Coconutty Thai Iced Tea

That's Nuts

A weekly dose of nutty history, pop culture, and recipes from Lee Zalben, aka The Peanut Butter Guy.


[Photograph: Andrea Hernandez]

Looking for an ice cold drink to cool you down on hot summer afternoons? Want an alternative to sugary sweet tea or Splenda-laden diet teas? Take a leaf out of Thailand's book and try making cha-yen, or Thai iced tea, to refresh over the upcoming sweaty summer months.

Thai iced tea is a traditional cooling beverage brewed from strong black tea and served over ice. Sometimes it's mixed with spices like star anise, cardamom, and crushed tamarind for extra zing. The key ingredient is condensed milk, which is stirred into the drink to give the tea its signature creamy taste and burst of caramely sweetness.

For a nutty, non-dairy twist on this classic refresher, you can achieve the same creamy consistency and naturally sweeten your Thai iced tea by using light coconut milk.

Do you have any favorite ways to customize Thai iced tea?

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Coconutty Iced Tea ยป

About the author: Lee Zalben was a PB&J-loving kid that grew up to be the founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., which began as a Greenwich Village sandwich shop serving nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and expanded to include the now-famous line of all natural flavored peanut butter. Lee is a graduate of Vassar College and enjoys traveling the world in search of interesting foods made with peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. When he's not working, eating, flying or writing, he enjoys scuba diving and training elephants.