Vegan Thai Iced Tea

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Two big glasses of Vegan Coconut Thai Iced Tea

There are so many delicious things in this world that I wish I could enjoy if it wasn’t for my dairy sensitivity. One of those things is Thai Iced Tea.

Say hello to the holy grail of iced teas.

Brewing tea in a saucepan for making Thai Iced Tea

Have you ever tried it? It’s traditionally a vanilla-scented black tea that’s been brewed strong, sweetened with sugar, and topped with condensed milk. Holy yum.

Origins of Thai Iced Tea

It’s believed that Thai iced tea (or cha yen) was invented by a former Thai prime minister named Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsonkhram. Information on its origin story is limited, but it was likely invented some time after the 1980s after tea began being imported from China.

The following is our inspired (not traditional) version made with plant-based ingredients and natural sweeteners. You can find a more traditional recipe here from Hot Thai Kitchen.

Homemade Thai Iced Tea

Want to know a secret? You can make it yourself with basic black tea, keep it naturally sweetened with things like maple syrup or coconut sugar, and get that essential creaminess with light coconut milk.

OK, now we’re talking.

Pouring tea over ice cubes for Easy Vegan Coconut Thai Iced Tea

This recipe is simple, requiring just 5 ingredients (plus water), and is remarkably close to what you’d find in a Thai restaurant.

While you can find authentic Thai Iced Tea mixes at the store and online, I’ve found they typically contain dyes and I wanted to keep mine natural, simple and accessible to everyone.

All you really need is black tea (loose leaf or bagged), vanilla extract, a natural sweetener of choice (I used a mix of muscovado sugar and maple syrup), and coconut milk!

Can we just talk about the creaminess going on here? I mean, can we talk about it?

Pouring coconut milk into a glass for simple and delicious Vegan Thai iced Tea

This tea is amazing! It’s:

Ice cold
Naturally sweetened
Super creamy
& Luxurious

Make this drink to go alongside your favorite Thai dishes like Pad Thai Spring Rolls, Healthy Thai Carrot Soup, or this Thai Kale Salad. It’s also delicious on its own! Or (serious hack), add a bit of dark rum and enjoy it as a cocktail. Trust me, you need this drink in your life.

If you make this drink, let us know what you think! Leave a comment and rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers, friends!

Stirring together creamy coconut milk and tea for Easy Vegan Coconut Thai Iced Tea

Vegan Thai Iced Tea

Creamy, luxurious, 5-ingredient Thai Iced Tea made with black tea, natural sweeteners, vanilla and coconut milk! The perfect beverage for Thai dishes and more.
Author Minimalist Baker
Swirling dairy-free milk into a tall glass of homemade Thai Iced Tea
4.96 from 23 votes
Prep Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4
Course Beverage
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Thai-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 24 hours


  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2 heaping Tbsp loose leaf black tea*
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup packed light muscovado sugar, organic brown sugar, or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 14-ounce can light coconut milk (or sub vanilla almond milk, rice milk, or other milk of choice)
  • 1-2 Tbsp dark rum per serving (optional // for a cocktail option)


  • In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil.
  • Once boiling, remove from heat and allow bubbles to subside, then add tea and stir. Let steep for 5 minutes.
  • Pour tea over a strainer into a pitcher or bowl to remove the tea leaves. At this time add maple syrup, muscovado sugar and vanilla. Whisk to thoroughly combine and dissolve sugar crystals, then sample and adjust sweetness as needed. Set in the refrigerator to chill (2-3 hours).
  • Once tea is chilled, prepare serving glasses with generous portions of ice (see photo). Fill with tea until 3/4 full, then top with coconut milk. Stir gently and enjoy.
  • Recipe (as originally written) yields enough for 4 generous servings. Add dark rum to taste to make it a creamy cocktail!


