Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cha Thai - Thai Tea Service at APCC

Asia Pacific Cultural Center hosted a Thai Tea demonstration on Saturday, August 4th, presented by Aime and Kunlaboot of Narai Asian Cuisine.

Cha Thai (Thai Tea) is strongly-brewed black tea, often prepared with spices such as star anise, tamarind seed, and cardamom.

Restaurants generally use a packaged tea that can be brewed in a pot with the leaves tied into a bag made from a tea cloth or in a standard coffee maker.   Serve hot with sweetened condensed milk or sugar and cream or coconut milk may then be added to taste or serve over ice once it is cool.

Tea is enjoyed hot in the mornings in Thailand and it seemed appropriate that we started off the morning demonstration with a hot cup of tea.

Cha yen (cold/iced tea) is popular in Thailand throughout the day due to the hot climate.  Two versions of cha yen were prepared at the demonstration.  The brewing methods are the same for both versions.  Cha Dum Yen (iced tea without milk), begins with a glass filled with ice.  Then fill the glass with tea and stir in sugar.  Squeeze 4 slices of lime over the tea.  Garnish with lime and mint.

The second version is Cha Yen, most widely recognized due to its popularity in Thai restaurants.  Once again, fill the glass with ice. Fill halfway with tea and sweeten with sugar.  Then fill the rest of the glass with cream or coconut milk.  Garnish with orange and mint.

Both versions of cha yen were delicious, though the cha dum yen found a special place in my heart.  The chilled sour/sweet flavor was just what I needed on a hot and humid summer day.

Thank you to Aime, Kunlaboot, and APCC!

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