After seeing V’s Thai roadside tea stands, I couldn’t wait for an excuse to make a batch of ice tea.
Believe it or not, that’s saying a lot.
Once upon a time… not so long ago… I despised drinking tea, or coffee, for that matter. My descent into warm caffeine drinks started very innocently, with something cold – Starbucks Coffee Ice Cream. It was just so… smooth… and delicious. I couldn’t help myself!
Next, came Katrina and a roadtrip with friends to New Orleans. We ended up in several real, live Starbucks, where I was introduced to the crack that is known as a white chocolate mocha (just for the record, this is so gross now!)
Then Dunkin… then Flavia… and Kurig… and finally, in an attempt to slightly decaffeinate myself, herbal Bigelow teas. Yeah, I know, not the most discerning of tastes, but beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to the stock at the office.
Anyways, back to the real story. One of my friends always gets this bright orange concoction at a local Thai place, so I figured I’d give it a shot with another interweb find:
- 3/4 C
blackgreen tea leaves (hint: that’s a lot!)
- star anise (2 stars), ground tamarind (1 tablespoon of tamarind paste), cardamom (1 teaspoon) and/or other spices, to taste
- 6 C boiling water
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1/2 C sweetened condensed milk
- 1 C evaporated milk (most traditional)
, whole milk, half and half, or coconut milk
With all the sugar and the sweetened condensed milk, I expected this to be super syrupy, but it was surprisingly mild. It didn’t look particularly appetizing without the bright orange coloring, so its a good thing that I wasn’t being scored on presentation.
Speaking of looks – I had completely forgotten to take a picture of this masterpiece. Guess I’ll just have to pull myself up by my bootstraps and make it again!
Take 2: Sometimes I get extra cocky when I’ve had a successful run at a recipe before. Instead of re-reading the directions, I just threw the tea on the stove, filtered out the leaves when it was done, and poured it out into glasses.
Only then did I realize that I forgot to add the sugar and sweetened condensed milk while it was still on the stove. Oh yeah, and the spices, it might be good to add those as well!
Since I was being a bit schizo, I doubled the cardamon to make up for how little the anise was allowed to steep. I also added whole milk to top, rather than evaporated. Very different flavor, but overall still good.
I think it’s time for a tea ball so the straining process isn’t quite so involved or distracting!