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Why is Thai iced tea so sweet?

I've had Thai iced tea so many times, and I haven't found one I liked. They're always so sweet. I understand that it's supposed to be a sort of spiced milk tea beverage, but I smell the sugar more than anything else. Where did all the tea flavor go?

Does anyone have a recipe that actually tastes like tea?

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  1. Thai iced tea is made with sweetened condensed milk, which is very sweet. The simplest way to lessen the sweetness would be to use less sweetened condensed milk.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

      Maybe the Thai restaurants should put in less. A tablespoon in a cup is already too sweet for me.

      1. re: michaelnrdx

        If you're ordering, you could just ask them to put in less. They generally cater to the clientele who like it the way it is.

        1. re: chowser

          I may do that next time. But does anyone else find Thai ice tea too sweet, or is it just me?

          1. re: michaelnrdx

            I find it too sweet so I don't order it.

            1. re: michaelnrdx

              If you find it too sweet, then you don't really like Thai iced tea. That is what it is supposed to be like. Vietnamese iced coffee is the same. They are super sweet drinks. I think of them more as dessert, and I enjoy them. I suppose you could try and make it less sweet, but then it wouldn't really be Tai iced tea, so why not just say you don't like it and get something else?

      2. Word of warning you wouldn't like Vietnamese cà phê sữa đá, also made with sweetened condensed milk.

        1. I love Thai iced tea! It's just sweet enough. If you find it too sweet, order something else. It's that sweet because they like it and make it that way!

          1. That is sweet to me too, but I ask for a glass of ice water chocked full of ice, and add the ice with a spoon to dilute it.

            1. Thai tea is sweet because they add a strong sugar syrup to the tea. The evaporated milk,light cream or half and half is added just before serving and should be on top.
              The Thais love their sweets sweet. The only way around it is to buy the flavored tea leaves and brew it your self. then only sweeten to taste.
              1. 6 cups water, 1 cup Thai tea (cha Thai). Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the tea and remove the pan from heat. Stir to submerge all the tea leaves in the water. Steep for about 5 minutes.
              2. Pour the brew through a coffee filter or a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcher.
              3. Add the sugar (vary according to taste) to the hot tea and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
              4. To serve: Fill tall glasses with crushed ice. Add enough of the tea to fill the glasses to within 1 inch from the top. Add a little Half & Half into each serving to taste.