Sweet tea is a staple around here. Of course it would be because to us southerners, sweet tea is its own food group. It’s the Lipton tea sweetened with simple syrup that is the champagne of the south, but the longer I’ve live in the northeast, I’ve started to branch out in my sweet tea options.
A couple months ago, I met a friend for lunch at a local Thai restaurant and she ordered a Thai sweet tea. I took one sip of hers and loved it; ordered one of my own and I’ve been hooked ever since. Sweet, delicious and an art form in its own right, this tea is not just sweetened with simple syrup (my version), but also with sweetened condensed milk. So naturally, I set out to make my own recipe.
With all recipes I create, I did my research. I scoured the internet, Pinterest and some of the cookbooks I have on hand. I even went so far as to inquire about the recipe at the Thai restaurant. With the recipe from the restaurant, and what I found in most recipes, along with sweetened condensed milk, contain evaporated milk. I used this as my base.
I brewed the Thai tea, (I prefer this kind) then added the two milks. Tasted good, but not like the Thai sweet tea from the restaurant. It needed to be sweeter, so I added simple syrup. I was getting there, but I thought the milks were off, so I substituted half and half for the evaporated milk. Bingo. A Thai sweet tea so delicious, sweet and creamy. If I let myself, I could easily drink a few of these a day. My hips are telling me otherwise. Click here for the Thai Sweet Tea recipe.
Another tea that peeked my interest was bubble tea. I saw a picture of it hanging in the window when I was picking up sushi take-out. Looked pretty on the poster, so I ordered one. Served with a wide straw, this tea was sweet with a delicious bubble surprise with every sip. The bubbles are tapioca pearls that add an unexpected yet delightful burst in your mouth.
I brewed some green tea and followed the steps with the Thai sweet tea, adding simple syrup and half and half. The tapioca pearls (I prefer the large pearl tapioca that you can buy here) took a little time to cook, but well worth the time for this bubble tea. And, to give the tapioca a little depth, I split a vanilla bean in half and tossed it in with the tapioca to flavor. My first go around was very good, but in the end went with whole milk instead of half and half. Perfect. Click here for the Green Bubble Tea recipe.
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