*In place of the black tea, you can use a comparable amount of Thai Black Tea Mix (such as this one). However, these mixes typically contain yellow dye and I don’t know how vegan-friendly they are. Based on my research, you can replicate the flavor by adding vanilla extract to black tea, as I’ve done above.
*Method adapted from White on Rice Couple.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 147 Carbohydrates: 26.8 g Protein: 1.3 g Fat: 5.3 g Saturated Fat: 4.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 38 mg Fiber: 0 g Sugar: 20.5 g
Two glasses of our Coconut Thai Iced Tea made with black tea, vanilla, natural sweeteners, and coconut milk

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My Rating:

  1. Elizabeth Lelli says

    Delicious! I had leftover coconut milk in the refrigerator and am happy to find this recipe for a delicious pick me up beverage. I took a cue from another reviewer and sprinkled in cardamom, which I have in the house. This tea is great as written or with cardamom. BTW I love LOVE your work on this website and I keep trying your recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Elizabeth! Thanks so much for your kind words and support! xo

  2. Myra says

    Hey love all ur posts. I’m just curious I looked up this recipe and most had a lot of Thai herbs/ spices mixed into this drink like star a nice, cardamom and tumeric is there any reason why they were omitted from your recipe? I’ve never seen rum in Thai iced tea.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Myra, we decided to keep it simple/approachable for readers who might have trouble finding spices like whole star anise or cardamom pods, but spices would be delicious!

  3. chamroeun says

    this is not Thai tea this is black tea with milk LOL. also to the people you keep responding to re: condensed milk, yes, it’s traditionally made with condensed milk, and that’s what you should use (the coconut milk version)
    -a southeast asian person

  4. Jenni says

    Wow this is good! My son and I love Thai iced tea but our fav Thai restaurant closes every summer for break. I couldn’t find loose black tea at my local grocery store so I used 6 black tea bags (as per a different reviewer). It’s sweet and delicious and so nice to be able to make it at home so easily!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Jenni! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  5. Lee Kaplan says

    I have a small can of vegan sweetened condensed milk in my pantry. Could I use that in place of the sweetener and coconut milk?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried that, but we think it would work well! Let us know if you try it.

  6. Nicole says

    Loved this! A great afternoon pick-me-up to get through exam studying. I was too impatient and the tea wasn’t thoroughly chilled but it was still lovely, and I’m looking forward to making bigger batches in the summer and chilling overnight to make sure it hits that spot on a hot day. My coconut milk had some issues with separation, so I may try this with oat milk in future as it’s reliably creamy and doesn’t separate. I don’t have loose leaf black tea but I used 3 tea bags (I halved the recipe ) and it seemed like the perfect strength (so the comment about 6 for a full batch seems on point).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your experience, Nicole! We have brand recommendations on coconut milk here in case that’s helpful!

  7. Rhonda Hayter says

    My son loves nothing more than Thai iced tea but has recently discovered that he feels a lot better without dairy in his life and he’d have to give it up. So I surprised him with this version and he cheered right up!

  8. liana says

    I love this recipe! do you think using monk fruit sweetener would work? also can i flash chill the tea in the freezer?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Liana, we haven’t tried those modifications. But we think the sweetener swap would work. For the flash chilling, the sudden change in temperature could cause issues with the container, but maybe? Let us know how it goes!

  9. Kay says

    Hi, I’m not a huge tea fan but I do love a Thai iced coffee! Have you tried making this or any other iced beverages using coconut sweetened condensed milk? I am dairy sensitive and it seems it would be a perfect match but I can’t find any references to it on the internet. Many thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I haven’t! Sweetened condensed milk is a bit too much for us, but I’m sure it would work!

  10. Emma Gebhard says

    The recipe was amazing !! I didnt make any altercations and used the maple syrup and brown sugar with vanilla extract as a sweetener n used half the tea mixture and half coconut milk instead of the 3/4 ratio . thank u so mych for this recipe <3

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Emma. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  11. Kaylee says

    I followed the recipe exact and regret putting all of the sweetener in. It was wayyyy too sweet, sweeter than traditional Thai tea in my opinion. I ended up having to make another liter of plain black tea and mixing the two… so I’m going to have to invite some friends over to drink all of this haha. If I make it again, I’ll only use half the amount of sweetener. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Veronica Adler says

      I’m really excited to try this recipe, but I don’t have any looseleaf black tea. I only have black tea in bags, could I still make this recipe with teabags? If so, how many would I use?

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        That should work! We’re not sure how much is in each tea bag, but perhaps 6 tea bags?

  12. Rita says

    I made this tea yesterday and I loved it! I also have a dairy sensitivity and for me this vegan tea it’s the answer to my prayers. I used maple syrup and brown sugar to sweeten it to taste and light organic coconut milk. If you ask me, this tea tastes much better than the regular full fat version at the restaurants. Thank you for making my life brighter ?

