One of the first of its kind.
Thai Tea, one of the most famous variations of milk and tea, is well known as the sweet and creamy orange drink served at Southeast Asian restaurants. I grew up on this stuff and first had it long before the concept of bubble tea was even introduced to the U.S. Because of its cooling effect, it pairs incredibly well with spicy Thai cuisine.
When I visited Thailand several years back, there were countless street vendors who sold this drink for mere pennies. What I liked about drinking tea in Thailand was the fact that you can see them making it fresh. Whereas restaurants in the U.S. always make the mixture ahead of time so that you can’t customize levels of sweet- and creaminess, in Thailand, pots of tea were always still brewing. The vendor puts together the drink for you, either into plastic cups (smartly decorated with plastic handles so you can walk away carrying ten drinks without having to worry about dropping one) or cute little plastic bags (as legitimately street as it gets!). Tea is steeped inside a “sock” – basically a big brewing filter bag attached to a handle. After they finish making your drink, you might notice them putting the sock of steeped tea back into the hot water. It seems with this type of tea, the longer you brew, the tastier it gets, contrary to how other teas behave.
The tea mix comes from a variation of black tea called Bai Miang which is often roasted with some spices, colored with orange food coloring, and in crushed form. As a result, the tea you get from it is stronger, more aromatic, and of course, characteristically orange. There’s a household name that most vendors in Thailand use called Number One Brand Thai Tea Mix that I highly recommend. Armed with this ingredient and others, you can make some Thai tea at home with a more potent tea taste and without the overbearing sugar levels. Best of all, you can make tons of Thai Teas for the cost of a couple at your local restaurant.
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