Monday, May 20, 2013

Cold Brew Thai Iced Tea

Every summer growing up my mom made big batches of sun tea. We would help unwrap the tea bags, fill the glass container with filtered water, and then place it out in the garden or near the pool in the sunniest spot we could find. 

Lately, amongst coffee drinkers,  there has been a growing trend with cold-brew coffee. This month's Bon Appetit inspired me to try the same method with Tea. The cold-brew method makes for a less tannic, more flavorful tea.

 I took the experiment a step further by taking a stab at homemade Thai iced tea. I had purchased Thai iced tea bags at my local Asian market a couple months ago and totally loved the product except for the fact that it had artificial food coloring, you know that dark orangey color that you always associate Thai iced tea with? Ceylon Tea is the original tea used for making it but because of it's price, most people end up using black tea with added yellow food coloring to achieve the same look. Well, we are going to make some Thai tea, naturally, no food coloring needed. 

Cold Brew Thai Iced Tea 
makes 2 quarts 

15 star anise pods 
5 Tbsp Sugar 
1 Vanilla Bean, Seeds Scraped
Black Tea Bags
8 cups Water + 1.5 cups water
1/2 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk 
Dash of Coconut Milk (optional)

1. In a saucepan, combine sugar, star anise pods, vanilla bean seeds, and 1.5 cups of water.
2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until reduced by half. 
3. Cool spiced simple syrup and pour into glass pitcher. Add tea bags (follow instructions on box for correct tea bag to water ratio) and water.  

[This is the black tea I used]

4. Place in your refrigerator for 5 hours until tea is dark in color. Remove tea bag and mix in 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk and a splash of coconut milk (optional). 
5 .To serve, pour over ice (I prefer crushed) and enjoy!!  

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