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This Thai milk tea recipe is a healthier version of a popular Asian beverage. It’s ideal for hot summer days and even hotter curries. This spice-infused tea retains the distinctive characteristics of Thai tea but is free of artificial colorants, sugar, and cream.
My First Experience Of Iced Thai Milk Tea
As a full-time pharmacist, I would try to drink a cup of hot milk tea before the morning rush but would end up sipping it ice cold almost 2 hours later. 🙈, Can anyone relate 🙋♀️ to be honest, I liked it…when I first arrived in Thailand and discovered that ice-cold milk tea was a thing… I was immediately curious, and given how spicy the curries were, I was relieved 🥵☀️.
Thai Milk Tea, It’s An Asian Thing
With a vast inflow of tea stores throughout Asia, milk tea culture is huge and booming! People wait in line for hours to try the newest teas or tea-flavored ice creams/cheesecakes/cakes from popular places.
I, too, began sipping cold Thai milk tea at every cafe we visited until I discovered how much sugar/condensed milk I was consuming, at which point I developed a substitute.
The Tea Leaves
Thai red tea leaves can be found in Asian supermarkets and Asian businesses around the world. When consumed with hot or cold water, black or with milk, the tea preserves its flavor. The excellent spice-infused flavor of this tea is what makes it so appealing. Tea bags and loose leaves are both available, as I eventually realized (and instant powders are also available, containing the tea, sweetener, and milk powder combined).
There are several Thai tea brands available, each with slightly different flavors but a few common characteristics, such as hints of cardamon and heavier vanilla undertones. There is a disadvantage to drinking Thai tea for those who are concerned about their health. The majority of Thai red teas on the market contain yellow or red artificial colorants as well as sugar.
Thai milk tea recipes traditionally call for a lot of sugar or condensed milk (or a mix of both). I don’t want to detract from how it’s traditionally prepared because it’s truly amazing, and if you haven’t tasted it yet, do yourself a favor and do so. But that’s the problem: sugar is highly addictive and overly consumed!! I’m merely providing a healthier alternative that’s almost sugar-free and contains less than a fifth of the calories.
I’ve published a couple of articles about dates and how they may help you lose weight and are one of the healthiest sugar substitutes. My Date Syrup happens to work beautifully in this milk tea recipe and is used instead of sugar and condensed milk.
Coconut milk is used in some of the original Thai milk tea recipes, which tastes fantastic and is a dairy-free option. Bonus! Others use cream or normal cow’s milk. I choose to use a combination of coconut and almond milk. Instead of using basic coconut milk, almond milk (which is also dairy-free) will reduce the calorie and fat content. Take a look at my homemade milk recipes if you really want the best-tasting Thai milk tea.
80 (per glass)
Nutrition In This Thai Milk Tea Recipe
The following figures are based on one tall glass of Thai milk tea brewed with a 1:1 ratio of almond and coconut milk. You’ll have half the calories if you simply use almond milk.
- Calories: 80 C
- Protein: 8 grams
- Fat: 6 grams
- Carbs: 1 gram
- Fiber: 6 grams
- Sugar: 1 gram
Amounts per serving:
- Protein 1g 4,5% 4,5%
- Carbohydrates 8g 37% 37%
- of Which Sugar is 6g 27% 27%
- Fiber 1g 4,5% 4,5%
- Fat 6g 27% 27%
Thai Milk Tea Recipe
- Tea strainer if using tea leaves
- Blender (for creamy mixture)
- 1 handful Strong black tea leaves/bags. Ceylon is best.
- 1 piece star anise
- 2 pods cardamom
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon stick
- 1/8 of vanilla bean or ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 1 Pinch of ground tamarind to taste. Optional
- 1/4 tsp almond extract. Optional
- 2 tbsp date syrup or 4 whole pitted, preferably fresh dates
- 50 ml Coconut Milk almond milk for lower fat alternative
- 5 whole Ice cubes.
- Start by steeping the tea. Mix the tea leaves with the spices in hot water for a few minutes (3-5).If you'd like to reap the anti-oxidant benefits this great tea has to offer, pour the leaves/tea bags into cold water and let the tea steep slowly overnight in the fridge.
- While the tea is steeping, prepare the date syrup. The sweetener I chose to replace the condensed milk is my homemade date syrup (I used this recipe all the time and store a big batch in the fridge for weeks). Basically, it would help if you softened a few dates by covering them with water and boiling them up on the stove, don't forget to remove the pips. Once soft enough, blitz in a blender and make smooth date syrup.
- Add coconut milk to the date Syrup and give it another go in the blender until very smooth and has a consistency of custard or thick cream. If you'd prefer a less fattening option, substitute coconut milk for almond or soy milk. Suppose you'd prefer a less fattening option substitute the coconut milk for almond or soy milk.
- Finally, add the cream mix to the brewed and cooled Thai tea. For effect, try pouring the mixture over the back of a spoon into the tea, slowly resting the mix on the surface, giving it a whirly effect.
- Top it up with a couple of ice blocks. And there you go, an ice-cold, refreshing, cafe-style Thai milk tea.
Thai Milk Tea Notes
The classic Thai milk tea recipe calls for 2 tbsp condensed milk, cream, or a combination of cream and coconut milk, on average. This means that a single serving of this tasty drink contains between 250 and 350 calories, compared to 80 calories in my healthier version! Not to mention how much sugar you’re ingesting!
Being Calorie Conscious
Thought for the day: just because it’s only a drink doesn’t mean it can’t put on weight as rapidly as a meal with the same number of calories. When we use dates as a sweetener, we mix their sugar content with fiber, which means the sugar is delivered slowly and effectively, as opposed to the spike and fall in blood sugar levels that condensed milk causes.
Have a look at my article on homemade date syrup and how incredible it is to use as a sweetener, and how it can actually help you lose weight!