Today we’re gonna try a lovely refreshing iced tea, all the way from Thailand! Cha means tea and yen means cold or iced so literally, this is simply Thai’s iced tea version! Originally this recipe calls for a good amount of sugar and condensed milk, however, we’re gonna try to find a healthier alternative here. We’re gonna use soy cream mixed with honey to cut down on the fats and sugars and we’re gonna avoid adding sugar altogether! The original recipe also calls for evaporated milk, however, we’re gonna stick to our soy cream, it works perfectly well! Usually, Cha Yen is very concentrated cos it is poured hot on ice, however, we’re gonna add some extra taste, fun, and nutritional value here and add some sweet orange fruit instead! This will not melt like ice cubes would so we do not need the tea to be so concentrated. In this case, we are using frozen peaches, however, melon or mango will work too! But, let’s see what we have done before we start changing the ingredients!
- Chai Tea or Black Tea
- Star Anise
- Frozen Peaches
- Vanilla/Vanilla Essence
- Soy Cream
First, start by freezing your peaches. Ideally, leave them for three to four hours, or freeze the day before, we want them nice and cold since this is what will cool the tea!
Ideally, you have some Chai Tea mix, which will also give a rich orange color to your tea, however, a strong black tea works. If you have loose tea leaves, great, if you don’t just use teabags as we did, it still works! Boil some water in a pan, once it’s boiling lower the heat to a simmer and add your tea (around 1 or 2 teabags), 1 pod Star Anise, 4 pods Cardamon, and 5 Cloves. If you’re using Vanilla Beans, add 1/8 of a bean to the mix and wait until you have a nice rich-colored tea. (Of course, as always, feel free to play with the amounts to please your taste buds!)
In the meantime mix some soy cream with some honey (more or less 1 tablespoon of each) this will thicken and sweeten the cream and create our condensed milk. Fill the glass with frozen peaches and pour the cream over them. Once the tea is to your liking add a drop of Vanilla Essence or two if you did not use the Vanilla bean before, fill the rest of the glass and top up with a dash of soy cream to create that Cha Yen esthetic. Stir lightly and enjoy!
You can add cinnamon to this mix, after I did the recipe I was finding many recipes that also included around half a stick of cinnamon, I even found some recipes that include turmeric which will actually add a rich golden tone to the tea so, it might be a part of the original Cha Yen mix! In the beginning, we suggested melon or mango as replacements for our peaches, however, it’s mainly to give an orange tone to keep with the usual esthetic, if you want to be different you can try strawberries as well. Oranges or tangerines will also make a nice addition and give an extra citrusy flavor, however, do keep in mind that oranges have a sour flavor so it will not work if you want a sweet tea but will balance the sweetness perfectly if it is too sweet for you. Hope you enjoy our version, and especially if you are from Thailand or you are familiar with this drink, tell us what you think and how we can improve it, it’s our first try!