    • Jayne says

      I also feel this… How did I never know that Coconut milk could make my tea so delicious?!
      I am converted forever!
      Thank you.


  13. Catherine says

    I made the recipe using Trader Joe’s light coconut milk. Even after shaking the can, the fat was still separated. I blended it first and then poured over the chilled iced tea. The coconut milk is still chunky/offputting. The milk in your recipe looks so smooth, which is the desire I’m going for. Any tips?

    • o'ceana clemens says

      A technique that helps me is adding the coconut milk in first and then the tea second. It allows for a creamier mixing of the two.

  14. Marina Liu says

    Actually thai tea isn’t a vanilla black tea, if anything it’s closer to spiced chai. If you’re worried about the food dye, the spices used in it is cloves, star anise and cardamom.

    This is my aunt’s recipe before thai tea was easily available in America: 4 black tea bags with 2 anise stars, 1 smashed green cardamom pod and 2 whole cloves. just scoop them out after brewing.

    the coconut milk is a good idea though, wonder if a vegan condensed milk could be made?

    • Nicole says

      There is a “Cream of Coconut”, it comes in a can and it is essentially the coconut (vegan) version of sweetened condensed milk. It is not the same thing as Coconut Cream.

    • Jess says

      I found a vegan sweetened condensed coconut milk at my local grocery store. It’s by the stand Nature’s Charm.

  15. Hart says

    I am having an afternoon tea party and was looking for a cold option to serve. This recipe made a great starting point. I like less sweet options and used only 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Also, my container for the tea was too small, so I used half a can of coconut milk. For me, these modifications worked for me, but each person has their own taste. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  16. Alexandra says

    hi Dana – discovered this when checking out, if I could put coconut-milk ( and I don’t mean water!) in my hot cuppa. (Your recipe sounds delish! have never heard of Thai icetea before, despite having spent 9months over there – a very long while ago, though. And just like ALL other commentators, I can’t say I’ve tried your recipe but intend to do so very soon … … blublublub – will I REALLY do it? Do the others EVER?).
    BUT, what would really like to know from you is: is sth. wrong with my taste buds? Or is the coconut milk in fact TASTELESS? I know how it’s made, and I see no reason why I can’t taste no coconut taste? The oil is full of taste! too much in fact. But that beautiful white milk … blàh!! it even seems to neutralize other flavours! Is this possibly true? It’s so disappointing! Or … is it really just me?
    Greetings frm Basel/Switzerland

  17. Jess says

    I pinned this a few months ago and made it shortly thereafter. The drink is delicious! Everyone and their brother is saving my pin. I get notified every day of more and more people saving it. I am not on pinterest much, I use it for recipes, and once in a while someone will save my pin. This is probably 50 to 75 people so far which isn’t much consisering 164k people follow you, but for me, it is a lot. Great tea, thank you for sharing the recipe!

  18. Chelsea says

    Great recipe, can’t wait to try it. I did twitch when I read “keep it naturally sweetened with things like maple syrup or coconut sugar,” since cane sugar is just as natural as the things mentioned here. Of course, “low-GI” and “less-processed” is a more proper way of saying what I’m sure you mean. :)

  19. Annie says

    I making a batch for a party of 6-8. I don’t have time to run out to get maple syrup. Do you think truvia will be okay to use? I really want to make sure it will still have the familiar Thai tea flavor.
    I think your recipe is simple and to the point without having to add too much. Sounds like it’s a good gluten-free, diary-free, soy-free, and vegan recipe to me =)

  20. says

    Very good info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have book-marked it for later!

  21. marjorie says

    I love Thai Iced Tea. Do you want to know something totally bizarre about it? (Yes, you do.)

    In Thailand and other southeastern Asian countries, when you buy it on the street & when they are done they pour it into a plastic shopping bag and give you a straw.

    I couldn’t believe it, but it was so good. They pour many things like soda into bags too, because they keep the bottles for deposits.

    Insanity. Also, can’t wait to try this recipe, which I will not be pouring into a plastic bag when I am done.

  22. Rebekah says

    I made this, but I didn’t have any vanilla (I know, how is that possible?! But I wasn’t cooking at home), so I added some cloves to steep instead. Even without the vanilla it was delicious! I will be trying this again with vanilla though, because this recipe is a keeper.

