Thai Iced Tea


You can’t eat Thai food without something refreshing to wash it down! Here’s the third component of our grain/dairy free Thai Takeout Night! Check out the Tom Kha Gai Soup and Yellow Curry with Prawns, and the final dish will be Pad See Ew.

My husband loves this Thai restaurant favorite. It’s a sweet, full-bodied beverage that perfectly compliments the spice and salty flavors of Thai dishes. I had never tasted it before but when I told him I was working on this series, he asked if I could make a Paleo Thai Iced Tea to go along with it. So we went for a little field trip to our favorite local Thai spot and ordered one of these ice cold drinks. It comes out full of ice and with a reddish orange tint.  It’s really sweet, but creamy at the same time from the cream they put at the top. I read up on the drink when we got home and it seems that the majority of the Thai restaurants serve a very strongly brewed black tea that is colored with food coloring, then they mix in sweetened condensed milk and top it with half and half. No wonder my husband is wired when we get home from having Thai food!

I tested a few different black teas, and found that pure Assam tea has the closest flavor. It naturally has an orange hue so it looks a little like it too! You can add some natural food coloring if you’re really going for the bright red color, but it’s not really necessary. I made the tea strong by steeping extra bags and for triple the normal time. Coconut milk seems like the obvious half and half substitute to me since we’re already consuming so much of the creamy treat with Thai!

Shared this week at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Allergy Free Wednesdays


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Thai Iced Tea

AUTHOR: Danielle Walker - AgainstAllGrain.com


  • 1 whole star anise
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 5 cups water
  • 8 Assam black tea bags
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 cups coconut milk


  1. Bring water to a boil. Stir in the honey, then add the tea bags, star anise and cardamom. Cover and steep for 30 minutes.
  2. Chill the tea in the fridge until it as at least room temperature, preferably cooler if you can wait!
  3. Fill a glass with ice, then fill the glass ¾ of the way full with the chilled tea (make sure it’s chilled so it doesn’t melt the ice cubes and make for a watery tea).
  4. Top each glass with 2-4 tablespoons of coconut milk and serve immediately!
  5. Store the extra brewed tea separate from the coconut milk in the refrigerator for 1 week.
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  • http://myrecipejourney-lillian.blogspot.com/ Lillian @ My My Recipe Journey

    I had this at a Thai restaurant and loved it! I wish I had the star anise, cardamom and coconut milk! Maybe I can sub anise extract, Thai spices and coconut extract in regular milk? Do you think that would work?

  • Ashley

    Could you please tell me which kind of coconut milk you used? Full fat or light? Canned or carton? Thanks! :)

    • Against All Grain

      Full fat canned

  • Kay

    Hi there! Thanks for posting this recipe! For me, it’s missing just a little bit of something hard to describe. The Thai Tea I’ve had locally has just a hint of smokiness. After doing a bit of Googling, I found that the most commonly known “smoky” tea is Lapsang Souchong. I made a second batch with 1/2 decaf Assam and 1/2 Lapsang, along with cardamom, anise, etc. It’s just a touch closer to the restaurant style I am familiar with. I wondered if you or any of your readers are familiar with the smoky flavor I am seeking and if the source is in fact Lapsang Souchong? Thanks again!!

    • Sarah

      If you used a green cardamom pod, try using black instead. The black pods have a smokiness to them.

  • Tara

    I use a bagged loose-leaf tea from the Asian market…I have no idea what’s in it, but it’s the real (RED) deal…can you use this tea in kombucha, do you think?? I’m going to try the tea with honey and coconut milk first, of course, but I would LOVE to see if this works for kombucha!

    • Against All Grain

      I don’t know I’ve never made kombucha, sorry!

  • Christine

    Thank you for this recipe! Star anise is easy to get… just need to get cardamom. There doesn’t seem to be an alternative to the already prepared Thai iced tea bags. All of them have food coloring.