What are the Ingredients in Thai Iced Tea?

Thai iced tea is a beverage made from tea, milk, and sugar. You can mix it with many different ingredients to get its distinct flavor. It’s often a creamy yellow color, though it varies depending on the recipe. Thai iced tea is more popular in Southeast Asia as well as in Thai restaurants around the globe. 

What are the Ingredients in Thai Iced Tea?

Aside from the black tea used to make Thai iced tea, there are many ingredients that go into this tasty drink. Depending on where you’re getting it from, you can find a mix of different spices in your Thai iced tea.

A person holding a Thai iced tea in a plastic cup with beverage spilling out

The main ingredient in Thai iced tea is strong black tea (usually Ceylon tea), often mixed with dried herbs like cardamom, star anise, and tamarind. Other main ingredients are sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and ice.

These are the most traditional ingredients when making Thai iced tea. However, there are many substitutes and additional ingredients that you can use depending on your preference. Other ingredients you can mix with your Thai iced tea include:

  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • Saffron
  • Mint leaves
  • Lemongrass
  • Ginger

Also, there are many recipes that use different ingredients to add to the flavor. If you’d like to make Thai iced tea, you can always add whichever ingredients you like best or just stick with the main ones mentioned above.

Why is Thai Iced Tea Orange?

One ingredient we didn’t mention was the food dye often mixed in Thai iced tea. Don’t worry, this won’t affect the taste; it will only change the color of the beverage. 

If you’re buying Thai iced tea mixes in packages then you will find that they have FD&C Yellow 6. This is the only reason you will see an orange tint in your Thai iced tea. No other ingredients listed here would make it that color.

Which Kind of Milk Can I Use in Thai Iced Tea?

Milk being mixed in a glass of iced black tea

You can use sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk. You can also use regular whole milk or substitute it for non-dairy milk such as coconut, almond or soy.

Most people use sweetened condensed milk for Thai iced tea. If you’re substituting with another type of milk, you can add also vanilla. When substituting with non-dairy milk, you can purchase the sweetened options of coconut, almond and soy milk.

Why is Condensed Milk Preferably Used in Thai Iced Tea?

Condensed milk, or sweetened condensed milk, is cow’s milk without the water. Additionally, they include sugar to make it sweeter and creamy. 

Thai iced tea is famous for its sweet flavor. Most people prefer sweetened condensed milk as an ingredient because of the added sugar as well as the creamy texture. When you add it to your tea, you get a slight thickness and a uniquely sweet taste as opposed to using a different type of milk.

Evaporated milk is very similar to condensed milk as it’s without water. However, it doesn’t have any added sugar, too. Evaporated milk is thicker than regular whole milk. However, it’s not as thick as sweetened condensed milk and it doesn’t have a creamy texture. 

Is Thai Iced Tea Healthy?

Black tea contains antioxidants as well as caffeine. With an adequate exercise routine, these antioxidants can boost your metabolism and help to burn more calories. There are also many other benefits to drinking Thai iced tea. This is mostly due to the black tea which it contains. 

How Much Caffeine is in Thai Iced Tea?

Thai iced tea prepared in a mason jar

The caffeine content in Thai iced tea will depend greatly on how much black tea is in it and how long was the steeping process. If you are adding one cup of black tea brewed with a single tea bag it would contain about 50 milligrams of caffeine. 

If you’re purchasing a Thai iced tea beverage from a restaurant, it would, again, depend on how much tea they used. You can always ask about the nutritional facts from wherever you’re buying your drink from.

How Much Calories Does Thai Iced Tea Contain?

The number of calories in Thai iced tea would vary on the ingredients and how much of that ingredient is there. The calories will most likely come from the milk and sugar in the tea. 

Typically, with sweetened condensed milk, Thai iced tea contains about 200-300 calories per cup. When deciding if Thai iced tea is good for you, it helps to know that there is a lot of added sugar and fat in one cup.


Remember that anyone can make Thai iced tea with a lot of different ingredients. It’s good to know the exact contents as well as how much of each ingredient in each cup, though it’s also nice to just enjoy your Thai iced tea.

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