Tea, in its many forms, is becoming more and more popular in recent years – expedited due to the global world we now live in, and the level to which we interact with Asian culture.
One such tea is Thai tea – a popular drink throughout southeast Asia, and one that has continued to grow in popularity all around the world.
But what exactly is Thai tea, and what does it taste like?
What Is Thai Tea?
Thai tea is a famous and popular drink from Thailand, and is made from Ceylon tea, milk, and sugar.
Despite being so simple in terms of ingredients, it is considered a delicious drink, and can be enjoyed either hot or cold – making it a versatile drink for many.
When the drink is enjoyed cold over ice, it is generally known as Thai iced tea – a popular summertime drink that is both wholesome and refreshing.
What Are The Ingredients?
Generally speaking, Thai tea consists of Ceylon tea – as well as local versions of Assam known as bai miang.
This is usually combined with condensed milk, coconut milk, whole milk, or evaporated milk, and then sweetened with sugar.
It is also common in modern times for other toppings to be added, such as tapioca pearls – which then creates a Thai version of the widely popular bubble tea (boba).
What Variations Are There?
Depending on whether you consume it hot or cold, there are a couple of popular variations to choose from.
The cold beverages include:
- Dark Thai iced tea – served chilled with no milk, and sweetened with sugar
- Lime Thai tea – served chilled without milk, with added lime juice and sugar
Some hot variations include:
- Thai hot tea – Thai tea with sugar and milk (served hot)
- Dark Thai hot tea – Thai tea without milk, sweetened with sugar, and served hot
What Does Thai Tea Taste Like?
Thai tea is known for its creamy consistency and texture, and has a sweet, almost vanilla-like flavor – created by the addition of the milk and sugar.
This flavor can obviously change in many ways, and is dependent on the ingredients that are added to the tea in the first place.
Is Thai Tea Healthy?
Generally speaking, Thai tea (see also: Why Is Thai Tea Orange?)is not considered healthy – due to the sheer amount of sugar and fat that the drink contains.
However, this can change depending on how the drink is prepared – and if lower fat milk is used (or coconut milk), along with less sugar, then the drink can indeed be healthier than the standard recipe.
What Are The Nutritional Facts?
Generally speaking, an 8 ounce serving of Thai tea delivers around 154 calories – lower than most forms of bubble tea – but consists of a significant amount of sugar, which as we all know is not good for our health.
A standard 8 ounce Thai tea will usually consist of:
- 1 gram of protein
- 31 grams of carbohydrate
- 2.8 grams of fat
- 1 gram of fiber
- 64.8 milligrams of sodium
- 24 grams of sugar
- 6% of calcium (daily recommended)
- 2% of RDI of iron
How Much Caffeine In Thai Tea?
In a standard cup of Thai iced tea, there is usually around 24 milligrams of caffeine. This might sound like a lot, but it is the same as having herbal or black tea by itself, so it is by no means extreme.
In Thai milk tea – served hot or cold – the caffeine content can be even higher, rising to as much as 60 milligrams in some cases.
Are There Other Kinds Of Thai Tea?
While this beverage is considered to be the quintessential Thai tea, there are other forms of tea that go by the same name. These generally consist of fruit and herbal teas, which are used for medicinal purposes primarily.
One popular concoction is a version of oolong tea – known as Thai oolong tea. This includes oolong infused with steamed ginger, lemongrass, and celery.
Are There Any Health Benefits?
If you consume Thai tea without the milk, and with limited sugar and sweeteners, then there can be certain associated health benefits – something that can be associated with most kinds of natural tea leaves.
One supposed benefit is towards the blood pressure, helping to lower it and promote good heart health. This works by improving blood oxidation, which ensures that enough oxygen reaches all the essential parts of the body.
It is also said to be good for reducing inflammation inside the body – something that can be beneficial to any number of different illnesses and ailments.
This is due to the antioxidant content of black tea, which slows down the natural degradation process of the human body, and helps to bolster a healthy immune system.
Black tea is also beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels, increasing the antioxidant levels in the human body, and protecting us against heart problems and conditions.
Black tea is also associated with weight loss, using the polyphenols in black tea to aid the absorption of lipids (fats) and complex sugars.
It also helps to slow down digestion, ensuring we remain fuller for longer. What’s more, there is evidence to suggest that this is more prevalent and pronounced in black tea than green tea.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about Thai tea,(see also: 13 American Tea Brands You Need To Know About) and what exactly it tastes like.
It’s true that tea is becoming more and more popular, especially as all across the world people are having more interaction with Asian culture and society – through things like social media and the internet – and this is something that also comes at a time when people are willing and open to explore more natural forms of medicine.
So, if you are looking to expand your knowledge of tea, why not give Thai tea a try? Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!