The older I get, the more of a tea person I become. When I was a teenager and even in college, I didn’t need caffeine to function. Madness. But now that I’m an adult and parent I need it. Black teas with milk have grown on me since my college years. Thai and Chai being my favorites. If you’ve never had Thai tea, it’s a spiced black tea that has a vanilla flavor but also it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever drank. It’s delightful and you should order one next time you order Thai food.
When I received an ice cream maker last year, this recipe was obviously the first one I made. I wanted to make a no-churn version of this but honestly it just wasn’t as good as this one. So I’m sorry, you’ll need an ice cream maker but it will be worth it. I can’t give a subpar recipe in good faith.
I don’t order/eat out often but I love Thai tea, so I figured out how to make it at home. You can buy the loose tea online (this kind), and then just brew it like any other tea. If you’ve ever made tea you know that you only need a small amount of tea compared to the amount of water. But because the tea is going to be diluted into a bunch of cream, I decided to make a concentrate with different ratios than you would if you were just brewing this to drink. So, I would not use this recipe to brew tea for drinking.
There is a Thai tea concentrate you can buy in the grocery store (in the tea/coffee aisle) which could probably be substituted, but I did not attempt this so I cannot recommend it. I have tried the concentrate and I can tell you the taste is not as strong or good as brewing the tea yourself. Trust me on the process and just make it like this.
Additionally, if you love this flavor you can try my Thai Tea Shortbread Cookies which are one of the most popular recipes on my site.
Thai Tea Ice Cream Key Ingredients
- Loose Leaf Thai Tea Mix – This tea mix to me, is the exact one they use in Thai restaurants. It’s going to give you that authentic flavor, and it’s so delicious. Plus, you get a TON of tea.
- Heavy Cream – Where ice cream gets it’s name. The better the cream, the better your ice cream will be.
- Egg Yolks – Egg yolks help make the custard base which is going to give your ice cream that luscious and rich mouth feel that you get from a GOOD ice cream.
Thai Tea Concentrate
- 2 cup Water
- 1 cup Loose thai tea mix
- ½ cup Sugar
- 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1⅓ cup Whole or 2% Milk
- ⅔ cup Thai Tea Concentrate
- pinch Sea salt
- ⅔ cup Sugar
- 4 large Egg yolks
Thai Tea Concentrate
- Fill a medium size saucepan with water and sugar, and place over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves.
- Let sugar water come to a low boil, and add tea. Reduce heat to medium low.
- Stir mix for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl or jar to cool. I use a French press, so that after it has cooled you can easily strain but a bowl or jar and a mesh strainer works just as well.
- After mixture has sat for at least 30 minutes (I usually let mine sit 1-2 hours to ensure a strong flavor), strain into a jar or small pitcher. Set aside.
Ice cream base
- In saucepan, combine heavy cream, milk, thai tea concentrate, and pinch of salt over medium low heat. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
- In a bowl, whisk together sugar and egg yolks until well combined.
- Slowly pour half of the hot cream/milk mixture into the eggs and sugar, whisking while you do.
- Pour the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan, place over low heat and stir with a rubber or silicone spatula.
- Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until custard has thickened and reaches a temperature of about 175°F.
- Pour into a bowl or container to chill.
To Make Ice Cream
- Depending on your ice cream maker, freeze your bowl or the custard base you made as per ice cream manufacturer's instructions and time length. Personally I use a ninja creami machine which has me pour the ice cream base into it's pint jars and freeze those. Kitchenaid machines have you freeze the bowl, which if you are using this type of machine, make sure your ice cream base has chilled in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours.
- After churning, serve immediately for soft serve style or freeze again for a more traditional ice cream. Enjoy!
- I do not recommend using anything below 2% milk as your ice cream will become considerably less creamy.
- This will produce slightly more concentrate than you need for your recipe, so you may be able to increase the amount to make a larger batch.