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Thai Iced Lemon Tea Recipe – Thai Iced Lime Tea – Cha Manao

Thai Iced Lemon Tea is really Thai Iced Lime Tea because limes are plentiful in Thailand. You can use lemon or limes – the taste will differ slightly but either way, you’ll end up with a super refreshing drink for those long summer days.

Thai Iced Lemon Tea - Iced Lime Tea - Cha Manao Yen
Thai Iced Lemon Tea and Iced Lime Tea
Make this super refreshing drink with lemons or limes to remind you of the taste of Thailand

It’s pretty hot in Thailand so iced drinks are a big thing. We also like our drinks sweet and as cold as possible. No moaning here about cups being full of ice and little drink – we just use bigger cups!

If you walk down the road in any big city in Thailand you’ll find drinks vendors at the roadside selling iced drinks from Thai milk tea to Thai matcha tea, tea with boba added and big straws as well as all manner of coffees (usually brewed with Nescafe).

Thai tea mixes for various drinks including ‘cha manao yen’ which is the Thai for iced Lime tea which translates to iced lemon tea in the West because lemons are as plentiful there as limes are here.

If you are out and about then a Thai tea mix will likely be used but if you are at home then nothing beats the taste of a great cup of well-brewed premium tea with a little lime juice to zing it up.

You’ll need some sugar to take the edge off and provide a nice balance and you’ll be getting some immune boosting vitamin C from the fresh lime/lemon juice.

Ingredients for Thai Iced Lemon Tea
1. Water, 2. Sugar, 3. Lime Juice, 4. Oolong Tea (or substitute)

Just four ingredients needed – tea, hot water, ice & lime juice (or lemon juice if it’s handier).

It’s really easy to make and the taste is just so much better than Thai iced tea made with a packet tea mix.

Step by Step Notes

Brewing the Tea Strong with Oolong
Brewing the Tea Strong with Oolong

Step 1 – Brewing the Tea

The tea needs to be brewed strong because the finished brew will be added to ice when hot which will dilute it. So allow for that when you assess how much tea to use.

You can use any straightforward tea you prefer. Black tea makes quite a strong brew, green tea has lots of health benefits but is a little weaker.

Avoid flavored teas though as they will likely not go so well with the citrus taste. Teabags can also be used but loose leaf tea definitely has the edge.

Cha Manao - Iced Lime Tea - Dissolving the Sugar
Making the Sugar Syrup to Sweeten the Iced Tea

Step 2 – Sugar

Mix the sugar with a little warm water to dissolve it quickly.

it is better to sweeten after you add the lime or lemon juice unless you have made the recipe several times already and know how much to use for your taste.

If you add the sugar after the tea is cooled it’s a bit difficult to dissolve.

Adding the hot tea to plenty of ice
Add the hot tea to plenty of ice to rapidly cool – Not enough ice in this one!

Step 3 – Ice

You need to use an oversized cup and add plenty of ice.

The ice needs to cool down the hot tea as you want to drink it quickly, then it needs to cool the drink more to make it ice cold. Obviously it will melt a bit when you add the tea which will water it down a bit – hence making the tea quite strong to start with.

Add the Lime juice or lemon juice to make the Iced Tea
Adding the Lime or Lemon Juice for Taste

Step 4 – Lime Juice

Use lemon or lime juice and see which you prefer. There is a difference in the taste which is noticeable but both are equally nice we think.

Adjust the lime juice for a pleasant balance with the strength of the tea before sweetening.

Add in the Sugar Syrup to taste
Add in the Sugar Syrup to taste

Step 5 – Sweetening

Sweeten with the sugar syrup to taste. The sugar will help take the edge off the sharpness of the lemon or lime juice and make your drink just perfect.

Make this iced cold drink for hot summer days for a refreshing drink all the family can enjoy.

Cha manao - Thai lime iced tea

Thai Iced Lemon Tea / Thai Iced Lime Tea Recipe

Thai Iced Lemon Tea Recipe – Thai Iced Lime Tea – Cha Manao

Phasinee Doddeo

The Video showing this recipe being cooked is near the top of the page – A convenient Jump Link to the video is below the description under here.

Cha manao is the Thai name for lemon tea, except that most lemon tea is not made with lemons but actually made with limes as they are home grown, cheaper and more readily available.
Although you can buy packet mixes, making it at home is much nicer and you know is free from preservatives. You are also in control of sugar which is a big plus.
5 from 1 vote

NOTE: Any In-recipe images can be toggled on and off with the camera icons next to the Instructions header.

Prep Time 1 minute
Brewing Time 3 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Thai
Servings 1 cup
Calories 143 kcal


  • Tea Brewing Filter


  • 1 tbsp Tea See Note 1
  • 3 tbsp Sugar See Note 2
  • 1 tbsp Lime juice See Note 3
  • 1 cup Boiling water for brewing
  • 3 tbsp Hot water to dissolve sugar
  • 1 cup Ice See Note 4


  • Measure out 2 teaspoons of tea leaves and add 1 cup of boiling water. You can either use a Thai style brewing filter bag which is left in the cup and lifted out after brewing. Or use a regular tea pot (with cosy) to brew and use a strainer to filter off the leaves as you pour out the tea.
    Allow to brew for 4 minutes or so.
  • Dissolve the sugar in a few tablespoons of hot water
  • Add plenty of ice to almost fill a large beaker and pour in the hot brewed tea.
  • Add the lime juice or lemon juice.
  • Add the dissolved sugar mixture to sweeten to taste.


Note 1 – You can use Oolong tea which has a very nice taste or substitute for black tea or green tea if you prefer. Black tea typically has a stronger taste and so you will probably want to reduce the quantity to two teaspoons. Green tea is a little milder.
The tea should be fairly strong as it will be diluted when the ice melts on adding the hot tea.
Note 2 – The amount of sugar to add is a matter of personal taste. Thai drinks are usually made quite sweet but your preference may differ. Adjust for your preference.
Note 3 – Lime juice is used in Thailand but you can also use lemon juice. The taste is not identical but the drink works equally well with either lemon or lime.
Note 4 – You need to use an oversized cup because you need enough ice to cool the hot tea down to very cold. Much will melt to dilute the stronger tea you added and the remaining ice will keep your drink refreshingly cold.


Calories: 143kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSodium: 27mgSugar: 36gVitamin C: 5mg
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Iced Lemon Tea Thai Style