Thai Rooibos Iced Tea

If you haven’t yet been introduced to rooibos tea, it’s time. This mellow tea has so many nutritional advantages. It is very high in antioxidants, contains no caffeine, helps your digestion ( along that same line, it’s been used to help babies with colic) , has low tannin levels (which allows you to brew this tea for a long time without getting a bitter aftertaste) and it contains no oxalic acid, which makes it an excellent choice for those prone to kidney stones. I will have to do a separate post to list some of the other exciting research done with rooibos.

But, most exciting of all, we love it.

We have been drinking it through the winter hot, and it’s delicious! When the hot weather hit, we occasionally drank it iced, which was quite nice. But then, I noticed at Elana’s Pantry (a lovely blog), that she had a few recipes for ice tea using rooibos. One was a Thai Iced Tea. Her recipe sparked interest, so I researched a little more about Thai iced tea and read that Thai iced tea is often brewed with cinnamon, star anise, and vanilla. I decided to set out to make my own Thai Rooibos tea recipe using that flavor combination.

We are now hooked. I don’t know how many quarts of this I have drunk now. It’s so refreshing on a hot day, and the flavor combination really adds a much more complex flavor. Now, of course, you can just ice any rooibos tea and it will be very nice. But I like this version better. I have also just done the vanilla and cinnamon, and that was very nice as well. I use my coconut milk tonic in this recipe, but you can use just regular coconut milk for a even richer result. Cream or half and half could be used as well, though the coconut milk seems to be even more refreshing on a hot day.

Thai Rooibos Iced Tea
Serves 6

You can use any type of vanilla rooibos tea (including tea bags), but I really like the Good Hope Vanilla Rooibos, because is contains real vanilla beans in it. The longer you steep this, the more flavorful it will become (and rooibos doesn’t become bitter), so keep that in mind. I have used it after 15 minutes of steeping, and after 45. It’s your choice. The type and amount of sweetener is totally up to you. I even like this tea unsweetened, though I usually will add a few drops of liquid stevia to mine. My husband adds about a tablespoon of agave syrup and a few drops of stevia to his for a sweeter version. We have tried honey as well with excellent results.

6 Tablespoons of Good Hope Vanilla Rooibos loose tea (or other vanilla rooibos, you can use tea bags instead, as well)
7 cups of boiling water
1 1/2 inch long cinnamon stick
2 star anise
Sweetener of choice-I usually use stevia and agave syrup (though others sweeteners would work as well)
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk tonic or coconut milk, whisked smooth

While the water is being brought to a boil, add the tea, cinnamon and star anise to a heat safe jar, or jug (I used a 8 cup mason jar, but you do have to be careful not to shock the glass because it could crack). Add the boiling water, and steep for ten minutes. After ten minutes, take out the cinnamon and star anise and steep for another 5-40 minutes, until it reaches desired flavor (or when you just can’t wait any longer!).

Fill a large cup with ice, add about a tablespoon of agave syrup and a few drops of stevia, and 1/4 cup of coconut milk tonic or coconut milk. Fill the rest of the cup up with the brewed tea and enjoy.

Visit Tammy’s Recipes for Kitchen Tip Tuesday!

The following two tabs change content below.
I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

Latest posts by KimiHarris (see all)


  1. Michele says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! 🙂 Thai iced tea is one of our favorites, but in browsing Asian food stores several months ago, all the “Thai tea” packages said they had food coloring in them! This will be perfect.

    Michele 🙂

  2. Lisa says

    I love tea. Maybe it’s my southern heritage. I like it iced or hot, green or black, in a tall glass or an earthenware chawan. Recently I have discovered Rooibos tea and have added it to my list of favorites. This recipe sounds like a delicious variation. Thanks!

  3. Kimi Harris says

    Thanks for the heads up and for the link. That’s always appreciated.

    I did follow your link and it was interesting and offered a few important things to consider. I was a little amused by how they worded things “artificial sweetener”? I don’t think so. I also wished they weren’t so vague and pointed to why they think it could potentially be a problem. It’s also a little outdated, because there are many drink products hitting the stores sweetened with stevia, so it’s no longer just a supplement.

    Do you have any other links that go into more depth? I would definitely be interested in reading a more in depth source.

    But it is a valid point to research any new food item, or herb before you add it to your diet. Food and herbs, have more effect than we think!

    Chamomile tea can irritate your uterus when pregnant, if drunk in huge amounts, flax seed can play around with your hormonal balance, and too much garlic can kill off healthy flora.

    I have personallychosen to use a whole herb extract instead of the concentrated form because I like having things as a whole food, and I try to use moderation in everything. Even too many of certain types of vegetables can cause thyroid and other issues. So my advice is moderation is everything. 🙂

    Thanks again for the heads up.

  4. Robert says

    Regarding that link to the Stevia "warning" … it's my understanding that that warning is based on **one** **anonymous** **complaint** that was filed many years ago … and that there's a strong suspicion it was filed by the sugar or artificial sweetener industry to keep stevia off the shelves in the united states.

    Oh … so let me get this straight. It's potentially dangerous so you can't use it as a food … though feel free to swallow as much as you want as a "supplement."

    Anyway, I've been using stevia for years now and absolutely love it. No side effects whatsoever. In fact, the only side effects I've **ever** noticed was when I was using Equal and Splenda. That was in the days before I knew about stevia. (If you research equal, you'll find a whole host of health problems … and be sure to read the story of how equal was approved. It had been rejected by the FDA because it was toxic … but Reagan and a cronie at the FDA shoved it through just as both were about to leave office.)

