It is a sweet, thirst-quenching and refreshing drink on a hot day. Thai iced milk tea, also known as cha yen, is making a splash in Singapore.
Made from black tea infused with spices that can include star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and tamarind seeds, the aromatic beverage gets its sweetness from condensed milk and sugar. It is commonly finished with a swirl of evaporated milk and poured over a glass of ice.
While it is a staple drink in Thai restaurants, there are also shops specialising in the spiced tea and putting their own spin on the drink.
Here are five places for you to get your Thai ice tea fix!
What: This drinks stall may have ended its month-long run at the night market in Woodlands, but it will be setting up at the upcoming Ramadan Bazaar at Geylang Serai next month. Don’t miss the Thai iced tea ($2.50, right) as well as the equally popular coconut shake ($3.50). New additions include Nutella milkshake ($5) and salted caramel milkshake ($5).
Where: Ramadan Bazaar at Geylang Serai, open: June 18 to July 17, 3pm to 2am daily
Info: Follow ice_burnz on Instagram or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Dutch Colony Coffee Co
What: While getting your fix of artisan coffee, pair your cuppa with Dutch Colony’s Thai milk tea loaf ($5, right). Good for those with a sweet tooth as it comes with condensed milk frosting.
Where: Two outlets at 113 Frankel Avenue and PasarBella, The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road, 02-K67/K68, open: Frankel Avenue, 8am to 8pm (Sunday to Thursday), 8am to 10pm (Friday and Saturday); Pasarbella: 9am to 7pm (Sunday to Thursday), 9am to 9pm (Friday and Saturday)
What: Launched last month in conjunction with Thailand’s New Year and popular water festival Songkran, Udders’ Thai Iced Tea ice cream is made by steeping Thai tea leaves in a mix of fresh, evaporated and condensed milk. The mixture is cooled before being churned into ice cream.
Where: Udders outlets including 87 Upper East Coast Road, 246D Upper Thomson Road, and 155 Thomson Road (near Novena MRT), various opening hours
4. Bonheur Patisserie
What: Thai milk tea meets macaron at Bonheur Patisserie, which specialises in the dainty desserts. The flavour is infused into both the shell and the white chocolate ganache filling. Each Thai Iced Tea macaron costs $3.50.
Where: Pasarbella, The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road, 02-06/02-K63, open: 10am to 7pm (Monday to Thursday), 10am to 9.30pm (Friday and Saturday), 10am to 8.30pm (Sunday)
Info: Call 6466-1498 or go to bonheurpatisserie.com.sg/ for online orders
5. Cafe Pal
What: Get your fix of Thai food at this casual eatery, and complete your meal with its Thai-style bubble tea options. These include cha yen and cha daam yen (black tea). Toppings include pearls, aloe vera and home-made grass jelly. The Thai Iced Tea costs $5 (dine-in) or $3 (take-away in a bottle), while toppings cost 50 cents each.
Where: 43 Middle Road, open: noon to 9pm (Sunday to Thursday), noon to 10pm (Friday and Saturday)
Info: Call 6333-5400 or go to www.facebook.com/CafePal
This story was first published in The Straits Times on May 31, 2015. For similar stories, go to www.sph.straitstimes.com/premium/lifestyle.