usual. This is because the sugar along with the concoction of evaporated and condensed milk gets diluted when it hits the layer of ice.

Thai Iced Tea – Cha Yen

The tea sock

A cotton tea sock is traditionally used to brew and steep the tea. The sock acts as a filter and reduces the amount of tea dust that collects at the bottom of your cup. A regular cotton cloth can alternately be used (P.S. it is tea and the cloth will get stained).

Thai iced tea! A definite keeper for summer, blue days or any day.

The cha yen is quite a decadent drink. So make sure to make space for this one.

Here is introducing my first Official YouTube video (YAY!). It took ages to make and edit. But it was such a fun process.

A ‘How to make’ video where I show you an easy to follow recipe to making Thai Iced Tea.


Thai Iced Tea – Cha Yen (??????)


2 Tablespoons Thai tea mix

2 Tablespoons sugar

Half and half (one tbsp per cup condensed milk + two tbsp per cup evaporated milk)

2 cups of water

A tea sock or a cotton cloth


In a medium sized saucepan add 2 cups of water.

Once the water reaches a slow boil, add the Thai tea mix and sugar.

After a couple of minutes turn off the heat. Let the tea steep for 3-5 minutes.

Line a jar with a cotton cloth.

Strain the steeped tea through the cloth.

Remove the cloth from the jar.

Fill up a tall glass with ice.

Pour the tea over the ice leaving a little room at the top.

Pour in the half and half. Stir and enjoy.



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