Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thai Iced Tea Recipe

As many of my close friends and family members know, I don't drink coffee. Ever. At all. I tried it, and after a long while, I decided it sucked.

Now, on the other hand, I LOVE tea. Hot tea. Cold tea. Tea latte. Chai tea. Tea in food. Green tea ice cream. Tea, tea, tea!

One of my favorites is Thai iced tea. It seems like a very complicated concoction, but it really isn't that difficult to make. The key is finding good loose Thai tea leaves.

I have a hard time finding loose Thai tea locally, so you can either buy it online at Adagio's Gourmet Teas or go to San Francisco's Chinatown. I personally buy Thai tea whenever we go to the bay area at Red Blossom Tea Co. in San Francisco. It's part of our after-Thanksgiving tradition.

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Ingredients
8 cups water (2 quarts)
3/4 to 1 cup loose Thai tea leaves
1 cup sugar (or more or less to taste)
cream, whole milk, half and half, evaporated milk, or other milk-like substitute (some people like coconut milk or soy milk)

Method
1. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil.
2. Dump in the loose tea. Stir. Simmer 2 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat and let the tea steep another 5 minutes.
4. Get out another pot, mixing bowl or heat safe pitcher. Place a sieve over top and line with a large coffee filter. Very carefully pour the tea into the sieve. If it clogs, remove the filter and replace with a fresh filter.
5. Stir in sugar. Let the tea cool.
6. To serve, pour tea over ice into drinking glasses, about 3/4 full. Pour 1/4 cup cream on top, careful not to stir it in. Serve.

P.S. It is not out of the ordinary for me to add vanilla extract to sweet things. This would be extra good with maybe 2 drops of vanilla per glass. Or booze it up with some flavored rum, maybe coconut rum or spiced rum. Just a capfull though, we don't want to get too loopy.