This refreshing Thai Lemon Iced Tea is naturally sweetened with honey. It is perfect to serve on hot summer days or alongside homemade Thai food.
About Thai Iced Tea
You all know my love for Thai food. And nothing is better to serve alongside a spicy Thai food dinner, than a glass of ice cold Thai tea. You probably know the milk tea version from your favorite local Thai restaurant or from my healthier, vegan version.
Another great way to enjoy Thai tea is as an iced lemon tea. You may see the pictures and wonder why I am talking about lemon when I clearly used lime in the photos. Well, during our travels I have noticed that the line between lemons and limes gets blurry outside of North America.
Making Authentic Thai Iced Tea
Whenever I've had this refreshing beverage in Thailand, whether in a cozy café or from a street cart, it was called lemon tea. However, it was always made with Thai limes which are more or less like key limes.
Big yellow lemons are actually hard to find in Thailand and usually only in the expensive import section of the grocery store. So to make this Thai iced tea most authentic, use key limes. But if you only have yellow lemons, they'll make a great tasting iced tea as well.
How to Make the Thai Tea Healthier
If you are anything like me, you may have been wondering how to make iced tea healthier. As with pretty much all Thai beverages, this lemon tea is usually sweetened with a load of refined sugar. I tried to make it healthier by using local, raw honey instead and only just enough to take the tart edge off the lime juice.
While I used Number One Brand mix in this Thai iced tea recipe, I am not too happy with the fact that the ingredients include artificial coloring (that bright orange color you see). I have since found an organic Thai Tea mix from Arbor Teas which doesn't use any artificial colors or flavors. Yay!
For a homemade version, use loose leaf black tea or bags and add just a tiny bit of ground cloves, star anise and cardamon + optionally a touch of vanilla extract for steeping.
How to Make Thai Lemon Iced Tea
To make this iced tea, you boil water and allow it to steep with the tea mix for 3 to 5 minutes. The tea mix contains a mixture of black tea and tamarind, and spices like star anise and cardamom. A tea ball is wonderful for steeping the tea mixture in the boiling water, but you could also add the mixture straight into the water and strain it through a fine mesh strainer if you like so that you don't have the tea leaves and spices in your beverage.
Then, stir the hot tea with lime juice and liquid honey before pouring it over lots of ice to chill it in a tall glass. Of course, you can use fresh lemon juice instead of fresh lime juice if that is what you have, but lime gives it that Thai flavour that is so delicious. A lime wedge or lemon slice makes for an attractive garnish on this refreshing drink as well.
Or course you can also make a whole batch of this Thai iced tea recipe. In that case steep the tea mix in a saucepan of boiling water, then add the other ingredients. Serve over ice and store any extra tea in the fridge for later.
Other Drink Recipes You'll Love:
Thai Lemon Iced Tea
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) Thai tea mix or use black tea with a pinch of ground cloves, cardamom + star anise
- 1 cup just boiled water
- 2-3 teaspoons key lime juice
- 1-2 teaspoons local raw honey
- ice cubes
- sliced lime for garnish
- Stir in lime juice and honey. Taste and adjust to personal preference.
- Pour the Thai lemon tea into a tall glass filled with ice. Serve garnished with sliced lime.
Products used in this Thai Tea Recipe:
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Thai iced tea typically consists of black tea, spices like star anise and cardamom, tamarind, lime juice, and sweetener, often in the form of condensed milk.
Thai iced tea is distinctive for its use of spices, tamarind, and sweetened condensed milk, giving it a creamy and exotic flavor profile, unlike regular iced tea.
Thai iced tea has a unique and rich flavor with a combination of black tea, spices, and a sweet, creamy element from condensed milk, resulting in a sweet, spiced, and slightly creamy taste.