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Thai Tea Recipe From Scratch

    1 gallon water
    8 Chinese star anise, ground
    1 tablespoon orange flowers
    1 tablespoon powdered vanilla
    1 pinch of clove powder
    1 pinch chopped cinnamon
    3/4 quart long cut China black tea leaves
    1 to 2 cups sugar
    1 quart half & half
    red food coloring
    crushed ice

Boil water. Add star anise, orange flowers, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, and tea leaves to boiling water. Continue boiling for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Cover and allow to steep until luke warm. Strain, and add sugar to taste. Serve in a clear glass over plenty of crushed ice. Top with half & half.

Traditional Variation: Substitute coconut milk for half & half.
Decaffeinated Variation: Substitute decaffeinated tea leaves.
Low-fat Variation: Substitute evaporated milk or rice milk for half & half.
Natural Variation: Substitute unrefined cane sugar for refined sugar and beet powder for food coloring.

Pre-mixed Preparation 1

    3 1/2 c water
    1/3 c Thai tea
    1/3 c sugar
    1/3 c condensed milk
    1/2 c half & half

Heat the water to boiling, then using four layers of cheesecloth as a filter, pour the water through the tea four times or until the tea until reaches the right color. Set the tea aside to cool. Mix together the remaining ingredients. Fill glasses with crushed ice; pour milk/sugar mixture about 1/2 full into each glass; carefully pour cooled tea over top to preserve separation. Serve.

Pre-mixed Preparation 2

    1 1/2 c water
    2 tbsp Thai tea
    1/4 c sweetened condensed milk

Place 2 tablespoons of tea powder in a muslin bag, and arrange over the neck of a jug. Pour in 12 ounces of boiling water, and allow to steep. Transfer the bag to a second jug and pour the water into the bag again. Repeat this process several times then vigorously squeeze the bag to remove as much liquor as possible. Add a quarter of a cup of sweetened condensed milk, stir to incorporate, and allow to cool. Serve over shaved ice. Makes 2 cups.

Pre-mixed Preparation 3

This process gives me Thai Tea that tastes exactly like it does in my favorite Thai restaurant. I put a cup of the loose tea leaves into a big pot of water (the kind of pot one boils pasta in... a big stove pot). I bring the tea and water to a rolling boil, stirring constantly and monitoring the heat so that it doesn’t overflow. After it has boiled for a minute or two, I reduce the heat and allow the tea to simmer for 15 or 20 minutes. Then I cover the pot and allow the tea to cool on the stove top. At first the tea leaves all stay at the top of the water, but as the water cools they all drop to the bottom of the pot. I then carefully pour the tea into a pitcher, using a metal strainer to catch any leaves that happen to get stirred up during the process. (However, virtually all of the leaves stay settled.) I add sugar until the bitterness of the tea goes away, usually between one and two cups. If the tea seems too strong, I also add water to dilute it a bit. I pour the tea over ice, filling the glass 2/3 full, then top it off with half-and-half.

Pre-mixed Preparation 4

Here's a tip from ImportFood.com:
Let the wonderful fragrance of Thai icetea fill your home, and enjoy a stronger-tasting tea. In medium pot boil 8 cups water and add 8-10 heaping tablespoons of Thai tea mix. Reduce heat and let simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Add water to balance and let simmer for additional 1 hour. Add water once again and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Strain, cool and serve as per above method. This method yields a stronger tea and is the more common way of preparation in Thailand.

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