The Thai Iced Tea we know and love here in the United States is not traditional Thai iced tea. In fact, tea, overall, is a relatively new concept believed to have been brought over to Thailand sometime in the 1980s from China. Created some 30 years ago, traditional versions consisted of black tea, condensed milk, and crushed ice. It was at this time that Thai Tea, ชาเย็น (known as Cha Yen) became a staple of Thai street food.
Decide which method (plain black tea vs. pre-made Thai iced tea mix) you want to use. Once you have your tea, decide on creamer. I used half and half rather than sweetened condensed milk because I prefer less sweetness.
Steep the tea. I brought 2.5 cups of water to a boil and simmered the sugar with the loose tea in the water, covered, for approximately 20 minutes.
Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or filter. Allow the tea to cool.
Finally, fill a cup with ice (crushed, cubed, whatever you’ve got) and add the prepared and cooled tea approximately two-thirds of the way full. Fill the glass with milk or creamer of choice and stir to combine.