  23. Eni says

    It’s awesome. I always wondered how can something so simple be made using complicated pre-mixes.

    I made this today, and both me and my family loved it.

  24. Keyona says

    Hi! I had been looking for a thai iced tea recipe and this tasted SOOO good! I tried it with the coconut milk and the milk immediately became clumpy ~ how did you prevent that?

  25. Kelly DeWyse says

    I made this today and it was so close to the orange dyed drink from Thai restaurants! Nice work! I was first introduced to Thai iced tea being served with coconut milk at Araya’s Place in Seattle years ago… Much preferred over cream. there is still way too much sweeter in it for me, I could easily cut it in half. Although I’m certain you were trying to make it as close as you could to the original. Love your blog and thanks for the link to Zen Habits, another gem!

  26. alicia says

    AMAZING. Love thai iced tea, and this is an amazing recipe!!! Just made it for the first time today and will be making it again :) thank you!!

  27. D. Durand Worthey says

    STUPIDLICIOUS! Yes, this Thai Tea recipe looks so good it’s got me making up apt descriptors over here. I am definitely going to be conjuring up this mix of total blissed-out madness. Thank you so much for giving me yet another reason why life can be totally good. Cheers.

  28. Sumiko says

    I love this. I took a note from a late friend, I made two batches of the tea without the milk, one stronger than the other. I made a tray of frozen cubes with the stronger so my tea would never get watered down on those melt your cubes hot days. So delicious!

  29. Janet says

    I just made this amazingly creamy sweet glass of yumminess :)
    My entire family loved it !

    THANK YOU its a Keeper

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It’s not as good due to the lack of flavor and less creamy texture, but yes it would work!

  30. Amery says

    Hey- Your web page is great- am going to make so many of your recipes! I do have a question, though. I see that you are using Agave Nectar, are you not concerned that reports are now saying that it’s as bad as sugar? Or has that changed, again? I find it hard to keep up sometimes.

  31. Winter says

    Hi, I love the simple, yet uber flavorful recipes you develop! I’ve been looking at the recipes you post for almost two years now. I made this with raw agave, vegan cane sugar and flax milk….so eerily close to the traditional one with cardamom, anise, etc (which I hate how expensive they are).

  32. LeaAnn says

    I love so many of your recipes but this takes the cake! One of my favorite things is Thai iced coffee. Would I just need to swap coffee for tea to try to make this into a coffee? How do you think that would work best? Thanks.

  33. Chanel says

    Made it and love it! Tip: use lite coco milk like she says. The regular full fat tastes just fine but because of the fat it separates a little. Still a super winner!

  34. Neeli @ Neeli's Unique Creations says

    I have to make this tea, seriously. This looks so good I don’t know what to say. I love coconut milk and know that this would be a tasty drink to make using it.

  35. JenniferRose (NeuroticMommy) says

    Errr ma gawd that looks delicious! I can’t wait to try this!!! and I love that color blue it’s my fave!!!

  36. Michelle W. says

    I’m really excited to try this! I’ve had Thai iced tea exactly once in my life and while it was super delicious, it tore me up hours later. :( While my dairy sensitivity isn’t super high, I think the condensed milk was just way too much for me to handle. Glad to have an alternative!

  37. Kristina says

    This is perfect! I always need something for an afternoon pick me up, and in summer heat this is the perfect solution.
    I love it!

  38. Nicole {} says

    Wow, I used to love Thai Iced Tea but haven’t had it since going vegan! I definitely miss it when I’m out eating Thai but for some reason I’ve never thought to make it at home! I have some Trader Joe’s coconut milk creamer that might work and also I’m really loving the sounds of the cocktail option ; )

  39. Lauren says

    This looks AMAZING! I also love thai iced tea but generally try to avoid dairy since I’m lactose intolerant. This recipe looks like it’d be pretty spot on flavor wise, with way healthier ingredients! I think I actually have some black loose leaf tea that is already infused with coconut and vanilla flavors, so that might be perfect to use in this recipe.

  40. Erin@WellPlated says

    That pour shot! Swooooon. I’d say I want to be the person swirling the spoon, but in the spirit of total disclosure, I REALLY just want to be the one with the straw!

  41. Janna says

    WOW!! Such a lovely and tasty recipe! I love all the photos you take! I recently created a food blog, and I also talk about my story. I would love to help people and get my story out to the public. If you want to visit it ( thanks!

