Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Arbor Teas
Thai Tea (also known as Thai Iced Tea) is a popular drink hailing from Thailand, commonly found in Thai restaurants across the US. Our Organic and Fair Trade Certified Thai Iced Tea is a traditional blend of strong black tea, vanilla bean, cardamom and anise. It can be enjoyed hot or cold with a twist of lime as a self drinker (without milk). Or it can be brewed to create a traditional, restaurant-style Thai Iced Tea when combined with ice, milk and sugar!
Learn more about this tea here.
If any of you have read my foodie reviews for various Thai restaurants in the Portland area, you are probably already aware of my fondness of Thai Iced Tea. In fact, now that I think about it, Thai Iced Tea is probably the first real tea that I fell in love with, because I had discovered it long before I started on my journey with tea in general, and for me, Thai Iced Tea was love at first sip.
So when I was asked to try Arbor Teas’ new Organic Thai Iced Tea Blend, I was excited!
The leaves and spices are very finely cut. This is perhaps the finest tea leaf cut I’ve seen, it is almost like dust. The dry leaf smells delicious, with notes of anise, cardamom and vanilla tantalizing my olfactory nerves. Because of the fine chop on these leaves, I recommend being careful when you measure it … a little goes a long way!
I brewed my first pot of this to try as a hot tea, because I personally think that all teas should at least be tried hot. It has been my experience that chilling often mutes some of the flavor of the tea, so I think to try it properly, all tea should be tasted hot first. Then I brewed more at an intensified strength so that I could add either sweetened condensed milk or coconut milk to it to try it traditional Thai Iced Tea style.
Served hot, this tea is really tasty. It has a good, strong black tea base which gives me a lot of hope for the iced tea version, because one of my biggest complaints about some of the restaurant Thai Iced Teas that I’ve had lately is that the black tea seems weak and is overpowered by the thick, creamy sweetened condensed milk. It is still tasty as a sweet, latte style iced tea, but, I found myself missing the black tea flavor in those other Thai iced teas, the strength of this black tea gives me reason to believe that I will TASTE the black tea in the iced tea I’ll be enjoying over the next day or two.
The spices are also accounted for in this hot cup, with the vanilla providing a sweet, creamy taste that accents the warmth of the cardamom and the zesty anise. This isn’t an overly spiced blend, I think that the spices are in good balance with the black tea and will make a stunning iced tea!
I went on to brew some double strength tea for the fridge. Tomorrow, I’ll be sipping on Thai Iced Tea! I can’t wait!
~The Next Day~
This is really good served as a traditional Thai Iced Tea. I first tried it with coconut milk, which gave it a nice creamy taste and a hint of tropical flair. But I must admit that I prefer it with a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. Not a lot of milk, but just enough to give it that sweet, creamy taste that you’d find in a Thai restaurant. YUM!
Since I brewed this at double strength, I thought I’d do a little experimentation. I had some ginger ale in the fridge, so I decided to add a little bit of ginger ale to the glass before I poured the iced tea, and held off on the milk. This made for a very interesting “soda-like” taste. It was not quite as carbonated as a soda, but, it had a little bit of carbonation to it, and a sweet, crisp taste that was a little citrus-y, a little ginger-y and very refreshing. I could still taste all the elements of the tea, and it managed to cut through some of the sweeter elements of the soda that I often find to be a bit much for me. It was – to me – a perfect alternative to the traditional soda pop.