Monday, October 05, 2009


A couple of weekends ago, I craved dearly for the THAI Tea I had at one of the restaurant. I observed carefully the color, the aroma, and taste of the Thai Tea served at local Thai restaurant. I did some web search on the Thai tea. Most of the tea listed were imported from Thailand. Some are in the form of instant Thai tea powder; also there is tea leaves form of the Thai Tea being sold with Thai tea making kit. Regardless, after first three tries with various tea listed on the web, my search for the better Thai tea took me to an interesting journey. I found three different brands Thai Tea on the market where I live. At first I purchased some Oolong Tea from Taiwan, Instant Tea from Thailand (pre-mixed), and both disqualified to come close to the taste I am looking for. The instant tea tasted good, but I had my concern with the artificial color yellow #6 that it contains. But it explains the reason why the tea served at the restaurant comes out so gorgeous when served.
So, the next quest for the right Thai Tea was solved at the Koreana Plaza, local Korean market located at Olson drive, Rancho Cordova close to my office. I purchased three different tea brands and flavors. Thai Tea by Sunlee has vanilin flavour, and FD&C Yellow #6. Then, the "THAI Tea" with Anise (Thailand), and Black Tea (China).
The control of the test is to brew the tea with hot water at the same temperatures and with the same number of bags of tea. The challenge is to measure the color. So, the color fused through the glass and camera is the only mechanism I have to measure the strength of the tea. Each group of tea is steeped three times. At the end of the test, the winner of the Thai Tea is the Black Tea.  If I am not so sensitive to the food color, probably I don't mind enjoy a cup of Sunlee brand Thai tea.
To make Iced Thai Tea, after steeping the tea bags--4 tea bags to 12 oz of hot water- make it strong as it will get diluted when added to the glass of ice, add a drop of Vanilla extract. Depending on your preference, you can add pre-sweetened coffee creamery; condensed milk; then top it with half and half, or evaporated milk.  Enjoy!

Update on 11/7/2020.  This store sales organic Thai Tea.  The best part is no artificial color.
Your traditional blend Thai tea to make the Thai Iced Tea should be of strong black tea,  and contain vanilla bean, cardamom and anise.  So you could blend them at home the same ingredients and see if it will produce the same taste.  Have fun testing.  


  1. Anonymous2:34 PM

    may i ask where did you get the sunlee brand thai tea? and is it a powderbase?

  2. I purchased from It comes in 1 lb bag. Shipped from Thailand.

  3. By the way, my mistake. Actually the Sunlee Thai tea that you are asking about is purchased from "99 Ranch" Asian Grocery store, San Jose, CA area. You can also find it at local 'Asian' grocery store. In Sacramento area, find it at S*F Supermarket or Koreana Plaza. But I like the tea I purchased from because they are tea leaves and comes in air tight 1 lb bag and No food color added. It might not give the same "orangish" color that you normally see it served at the restaurant, but I prefer no food color in the beverage.


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