International Coffee

It's Time to Try This Thai Coffee

There’re coffee beans in this drink, but you might also find cardamom seeds, corn, or even soybeans in the mix.

By Timothy Malcolm March 3, 2021 Published in the December 2020 issue of Houstonia Magazine

In Thailand iced coffee—or oliang—can be made of a variety of ingredients. Of course there’s coffee beans, but from there you might see cardamom seeds, corn, or even soybeans in the mix.

For its oliang, Asia Market Thai Lao Food owner Chomsy Saysane aims at re-creating her native country’s coffee right here, using a powder manufactured in Thailand, made up of 50 percent ground coffee beans and a mix of corn and soybeans. The powder steeps in boiling water for 10 minutes in a tungdtom, a cotton bag with a metal ring and handle at the top, and then sugar is added to the boiling coffee. The mixture is then topped with your choice of condensed milk (the standard) or half-in-half.

Saysane’s son, Alan Ortiz, says that although the coffee they serve packs a caffeinated punch, the imported powder is likely weaker than what you get back in Thailand. “That’s a different story,” says Ortiz. “The Thai coffee there is so strong it’ll make you sweat.”

For this muted but still powerful beverage, Ortiz suggests eating a spicy dish like pad kee mao and ordering it “Thai hot”—there’s nothing like having every tastebud on fire to make you appreciate a good Thai coffee. 

Asia Market Thai Lao Food

Heights | 3620 N Main St,

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