What makes Thai Iced Tea that orange color? | Covering the Intersections of Race, Culture, Sexuality, and Fashion | 48min

What makes Thai Iced Tea that orange color?

Coupled with spicy Thai curries, rice dishes or noodles, Thai Iced Tea is the staple dessert drink that helps to soothe the heat. The drink eases the heat from traditional crushed spices, red and green chiles and fish sauce.

Not only does this condensed milk tea help to alleviate the burn of crushed red chiles, but Thai Iced Tea is sweet, smooth and delicious so it’s no chore pairing it with your medium spicy noodles. In fact, you might enjoy it more than your Pad Thai or favorite curry (yellow, red, green or orange).

But while the color of a curry is based off the actual ingredients — is that the case for Thai Ice Tea? If so, what goes into it that makes it orange? Unfortunately, the orange color is most likely derived from artificial food coloring. So, why is Thai Iced Tea orange? Read on for more details.

The Ingredient(s) That Makes Thai Iced Tea Orange

If it happened to you like it happened to me, then either you saw Thai Iced Tea for the first or you were enjoying your 1,428th Thai Iced Tea yesterday when you looked at your long glass full of rich orange deliciousness and realized that it’s BRIGHT ORANGE. And that ain’t drinking orange or carrot juice. You then ask yourself: “Wait a second, why is this orange?”

Is it the tea bags that they use? I mean, green tea is green after all. Kinda sorta. First let’s take a look at what goes into a Thai Iced Tea. Normally, Thai Iced Teas include these eight ingredients:

  • Water
  • Black tea bags
  • Condensed milk
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cardamom
  • Star Anise
  • whole cloves
  • Ice

Hmmm… so what in the above Thai tea ingredients makes the drink that signature bright orange? It can be simply orange food coloring that’s placed into the drink itself, but it’s probably the tea leaf blend that’s being used. The rich orange color of the tea is from food coloring. You see, most all Thai Iced Tea blends contain orange (or yellow) dye that makes for the coloring you see when the Thai tea is completed.


  • Joe Thai commented on March 27, 2019 Reply

    False info

    • Elle Sanders commented on April 4, 2019 Reply

      I’m curious to learn the truth! Why is it orange?

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