Thai Tea: A Drink to Enjoy on National Tea Day
Did you know that whenever April 21 rolls in, our friends in the UK observe National Tea Day? Sure, it’s not really an official holiday, but it’s definitely a day to celebrate everything that’s beautiful about tea as our British friends love it.
But of course, we don’t have to be Brits to love tea, yeah? After all, tea is a drink that people enjoy wherever they are in the world. And we all have our own way of enjoying tea too. In Thailand, we have our own special Thai tea, and National Tea Day is as good day as any to celebrate everything that’s beautiful about it.
What’s Thai tea and why is it special?
Tea originally came from China, and it’s from China that tea spread throughout the world. But despite its Chinese origins, not everyone drinks tea the way the Chinese do. The Thai people have especially made tea their own by putting a unique spin on the basic brew.
What’s this unique spin? If you’ve had Thai tea before, you may have observed that the drink is usually colored pink or orange. This beverage’s bright and pretty color may seem like magic to you, especially when you realize that Thai tea is made with black Ceylon tea as its base.
But if Thai tea is pretty much black tea, why then does it have a pretty color? The magic lies in the spices that the drink is usually steeped with. Thai tea is often brewed with tamarind seed and star anise. But you can also add cloves and cardamom to the tea, or even lemon and mint. The tea leaves’ interaction with the spices is what creates the beverage’s brilliant color.
Generally, Thai tea is mixed with sugar and milk, and then served in a glass filled with crushed ice. Thai tea is also enjoyed hot, and if you want it stronger, you can simply enjoy the spiced brew without sugar and milk.
Savoring Thai tea
In Thai restaurants across the US, Thai tea is considered an iconic part of the menu. No Thai menu is complete without it. But in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand, Thai tea is regarded as street food. You can easily find a stall in Bangkok that sells this drink, with the drink served in a plastic bag with a straw jutting out from one end of the bag. Sipping Thai tea while exploring Bangkok is a great way to beat the heat.
Is it possible to make Thai tea in your own home? The answer, of course, is yes. The Internet is full of Thai tea recipes, and it’s actually pretty easy to make. You just need to brew black tea with spices like star anise and tamarind seed. If you want your drink zesty and refreshing, you can add lemon and mint. Just let the tea steep, and then strain it using cheesecloth or a tea filter. Afterwards, pour the tea into a glass with crushed ice. If you want your tea sweet, you can add sugar or sweetened condensed milk. If you want it extra creamy, you can opt for half-and-half or even coconut milk.
Then again, you can always drop by EnjoyMint or Asian Mint to have your Thai tea fix.
So, happy National Tea Day, Mint Fanatics! We hope you celebrate it with a glass of cold and delicious Thai tea, either at your own home or here at EnjoyMint.
See you soon!