The Super Dark Roast That Sets Thai Iced Coffee Apart From Others

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Thai iced coffee is a creamy, decadent take on your familiar iced coffee. This classic Thai beverage is popular for its unique coffee flavor and sweetness that comes from sweetened condensed milk. But if you've ever tried to make a Thai iced coffee at home and found that your drink tasted like it was missing something, it may have to do with the coffee you're using as the base of your drink. Thai iced coffee is made with Thai coffee, which is a very dark roast. This extra dark roast provides contrasting flavors with the sweetened condensed milk that balances the drink while adding a richer flavor profile.

Thailand is one of the top three coffee-producing countries in Asia, coffee farmers have spent decades refining their methods and crops to produce high-quality coffee with unique flavor profiles. Farms such as Nacha Coffee in Chiang Mai (one of the largest coffee-growing areas in Thailand), take careful measures to preserve the natural flavor of the coffee beans. It's a longer process to dry and roast the beans, but this results in a much more complex and detailed coffee roast. Thai coffee beans occasionally have other ingredients roasted alongside them, such as corn or soybeans. This creates more layers of tasting notes to bring you that bold flavor you might be missing in your Thai iced coffees at home.

Where to find Thai coffee beans

Your local Asian market or specialty grocery store is a good first place to look for authentic Thai coffee beans. When looking at your store's coffee offerings scan your eyes for packaging that includes oliang powder. This is a type of Thai coffee that is commonly used as the base in Thai iced coffee. Oliang powder features robusta coffee grounds, brown sugar, corn, soybeans, cardamom, and other grains. The dark roast of this coffee powder provides a smoky, complex flavor to your iced Thai coffee drink.

Alternatively, the labels could read as Thai coffee powder, but know this and oliang powder are both correct for Thai iced coffee. If you're struggling to find it in a store around you, Amazon carries oliang powder as well. You can also ask specialty craft coffee places near you if they have any Thai coffee beans available. While this won't have as many of the same flavorful layers as a powder mix, it still is a good way to make Thai coffee. Just make sure whatever beans or powder you're purchasing is a dark roast.