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Course: Drinks
Keyword: Drinks, Gluten-Free, Make-Ahead, Non-Alcoholic, Summer

Thai Iced Tea

Thai iced tea surrounded by spices in a round dish.
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 8 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Next to coffee, Thai tea is my favorite beverage on earth.
I like mine to have a tang to it, so I start with Early Grey tea rather than standard black tea, and I include tamarind pulp. To get the pulp out of the tamarind pod, just crack the thin outer case and remove the pulpy interior.
Is it nice and clear like Southern sweet tea? Nope. But since I always put a little half and half in mine, I care not.
A note about the half and half: Canned milk is more authentic to this application since it was probably the only dairy that colonists could get their hands on when they moved into Southeast Asia. But I think the fat content of half and half is batter at balancing the tannins in the tea.
This recipe first appeared in EveryDayCook.
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  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 6 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 1 ounce fresh tamarind pulp, smashed
  • 8 green cardamom pods
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup half and half, to serve
Thai iced tea surrounded by spices in a round dish.
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 8 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Procedure

  • Bring the water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Remove from the boil and add the tea, tamarind pulp, and spices. Cover with lid and steep for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the tea bags and strain out the spices. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
  • Chill the Thai tea base for at least 8 hours before serving. Serve over ice with a splash of half and half.
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