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Thai Iced Tea vs Thai Iced Coffee: What’s the Difference?

Summary of key points

The main difference between Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee lies in their base ingredients. Thai iced tea is made from a blend of black tea, spices, and condensed milk, while Thai iced coffee is made from brewed coffee, sweetened condensed milk, and sometimes chicory.

In terms of taste, Thai iced tea has a creamy and spiced flavor, while Thai iced coffee has a bolder and richer coffee taste.

Another distinction is their caffeine content. Due to the use of black tea, Thai iced tea typically has less caffeine than Thai iced coffee. However, both beverages can provide a refreshing boost of energy.

Whichever you choose, these popular drinks from Thailand are perfect for cooling down on a hot day or indulging in a sweet treat. And if you can’t decide, why not try both and see which one becomes your new favorite?

In the heat of summer, we all crave something chilled. Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee come to the rescue. Both are fantastic. Yet, they’re not twins.

Our team’s love affair with these drinks began last summer. We’ve been hooked since. Each has its own charm.

The first charms with its spices and sweet milk. The second, with its strong coffee and creamy finish. We’ve debated their merits over many afternoons.

We’re here to share our findings. Grab your ice, folks. It’s time to cool down and dig in.

What is Thai Iced Tea?

Thai Iced Tea is an amazing beverage from Thailand.

It’s a sweet and creamy iced tea, made with black tea, condensed milk, and sometimes spices like star anise or tamarind seeds.

The tea is brewed hot, then cooled and served over ice.

This drink has a unique orange hue.

This comes from food coloring or ingredients like turmeric.

This vivid color makes it look as good as it tastes.

Its creaminess and exotic flavors make it popular among tea fans and those looking for a unique culinary experience.

What sets Thai Iced Tea apart is its complex flavor.

A mix of black tea and condensed milk gives it a smooth and velvety taste that balances the boldness of the tea.

Spices add depth and complexity to the flavor.

It’s also versatile.

It’s great on its own, but you can pair it with dishes to enhance their flavor.

Its sweetness goes well with spicy foods, making it perfect for Thai cuisine.

Also, its creaminess pairs nicely with desserts.

What is Thai Iced Coffee?

Thai Iced Coffee is a beloved drink from Thailand.

It’s a unique variation of iced coffee, with Thai flavors and techniques.

The key difference? Sweetened condensed milk.

To make it, dark roast coffee beans are brewed and chilled.

Instead of milk or cream, Thai Iced Coffee uses the sweetened condensed milk, for flavor and sweetness.

Spices also play an important part.

Traditional Thai spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise are added to the brew.

These give the drink depth and complexity.

Usually served over ice, Thai Iced Coffee is the perfect choice for hot days.

The bold coffee flavors and cold temperature make it refreshing and delicious.

Overall, Thai Iced Coffee stands out because of its blend of coffee, sweetened condensed milk, and aromatic spices.

Coffee enthusiasts and those looking for something new will love it.

Differences Between Thai Iced Tea and Thai Iced Coffee

When it comes to Thai beverages, two popular choices stand out – Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee.

Both drinks share a similar preparation method – brewing with spices and serving over ice.

But they have distinct differences.

Ingredients Used

Thai Iced Tea and Thai Iced Coffee.

Both popular beverages, noticed by locals and tourists.

Seem similar, yet their ingredients set them apart.

Thai Iced Tea’s main ingredient? Black tea leaves.

These are brewed to make a strong, aromatic base.

Sugar or condensed milk added for sweetness and creaminess.

Spices like star anise, cardamom, and cloves enhance the flavor and give the drink an orange hue.

Thai Iced Coffee uses dark roasted coffee beans as its base.

Ground finely, then brewed using traditional methods.

Sweetened condensed milk for balance and creaminess.

This creates a rich and bold coffee flavor.

Similarities in sweetness and creaminess.

But your choice – Thai Iced Tea or Coffee – comes down to preference.

Some may prefer the boldness of coffee, others the unique blend of Thai tea.

Preparation Method

Thai Iced Tea and Thai Iced Coffee are two popular drinks in Thai cuisine.

In Thai cuisine, drinks are an experience.

So, how are these two made?

Thai Iced Tea is brewed with black tea leaves and spices like star anise, cardamom, and cloves.

It’s then sweetened with condensed milk or sugar.

Finally, ice is added before serving.

Thai Iced Coffee is brewed with dark roasted coffee beans.

This strong coffee is then mixed with condensed milk or sugar.

Ice cubes are added to get a refreshing icy sensation.

Stir until cold.

These two drinks have distinct flavors and aromas.

Thai Iced Tea has a creamy taste with hints of spices.

Thai Iced Coffee has a bolder flavor thanks to the dark roast coffee beans.

Flavor Profile and Taste

When it comes to Thai iced tea and coffee, the taste is different.

Thai iced tea has a creamy, sweet, and slightly spicy flavor.

But Thai iced coffee has a bolder taste with hints of chocolate and caramel.

Thai iced tea is made with black tea leaves and spices like star anise and cardamom.

Plus, condensed milk or evaporated milk for creaminess and sweetness.

Plus, orange blossom water for a unique aroma.

Thai iced coffee uses dark-roasted coffee beans, ground finely.

Then, it’s mixed with sugar and poured over ice.

Resulting in a strong, rich coffee flavor with undertones of chocolate and caramel.

You can customize both drinks to suit your preference.

