Thai Iced Coffee

Numerous people have written in to suggest recipes for Thai iced
coffee here are a few.

Make very strong coffee (50-100% more coffee to water than usual),
use a blend with chicory. Pour 6-8 oz into cup and add about 1 Tbs.
sweetened condensed milk. Stir, then pour over ice.
You’ll have to experiment with the strength and milk so you get lots
of taste after the ice/water dilutes it.
Alternatively, this version which comes from a newspaper article of
many years ago simply calls for grinding two or three fresh cardamom
pods and putting them in with the coffee grounds. Make a strong
coffee with a fresh dark roast, chill it, sweeten and add
half-and-half to taste.
Lastly, we have the following recipe:
Makes 1 8-cup pot of coffee

  • 6 tablespoons whole rich coffee beans, ground fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander powder
  • 4 or 5 whole green cardamom pods, ground
  • Place the coffee and spices in the filter cone of your coffee
    maker. Brew coffee as usual; let it cool.
  • In a tall glass, dissolve 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar in an ounce of
    the coffee (it’s easier to dissolve than if you put it right over
    ice). Add 5-6 ice cubes and pour coffee to within about 1″ of
    the top of the glass.
  • Rest a spoon on top of the coffee and slowly pour whipping cream
    into the spoon. This will make the cream float on top of the coffee
    rather than dispersing into it right away.

Another recipe:

  • Strong, black ground coffee
  • Sugar
  • Evaporated (not condensed) milk
  • Cardamom pods
  • Prepare a pot of coffee at a good European strength (Miriam Nadel
    suggests 2 tablespoons per cup, which I’d say is about right). In
    the ground coffee, add 2 or 3 freshly ground cardamom pods. (I’ve
    used green ones, I imagine the brown ones would give a slightly
    different flavor.) Sweeten while hot, then cool quickly.
  • Serve over ice, with unsweetened evaporated milk (or heavy cream if
    you’re feeling extra indulgent). To get the layered effect, place a
    spoon atop the coffee and pour the milk carefully into the spoon so
    that it floats on the top of the coffee.

Another recipe:

  • 1/4 cup strong French roasted coffee
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp. sweetened condensed milk
  • Mix the above and pour over ice.
  • I’d probably use less water and more coffee and milk.

There is also a stronger version of Thai coffee called “Oliang
or Oleng” which is very strong to me and to a lot of coffee

  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ground espresso or French roast coffee, 4 to 6
    green cardamom pods, crushed sugar to taste, half-and-half or cream
    and ice cubes
  • Put the cardamom pods and the ground dark-roast coffee into a coffee
    press, espresso maker, or the filter of a drip coffee maker (if
    using a drip-style coffee maker, use half the water). Brew coffee as
    for espresso, stir in sugar.
  • Fill a large glass with ice and pour coffee over ice, leaving about
    1/2 inch at the top. Place a spoon at the surface of the coffee and
    slowly pour half-and-half or cream into the spoon, so that it
    spreads across the top of the coffee rather than sinking in. (You’ll
    stir it in yourself anyway, but this is a much prettier presentation
    and it’s as used in most Thai restaurants.)

And now for another look at Thai Iced Coffee

Surely, one can get coffee with condensed milk in Thailand. But when
one speaks of “Thai Iced Coffee”, as found in Thai
restaurants in America, one is referring to “Oliang/Oleng”
[there is no standard transliteration of the Thai alphabet, so the
spelling varies.] In the FAQ one reads: “There is also a
stronger version of Thai coffee called “Oleng” which is
very strong to me and to a lot of coffee lovers.” But this IS
Thai Iced Coffee. And it is only strong if you brew it to be strong.
Oliang is a blend of coffee and other ingredients. The brand I have
(Pantainorasingh Brand) states the percentages right on the label:
50% coffee, 25% corn, 20% soya bean, 5% sesame seed. This blend of
coffee and roasted grains is really quite exquisite–a perfect
marriage of flavors!

Traditionally, oliang is brewed with a “tung tom kah fe”–a
metal ring with a handle to which is attached a muslin-like cloth
bag. It is much like those cloth tea-strainers one finds in Europe,
only larger, like a sock. One puts the coffee in the bag and pours
over it water that has come to a boil – into a carafe. Let the bag
full of coffee steep in the carafe for 10 minutes. Then add sugar
and stir. Let it cool. Pour into a glass with ice, and add the dairy
product of your choice on top. I use fresh half-and- half, but you
can use condensed milk, evaporated milk, or a mix of the two, or of
the three. The proportions of coffee – water – sugar, vary. I use
2/3 part oliang to 1 1/4 parts sugar to 6 parts water.

[The tung tom kah fe can be found at SE Asian grocery stores–after
a bit of searching. In Seattle at Viet Wah or Mekong Ranier.]
Alternately, one can bring water to a boil in a pot, add the coffee,
and remove from heat. Let the coffee steep for 10 minutes. Then
strain through cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or a fine metal
strainer. And continue as above.

6 thoughts on “Thai Iced Coffee”

    1. Great recipes!

      Wow i really have to try this, great recipes! I’ll make a thai iced coffee with some chicken parmesan when back home tonight 🙂

  1. Boil a liter of milk (or

    Boil a liter of milk (or water, like in ancient Mexican style. Like water for chocolate, “Como agua para chocolate”: you know).When the milk is warm (not hot) add a chocolate pie in pieces. Stir with a blender (but be careful! the blender’s electric cord should NOT touch the pot or any other hot thing around it).When the chocolate has dissolved add 1/2-3/4 cups of sugar (depending how sweet you like your chocolate) and blend in fast. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved in the chocolate otherwise it would be bitter no matter how much sugar you may add afterwards.Add a teaspoon of cinnamon or natural vanilla flavour (artificial vanilla flavour with chocolate results in an awful medicine like flavour) if you like, and blend again.Let the mixture boil, when it starts to get bubbly quickly remove the pan from the stove top, and rest the bottom against a soaked cloth. Put again on stove top, it should get bubbly almost immediately, remove once again and repeat one last time. This aerates the chocolate which enhances flavour.In a mug, put about 1/2-3/4 of the chocolate mixture, and add cold milk, until the temperature and/or the concentration of the flavour is right for your tastes. Accompany with French Pastries. Yum Yum

  2. Love Oliang, or Thai Iced coffee, no cream…but I swear it has little or no caffein. I sleep well after having a big glass with a traditional Thai dinner….anyone know the caffein content?

    1. A normal Thai Iced Coffee using regular ground coffee will contain caffeine – how much depends on the amount of coffee grounds used. If you know specifically which brand you use then it can be looked up, but unless you’re using decaf it will have caffeine.

      The caffeine effects may be muted since you mention you drink it along with dinner, digesting the food may simply overwhelm the effects of the caffeine. If served with condensed or evaporated milk, the “large” drink may only be 50% coffee to begin with.

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