The introduction of Thai food into American culture dates all the way back to the Vietnam War. Thousands of American soldiers stationed in Thailand got the opportunity to try out a breadth of new dishes and flavors previously unheard of. Now, Thai iced coffee is one of the most popular drink options you can get in a Thai restaurant.
But what makes this type of coffee so delicious and appealing? And how does it differ from other cold coffee drinks made from standard coffee beans?
Here’s what you need to know about Thai iced coffee, otherwise known by its original name of “Oliang”.
The Origin of Thai Iced Coffee
The name “Oliang” comes from the words black and cold. This name refers to the mixture that goes into Thai iced coffee, known originally as Gafae Yen. However, the names can be used interchangeably.
Unlike other American versions of iced coffee, it is not made by pouring plain coffee over ice cubes. Instead, it includes a mix of ingredients that have been ground to a fine powder.
Some of the most common ingredients include soybeans, corn, rice, and cardamom. The coffee is brewed and then passed through a filter over ice. You can either drink it black or with a sweetener of your choice.
What Goes Into a Thai Iced Coffee
Traditionally, Thai iced coffee is made up of a mixture of coffee grounds, brown sugar, and grains and seeds. Those grains may include cardamom, corn, or sesame seeds depending on what is available.
Nowadays, you can buy pre-mixed Oliang powder from a grocer that contains both coffee and the other necessary ingredients. While condensed milk is often added, you can always substitute it for sweetened coconut milk or we use half and half as to not overly sweeten the coffee.
The end product contains about 155 calories and 26 grams of carbs. It also has 11% of your daily calcium value and 8% of your daily protein. However, this all depends on the ingredients used.
Why It Stands Out
Thai iced coffee stands out from your standard coffee shop variety for a few different reasons.
First of all, it brings you all kinds of health benefits due to the cardamom, cinnamon, and caffeine. Second, the combination of spices and coffee creates a creamy and sweet mixture with a lot of complexity.
Finally, the high-calorie count and added sugar give you extra energy that is useful throughout the day.
Try the Authentic Flavor Today
You could always buy a Thai iced coffee blend in your local grocer for an authentic taste, but it won’t be the same as having a professional brew it up for you. After all, Oliang has a rich cultural history. Thai Ginger is an authentic Thai restaurant located in multiple areas across Washington state. You can find us in Sammamish, Seattle, Redmond, and Bellevue. Check out our menu online and contact us with any questions.