For example, add more condensed milk for sweeter Thai iced tea.

Or, adjust the strength of Thai iced coffee with more or less sugar.

In short, Thai iced tea has a creamy and sweet taste with subtle spice.

Whereas, Thai iced coffee has a bold and robust flavor with chocolate and caramel notes.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which one to choose.

Caffeine Content

Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee differ in their caffeine content.

Both are famous drinks, but they have different levels of this energizing compound.

Thai iced tea is usually made from black tea leaves, spices, and sweetened condensed milk.

It contains less caffeine than Thai iced coffee.

Thai iced coffee is brewed using dark roast coffee beans and mixed with sweetened condensed milk.

This rich and flavorful beverage has more caffeine than its tea equivalent.

These two drinks have different amounts of caffeine, giving customers options.

If you want a milder boost or a stronger jolt, both Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee have unique flavors with different levels of caffeine.

Similarities Between Thai Iced Tea and Thai Iced Coffee

Thai Iced Tea and Thai Iced Coffee may look the same, but they have unique characteristics.

Both drinks are popular among Thai fans.

Let’s compare their tastes and ingredients.

They both have one thing in common – they are served cold.

Perfect for hot days, or simply as a delicious treat.

Thai Iced Tea has an orange color and sweetness.

It’s made with black tea leaves and spices like star anise or cardamom.

It’s sweetened with condensed milk or sugar syrup.

Thai Iced Coffee has its own traits.

It’s made from dark roast coffee beans, using a cloth filter or a phin.

It has strong flavors like chocolate and caramel.

It’s poured over ice and topped with sweetened condensed milk for creaminess and sweetness.

Serving Styles and Presentation

When it comes to serving styles and presentation, Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee have distinct features.

Thai iced tea is usually served in a tall glass with a straw and garnished with a sprig of mint.

It is eye-catching with its vibrant orange color.

Whereas, Thai iced coffee is served in a traditional stainless steel tumbler called a “khanom” or in a glass with a handle, giving it a rustic feel.

It is visually appealing with its dark brown color.

These two popular Thai beverages differ in their presentation too.

Thai iced tea is layered with condensed milk or coconut milk.

This creates a gradient effect and enhances the flavor.

On the other hand, Thai iced coffee is served with sweetened condensed milk already mixed in it.

It has a creamy taste with foam or whipped cream on top.

Cultural Significance of Thai Iced Tea and Thai Iced Coffee

The cultural importance of Thai Iced Tea and Thai Iced Coffee is evident in their overwhelming popularity.

They boast unique flavors that have become iconic symbols of Thailand’s vibrant street food culture.

Thai Iced Tea, also known as Cha Yen, is made from a strong black tea blend and condensed milk.

It is traditionally served over ice, making it refreshingly perfect for the hot climate of Thailand.

Thai Iced Coffee, or Oliang/Olay, is brewed using a special blend of coffee beans with added soybeans, corn, and sesame seeds.

It is often sweetened with condensed milk and served chilled.

These beverages are popular among locals and tourists alike.

They are consumed during the day for a pick-me-up or after meals as a sweet dessert.

They have gained international attention, too, as Thai restaurants around the world adopt these drinks.

They act as an introduction to Thai culture for many foreigners who appreciate their distinct flavors and presentation.

Thai Iced Tea and Thai Iced Coffee not only showcase the country’s appreciation for unique flavors, but they also represent the hospitable nature of the Thai people.

Their lively colors reflect the atmosphere of Thailand’s streets, offering a delightful experience for all.

Popular Variations and Additions

Mix things up with a unique twist on Thai iced tea and coffee.

Traditional versions are great, but try adding flavors like coconut or mango.

For extra creaminess, add ice cream or condensed milk.

Plus, herbs and spices like lemongrass, cinnamon, or cardamom can deepen the flavor profile.

Up your drinking experience with a variation or addition next time you order one of these delicious beverages.


To sum up, the key difference between Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee is what base drink is used.

While they have similar flavor profiles, one uses black tea and the other uses brewed coffee.

Though coffee has a more pronounced flavor, sometimes Thai iced tea can be just as strong in flavor due to its added sugar and cream.

Whether you opt for Thai iced tea or Thai iced coffee, you will enjoy it no matter what.

So the choice is entirely up to you.

Both drinks offer an intense burst of hot and spicy flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and satisfy your thirst after a long day.

Make sure to give both a try to experience their unique flavor profiles for yourself.

Thai Iced Tea vs Thai Iced Coffee: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Curious about the disparities between Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee? Dive into the unique characteristics of these refreshing beverages.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Thai Iced Tea
  • Thai Iced Coffee


  • Choose between Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee based on your preference for flavor and caffeine.
  • Prepare your preferred beverage by brewing strong tea or coffee using traditional Thai methods.
  • Add condensed milk or sweetened condensed milk to the brewed tea or coffee, adjusting the amount to your desired sweetness.
  • Stir well until the condensed milk is fully incorporated.
  • Fill a glass with ice and pour the prepared Thai iced tea or Thai iced coffee over the ice.
  • Stir gently to chill the beverage further and enjoy the refreshing and delightful flavors of Thai iced tea or Thai iced coffee.
  • Customize with additional ingredients like evaporated milk, cream, or toppings if desired.
  • Savor the unique taste experience and indulge in the rich cultural heritage of Thailand’s beloved beverages.
Keyword Thai Iced Tea vs Thai Iced Coffee
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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