Thailand is home to some of the best drink recipes in the world, often creating drinks that have truly unique flavor profiles. Thailand is home to many tea and coffee drinks as well, one of them being the black tie coffee. The black tie is a great drink to beat the hot summer heat and enjoy the complex flavors, while also not having to choose between coffee or tea. Whether you’re trying to recreate this Thai specialty at home or looking to try something new this summer, give this black tie coffee recipe a try:
What is a Black Tie Coffee?
A black tie coffee is a tea and coffee drink, combining two worlds that are usually quite adamant at being separate. With the strong, bitter punch of espresso and sweet, spicy tea layered on top, a float of condensed milk completes the drink as it marbles through the layers for a picture-perfect look. It requires either very dark roast coffee or a double-shot of espresso, traditional Thai-spiced iced tea, and sweetened condensed milk. Half & half can be a replacement, but the dairy needs to be thick and creamy for the best result.
Thai Iced Tea
Thai Iced Tea is one of the required components of a black tie, an incredibly popular black tea drink that can be found almost anywhere in Thailand. Even though it’s the base to the black tie, the tea itself is complex yet delicate in flavor. It contains spices like star anise and cardamom that enhance the natural flavors of the black tea, then the flavors are tied together with other spices, cream, and sugar. If you’re not partial to black tea, we still recommend trying the black tie coffee. Thai Iced Tea has a unique profile of flavors that don’t resemble a “traditional” black tea drink, which is why we urge you to try it anyway. If you don’t know how to make this tea, find Thai-spiced tea bags and use those instead.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
Unless you’re allergic to dairy, the sweetened condensed milk of the black tie coffee is pretty crucial if you want the marbling look. Non-dairy kinds of milk will alter the flavor, but especially the visual effects. Because condensed milk and half & half are thicker than whole milk and plant-based milk, it creates a floating layer on top. As you drink from it, the cream will slowly fall in tendrils and create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. If you use anything but a thick cream, the visual appeal will not be nearly as impressive and the flavor will be slightly off.
Black Tie Coffee
- Thai iced tea
- Double-shot espresso
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Half & half
- Prepare the Thai Iced tea base, adding ½ tbsp of sugar to the tea. As the tea steeps, brew a double shot of espresso. Set aside both to chill a bit, to prevent the ice from melting right away.
- Fill a tall glass about 2/3 with ice and around 1 tbsp of sweetened condensed milk. Pour espresso on top of the milk, creating a layer.
- Pour the Thai iced tea on top of the espresso, creating another layer. Leave about an inch space at the top and carefully pour half & half on top, making a “float”.
- Do not stir! Let the half & half swirl down to the bottom and slowly change the taste of the drink as you enjoy it.
Featured Image Credit: VasiliyBudarin, Shutterstock