  42. Becca says

    I have been waiting for this for sooooooo long!!! I spent 2 months in Thailand back before I went vegan, drank Thai iced tea all the time…. I’ve been vegan about 6 yrs now, so that means 6 years eating delicious Thai food & jealously watching everyone around me enjoy their dairy-filled Thai teas. Thank you thank you for posting this – I will be making immediately ;)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      ha! I know how you feel! At Thai restaurants I mostly just sit in envy. Hope you love this one, Becca!

      • Sashiko says

        Lucky i’m in Portland because my local Thai place will substitute coconut milk for me. But i’m happy you posted this because i need a decaf version, so i’ll be making this soon. <3

    • Daemon says

      Definitely looking forward to trying this! Also I urge any one who wants a dairy free version at a Thai restaurant to simply ask if they can substitute coconut milk for the dairy. They should have coconut milk on hand for other recipes, and I’ve never had a place say no, though they often will do an upcharge. But it’s totally worth it to be able to enjoy Thai tea while out with your friends! And I find the coconut milk tastes even better than the original dairy version! :)

  43. Nala says

    Hi Dana,
    lovely looking recipe, but unfortunately I cant have any Coconutmilk. Do you think this would work with Oat- or Soycream as well? Thanks to Dana (Or anyone who answers) in advance,
    LOVE your Blog!

  44. Madeleine says

    Can you suggest an alternative caffeine-free tea for this recipe? I’ve always wanted to try thai iced tea but I either my dairy allergy or my caffeine sensitivity has kept me from doing so.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Good idea! I hadn’t thought of that. Good news – you can find caffeine-free black teas online!

    • Elan says

      Rooibos also known as red bush tea would do the trick I bet. Not sure how easy it is to find in the states though, sold here in New Zealand with all the other teas.

  45. SusanR says

    This looks wonderful. I have been drinking iced coffee by the gallon. Temperatures have been in the 100s here in S. Calif.
    I keep canister with a vanilla bean in sugar. I wonder if that would add enough vanilla flavor?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would suggest a tiny bit more vanilla extract. But of course, you could see what it’s like as is, and then add if you need to! Hope you love it, Susan!

  46. Eve @ Baking the Day says

    I have never tried Thai Iced Tea but it looks amazing, especially with the creaminess and flavour of the coconut milk, yum!

  47. Alicia says

    Hi Dana, this looks delicious and it is on my list of Minimalist Baker recipes to try! I only eat natural sweeteners so I’m very happy you made this refined sugar free! Thank you so much! :)

  48. Emily | Robust Recipes says

    I love Thai Iced Tea. I wanted to make it myself this summer, but I also wanted to avoid the dye that’s Thai Iced Tea mixes. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I am so excited to try it out. I bet the addition of the coconut flavor will be lovely!

      • Emily | Robust Recipes says

        Dana, I made this recipe yesterday. I sweetened it with 1/3 cup agave nectar, that was the perfect amount of sweetness for me. I loved the coconut milk with the tea, I think they were meant to be together! Thanks again for the recipe!

  49. Samantha @ThePlantedVegan says

    This recipe looks so amazing, wow…and the photos are beautiful! Can’t wait to try it out! Love the idea of using the Thai black tea mix you suggested!

  50. Sydney | Modern Granola says

    I’d never tried Thai iced tea until I moved to San Diego. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever tasted! I love that you used coconut milk and natural sweetener- that’s much more my style too. I’m so excited that I can make this at home now!
    xx Sydney

  51. Cady | Wild Heart of Life says

    Yum! I love your blue backdrop, Dana! But more importantly, the tea. It reminds me of walking around LA with a tea from a street vendor, ahh. I will certainly be trying the cocktail version!

  52. Synnøve says

    Oh my. I had Thai iced tea once in Tokyo, and I’ve been dreaming of it ever since. Hard to come by in Europe, I think. Definitely time to try to make it myself.

    • Cooper K. says

      Hi, i am thai. You could basically get thai tea( the tea leaves) from Thai, Korean and chinese groceries in Europe. Easy to make.

      • Synnøve says

        Thank you! I figured I could get the ingredients, but I haven’t seen it on the menu in any of the Thai restaurants I’ve been to here. But if I can make it myself then no problem. :-)