Photos by Lindsey Johnson
If you’ve ever ordered Thai iced tea while dining out, a few things probably occurred to you. First off, you probably noticed that it tastes more like a dessert than a simple dinner-accompanying beverage. Secondly, you were probably floored at the drink’s deliciousness and wished you could make it at home, all the while figuring you couldn’t make it at home because it’s full of exotic Thai secrets that you could never access. Thirdly, and this goes along with my point under “secondly,” you probably noticed that it was orange, attributing that fact to all those exotic Thai secrets.
Today I’m here to unlock the mystery of Thai tea for you. That, and to give you a recipe for a killer summertime sweet.
So, what exactly is it that gives Thai tea its distinct flavor? Well, there’s the tea for starters. It’s strong, so that’s one thing. Notice this recipe calls for eight tea bags in six pops. I wouldn’t recommend giving these treats to your kids, unless you’re into flying kids. Then there’s the tea itself, which is black tea of the Ceylon variety. Using Ceylon does seem to add a slight distinctness to the flavor (I tested this), but regular black tea works as well. There’s also loads of sugar (higher flying kids?), and in conventional Thai tea, condensed milk. That’s it!
“Then why is it orange?” you ask. As it turns out, most restaurants add orange food coloring to their Thai tea. I was a little disappointed to find out that it wasn’t exotic Thai magic. So these Thai Iced Tea Pops are not orange. They also contain coconut milk in place of condensed dairy milk, so they’re vegan! The coconut milk content is also a bit higher than it might be in Thai tea you drink, because they're dessert. They are also incredibly delicious, which is why I’ve been eating them like crazy and have been flying Alissa for the last week or so. Thank you Thailand. It’s been a VERY productive week.
This post was originally published on July 10, 2014.
- 1 ½ cups water
- 8 black tea bags preferably Ceylon or ⅓ cup loose tea leaves
- ⅓ cup white sugar (organic for vegan-friendly)
- 13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Remove from heat and add the tea bags and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then let the tea bags steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags from the saucepan, or strain the mixture if you used loose tea.
- Stir in the coconut milk. You can heat it back up, if necessary, to dissolve any stubborn chunks.
- Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator and chill until it's at room temperature or a little below. About an hour should do it.
- Remove the saucepan from the refrigerator and give the mixture a stir. The coconut milk and tea may have separated a bit during refrigeration (or a lot, if you left it in there for a while), so just stir it enough to bring the mixture back to uniformity.
- Carefully pour the tea mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze until solid. Remove from molds and serve.
Anele @ Success Along the Weigh says
Genius!! I'll definitely be making these and I won't have to worry about the Mr snatching them since he's not a tea person. More for me!
Haha, great! Sounds like you're in for a productive week as well 😉 Enjoy!!
Abby @ The Frosted Vegan says
I love Thai iced tea, so I'm going to need these ASAP!
If you like Thai iced tea you will LOVE these!
Ciara (@My Fussy Eater) says
This sounds incredible. I've never had Thai Iced Tea but definitely want to make these popsicles!
Thank you! Thai iced tea is great - it's amazing how a few little modifications over regular tea give it a distinctive flavor. I hope you enjoy these!
Olivia - Primavera Kitchen says
Cool recipe. Look very refreshing and tasty 😉
Thanks Olivia! They really were refreshing and tasty!
These look delicious! I'd love to know which type of popsicle mold you're using. I'm struggling to find one that works well!
Thank you! I used the Tovolo Groovy Ice Pops Mold. It works well for me. The trick is to be patient when removing the pops from the molds - it sometimes takes a minute or so of running under hot water, but the pops always come out just fine.
Rachael | Spache the Spatula says
I'm curious if you've ever used the ZOKU pop makers because I'm debating whether or not to buy another of those (after none broke!), or try something new.
These look super dee duper tasty, by the way!
I haven't tried Zoku, but I can say that I've never broken a pop with the Tovolo molds 🙂
Katie @ Produce on Parade says
Oh my goodness! I had no idea it wasn't actually orange!! I too thought it was some exotic tea, how funny! What a great dessert!
