A delicious blend of spices and a splash of coconut milk gives this iced tea a little something special. This Coconut Thai Tea is free of dairy and refined sugar. Optional bubble tea variation also included!
In the heat of the summer, chilled fresh foods and drinks are what I crave throughout the day. I’ll take that hot coffee on ice, a salad instead of that soup, and a smoothie bowl over that bowl of oatmeal, please and thank you.
This quick and easy variation of iced tea has quickly become a favorite, not merely for its beauty alone, but for its warm and creamy flavor. You can buy prepackaged Thai tea mixes, but many have weird additives and food coloring added, to give it a vibrant color. This version is much more fresh and made with a delicious blend of exotic spices, including cardamon, cinnamon, anise, and cloves. A splash of vanilla complements the spice, along with the addition of creamy coconut milk.
We enjoy this drink over ice and sometimes even make it into bubble tea by adding tapioca pearls. You can find the pearls in most Asian markets, along with the wide straws which makes drinking them much easier. I included the instructions below, but the pearls are totally optional. The tea tastes the same either way. 😉
- 4 cups water
- 2 whole cloves, optional
- 1-2 star anise, optional
- 1-2 smashed cardamom seeds, optional
- 1 cinnamon stick, optional
- 8 bags black tea (use 6 teabags for less tea intensity)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ - ⅓ cup maple syrup, organic sugar, honey (not vegan) or another sweetener of choice (add more or less to taste)
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk, mixed well (can also use half & half or cream if not dairy free)
- 2-3 tablespoons of almond milk or water, to thin out the coconut milk
- tapioca pearls, optional
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup tapioca pearls (from Asian market)
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon water
- bubble tea straws
- Bring water and optional spices (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, anise) to a boil in a small saucepan on the stove. Remove from heat and add teabags. Let tea steep for 4-5 minutes. Strain teabags and spices. Stir vanilla extract and sweetener (to taste) into the tea and refrigerate until chilled.
- To serve, place ice into two glasses and top with cold tea, leaving enough room (1-2 inches from the top) for the milk. Mix in a little almond milk or water to thin out the coconut milk, otherwise the coconut milk may not distribute into the tea very well.
- Pour in milk just before serving. Serves two.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add dry tapioca pearls and boil until they begin to float at the surface. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft and plump. Turn off heat, cover with a lid and let sit for 10-15 more minutes, until soft and chewy.
- Strain water from the pearls and place into a container. Mix well with 1 tablespoon of water and honey or maple syrup. Use right away, cooked tapioca pearls don't keep very well.
- To add to the tea, place into the glass before adding the ice. Top with tea and milk. Makes two servings.