Is Thai tea the same as green tea? They have both similarities and differences. If you have visited any local Thai restaurant recently, you may find their menus offering different types of Thai teas, namely red Thai tea and green Thai tea with crushed ice.
What’s the difference between Thai Green Tea and Thai tea and which one should you pick? This guide breaks down all you need to know about Thai green tea vs Thai tea.
Thai tea is known as Cha Yen in the Thai language and it’s the original version of all variations of Thai tea. On the internet, I’ve found many different definitions of Thai tea. Some say Thai tea is not Thai milk tea, while others refer to Thai tea as Thai iced tea.
In fact, Thai tea and Thai milk tea are both referred to as the same tea. Both teas contain milk, be it whole milk or coconut milk for different variations.
Thai green tea is also a milky tea known as Cha Kieow Nom Yen in Thai. There are menus in Singapore’s local Thai restaurants that name their Thai green tea, “Thai green milk tea” which is not to be confused with Japanese green tea.
Iced Thai green tea and Thai tea are one of the most popular beverages ordered together with spicy Thai food in the United States and Southeast Asia. They are both creamy drinks with sweetened condensed milk, commonly made from Thai tea mixes or instant tea powder in Thai restaurants. They can also come in a form of bubble tea or boba tea with tapioca pearls.
If you want customized and healthier versions, you can make homemade Thai green tea and Thai tea from scratch with natural raw ingredients without ready-made mixes.
Thai Green Tea vs Thai Tea: What is the difference between Thai tea and green Thai tea?
Flavors: What does Thai green tea taste like compared to the taste of Thai tea?
The key difference between Thai green tea vs Thai tea is the flavor due to the different ingredients they are made with. Thai green tea is usually made with green tea as its tea base and mixed in with matcha, mint, and jasmine. Whereas, Thai tea is made of strong black tea leaves like Ceylon tea or Assam tea as its base. Hence Thai green tea has a minty and floral taste as compared to Thai tea which has more spicy and malty flavors.
If you have them in restaurants, they are generally sweet to taste. It’s usually milkier in Thai tea than in Thai green tea because Thai tea has both sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. As for Thai green tea, usually only sweetened condensed milk is added to jasmine-flavored green tea. If you make them at home, you can add spices such as star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon to both teas.
Colors: What is the color of Thai Green tea vs the color of Thai tea?
Thai green tea and Thai tea have different distinct colors. Thai green tea is green in color that comes from either green tea leaves, added matcha, or brilliant blue and bright yellow food coloring (E133, E110, E102) mixed with black tea.
Thai tea is a bright orange drink and the color comes from the mixture of black tea, milk, and spice like turmeric or tamarind seed, or orange food coloring (FD&C Yellow 6).
Caffeine: Does Thai tea or green tea have more caffeine?
Let’s assume you are making both Thai green tea and Thai tea with the same amount of tea and steeping time. The amount of caffeine in Thai green tea will be less than that in Thai tea made with black tea. For the average cup, 6 oz of black tea (6 oz), there is about 47 mg of caffeine as compared to the same 6 oz cup of green tea which has about 41 mg of caffeine. In most cases, Thai tea is commonly made with strongly-brewed black tea, hence Thai green tea has less caffeine content than Thai tea.
Health Benefits: Is Thai green tea healthier than Thai tea?
I would say it depends. Although studies have shown that green tea provides more anti-oxidants than black tea, which is the base of Thai tea, this would depend on how much tea, green tea, and matcha you add. Let’s say all things like sugar levels and spices are added equally in both teas.
If you were to use premium quality green tea leaves and matcha to make your Thai green tea, it will be a healthier drink than Thai tea. But if you were to use pre-made mixes that are mostly made with high sugar content, artificial flavors, and food coloring, there may not be many differences in their health benefits and effects. If you were to make this from scratch with raw ingredients, green Thai tea would be the healthier option.
Other Thai Teas You May Like
Other than green Thai tea and Thai tea, here are some other Thai tea variations and brands of Thai tea you may wish to try:
Red Thai tea is made with red tea powder by the ChaTraMue brand.
Thai Rose Tea is made with oolong tea powder and rose petals or rose buds.
Pink Thai Tea Mix made with Assam Loose Tea Leaves and Beetroot by Raming Blue Moon
Blue Thai Tea Mix made with Assam loose tea leaves with Butterfly pea flower by Raming Blue Moon
The great thing about the Raming Blue Moon brand is that it’s all natural with no dye, though it’s also using the traditional Thai tea mix as its base.
If you wish to make this yourself at home, you can do that too by just making the base Thai tea and adding beetroot to make pink Thai tea or adding Butterfly pea flower to make blue Thai tea.
Drink Thai Green Tea and Thai Tea
Both teas are my favorite drinks when I visit Thai restaurants. Since I’m living in Singapore, I can find them here quite easily and affordably. However, I always prefer making my own from scratch as much as possible to preserve the tea’s natural health benefits. The ones from restaurants are usually too sweet, but irresistibly refreshing after a spicy meal. To satisfy my cravings, I’ve made my own healthier versions at home.