Me neither! I was actually a little bummed to discover that it was just food coloring. The fact that the tea and resulting pops are just as tasty without it make up for that though 🙂
Heather @ My Overflowing Cup says
These look so good! I have been craving ice cream lately due to the heat, but this is a healthier and more frugal choice. Thanks so much for the recipe. I love all things coconut. Coconut milk is my favorite for ice cream and smoothies. Pinning this now! Thanks, again.
Thanks Heather! The coconut milk makes these really creamy, so they should satisfy your ice cream cravings. Enjoy!!
Oh I am SO going to make these! I make a Thai tea smoothie and Thai tea pudding that we love. So having another delicious Thai tea treat has me very excited. YAY!
Ohhhh...Thai tea pudding and smoothies sound awesome! I'll have to give those a try too. I hope these pops make a nice addition to your collection of Thai tea treat recipes 🙂
I can't wait to try these!!!! I LOVE Thai iced tea but it's a rare indulgence as it's not exactly healthy. These sound amazing. :). Thank you! I am having so much fun exploring your recipes! Your website is a gem!
Awww, thanks so much Carrie! Thai tea definitely is an indulgence. Definitely makes more sense to me as a dessert than a drink 🙂
Alice // Hip Foodie Mom says
I love these pops! Any tips on how to get the pops out of the mold perfectly? I still haven't mastered that! 🙂
Thanks Alice! I wish I had some tips, but I've never had a problem getting pops out of the molds! I just run the mold under hot water until it loosens. Sometimes it takes a minute or two, but they always come out for me.
great healthy version of thai tea pops!
Absolutely! Thanks Dina!
Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir says
Now I'm dreaming of Thai iced coffee pops...rather than the iced coffee I'm about to get. Love this idea!!
Thank you!! I was actually thinking these might be a good substitute for my usual coffee on hot summer mornings. A little sweet, but maybe just once in a while...
Rebecca Jacobs fitandfabveganlife.com says
Looks awesome! Love the coconut milk addition and that there's not too much sugar! Trying this weekend
Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy them!
Lori @ RecipeGirl says
Craving these now!
I have definitely always wondered a little bit about that orange color. Mind you, that has never stopped me from ordering a Thai iced tea every chance I get! Licking into one of these shall be the pinnacle of my summer! Especially since the boyfriend DESPISES tea. So more for me.
Yeah, I have to admit, I don't think my newfound knowledge of the orange coloring will stop me from ordering in the future...Thai iced tea is just too good. Glad I can now supplement at home with color-free pops 🙂 I hope you enjoy these!
These are perfection! Can't wait to try 😀
Thanks Dana! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Kate @¡Hola! Jalapeño says
Who knew they could be so simple-and vegan! Yeah, baby!
I was surprised myself at how something so simple turned out so tasty!
Shaun Bhatia says
Wow! These sound absolutely delicious...
I thought they were pretty delicious. 🙂 Thanks Shaun!
Heather @HeatherChristo says
Perfect for a warm afternoon! Delish!
Absolutely! It's been 90+ degrees where I live - time to make another batch. 🙂
Julia @ Sprinkles & Saturdays says
Oh my gosh these look so good! Thai ice tea is one of my absolute favorite things and I couldn't agree more that it tastes more like dessert. Definitely want to try these pops!
Thank you! I hope you get a chance to try them, and enjoy. 🙂
I love Thai iced tea, and think this would be a great way to enjoy it since we're going to have 100º+ temps this week. My husband is diabetic. Are there any sugar substitutes you would recommend to use instead of regular sugar so I can keep down the carbs?
You could really go with whatever sweetener works with your husband's diet. I like liquid stevia, so if that's suitable for him you could give it a try. I'd just add a few drops at a time until you get the flavor somewhere on par with a glass of sweet iced tea. Enjoy!
Omg this is genius!
Thank you! 🙂
Amy Hunt says
Holy cow these are amazing! I made mine with Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice Tea instead black, and it is to die for.
That sounds like a delicious twist! I'll have to give it a try next time. Glad you enjoyed them! 🙂