    Anyway, my bad experiences with these artificial sweeteners, and my desire to get off sugar, set me searching for a natural, safe, calorie-free alternative.

    Which led me to stevia.

    But you have to get the right kind. The first kind I bought was cheap, from Trader Joes, and was horrible.

    There are different parts of the plant. The majority of the plant has a lot of bitterness in it from stevioside. So if you buy one with a high content of stevioside, it will be cheaper, and taste bitter. You want one with a high rebaudioside content — that's sweet with pretty much no bitterness. Anyway, the bitterness only kicks in when you use too much. A beginner's mistake. You need WAY LESS than sugar. Try just a pinch at first. A little goes a LOOONG way. Probably another reason
    the chemical industry doesn't like it.

    I get the white powdered form from Now brand. The most economical way is in these giant 1 lb tubs. You can find them on Amazon for maybe $45 … and one will last you probably well over a year.

    By the way, Cargill has teamed up with Coca Cola and they're developing a "perfect" stevia … one with no bitterness. They'll be using it in beverages and marketing it as a legitimate food. They're in the regulatory process of having it approved now. So stand by for that. I think Coke made with Stevia will be awesome! 🙂 The product is called Rebiana and the brand name will be Truvia.

    By the way … this is from Wikipedia, citing the latest research into the safety of Stevia. See the original article for the references to the direct sources. But note the first section — the only study to indicate it's dangerous was mishandled in such a way that distilled water would appear dangerous as well.

    A 1985 study reporting that steviol may be a mutagen[7] has been criticized on procedural grounds that the data were mishandled in such a way that even distilled water would appear mutagenic.[8] More recent studies appear to establish the safety of steviol and its glycosides. In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) performed a thorough evaluation of recent experimental studies of stevia extracts conducted on animals and humans, and concluded that "stevioside and rebaudioside A are not genotoxic in vitro or in vivo and that the genotoxicity of steviol and some of its oxidative derivatives in vitro is not expressed in vivo."[9] The report also found no evidence of carcinogenic activity. The report also suggested the possibility of health benefits, in that "stevioside has shown some evidence of pharmacological effects in patients with hypertension or with type-2 diabetes"[9], but concluded that further study was required to determine proper dosage.

  5. Robert says


    Aspartame was approved for sale by the FDA during the Reagan administration.

    The story of its approval is pretty interesting, if you like corporate scandal and the almost surreal appearances of someone who would become an integral part of the Bush administration and the Iraq war.

    Interestingly, the FDA was poised under the Carter administration to ban the Searle-created substance. An FDA taskforce described "serious deficiencies in Searle's operations and
    practices which undermine the basis for reliance on Searle's
    integrity." The final report of the FDA task force noted faulty
    and fraudulent product testing, knowingly misrepresented
    findings, and instances of "irrelevant or unproductive animal
    research where experiments have been poorly conceived, carelessly
    executed or inaccurately analyzed."

    Richard Merrill, the FDA's chief counsel, petitioned Samuel K.
    Skinner U.S. Attorney for the northern district of Illinois, for
    a grand jury investigation of Searle's "willful and knowing
    failure" to submit required test reports, and for "concealing
    material facts and making false statements" in reports on
    aspartame submitted to the agency.

    You can find the sordid story here:

  6. Robert says

    Ok. Last thought. I was bugged by that link above stating the questionable safety of Stevia.

    Two points. First, Cargill's Truvia (basically stevia) has been proven safe and approved for sale. is up and running.

    Second, if you look at the history of aspartame (equal), you'll be shocked to see the trail of misery it has left in its wake.

    Did you know that 80% of consumer complaints to the FDA revolve around aspartame? And the symptoms are legend in their horror.


    Millions of cases of aspartame poisoning have been reported where ever aspartame is found in foods, beverages and medical preparations. According to FDA records, adverse reactions to aspartame comprise about 80 percent of consumer complaints. The agency has published a list of 92 symptoms of aspartame poisoning which includes blindness, joint pain, chronic fatigue, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, mental illness and death. Its use is linked to chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease-illnesses that have become globally pandemic since aspartame was approved. During the 1980s when congressional hearings were being held on the dangers of aspartame, Dr. H.J. Roberts predicted that, if aspartame approval was not reversed at that time, in five or 10 years "aspartame disease" would be a global plague. By 2001, Dr. Roberts had published the 1,038-page text "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic" proving his prediction came to pass.

    The testimonies of people who have suffered the consequences of aspartame poisoning, a cluster of symptoms most appropriately called "Rumsfeld's disease," are as varied as they are numerous. Aspartame is a multipotential carcinogen linked to a variety of cancers; a teratogen linked to birth defects; an abortifacient implicated in untold numbers of pregnancies ending unexpectedly and without explanation; a neurotoxin associated with neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders in children and the development of central nervous system complications in adults-a list that includes MS, fibromyalgia and various forms of dementia; it reacts with other chemicals to increase chemical sensitivity and; it reacts with pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines to produce a full spectrum of off-label reactions and adverse events.

  7. says

    Kimi, I just tried this and it’s delicious. I was craving iced tea and remember this recipe, and I just had to try it. 🙂

    I used a pre-spiced bag Rooibos, made by Numi called Ruby Chai. The spices are a little different than what you suggest (more Indian-style spices), but the recipe still turns out wonderfully. I’m also going to try it the way you suggested, using vanilla rooibos and the spices listed above.

    The coconut milk tastes so nice but didn’t sit well with my pregnant tummy, so instead I’ve tried raw milk in it’s place, which is also delicious! Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *