myFresha-licious: The Art and Science of Teh Tarik (Milk Tea)

The Art and Science of Teh Tarik (Milk Tea)

Teh Tarik

Teh Tarik. If you’ve been to Singapore or Malaysia and you haven’t tasted the goodness of teh tarik you’ve missed half of your stay specially if you are an avid tea drinker :-)
We just recently appreciated teh tarik and now, Frederick and I love it that we have it almost everyday.  This rich, creamy, lusciously delicious tea drink is very addicting that I’ve been pulling our own teh tarik at home.  It’s not as strong as the ones from teh tarik food stalls because we’re just using ceylon tea (we ran out of black tea) Food stalls I believe is using a special tea meant for teh tarik and we will be foraging supermarkets to find that “special tea”.

Teh Tarik is milk tea in English.  But making teh tarik is more artistic and scientific in its approach. It requires a certain “pulling” and “stretching” skill to be able to make that perfect milk tea.  Yes, teh tarik which literally means “pulled tea” requires pulling and stretching of the drink .  Teh Tarik , is considered as a Malaysian hot tea drink but it is not only famous and served in restaurants, foodcourts, food hawker stores, kopitiam, etc. in Singapore and Malaysia but also in neighboring southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Brunei (I wonder if we have this in the Philippines).  The name teh tarik is Malaysian which may have been derived from the word tarik which is a Malaysian word for pull.  However, the process of making this tea originated from the Indians- the Indian Chai.
The main ingredients of the teh tarik are black tea and condensed milk. But unlike any other tea drink, teh tarik is prepared using stretching of the hand, pulling and pouring of the hot tea from one container to another -there’s the art.  The process not only helps to mix the ingredients well but also allows the tea to cool down and at the same time produce air bubbles making the texture of the tea lighter, bubbly, and more frothy (the higher and longer the pull, the frothier and more bubbly the tea).  Also, the pulling and stretching creates an interaction between the tea and the air which helps bring out a stronger and better flavor of the tea- there’s the science :-)

Of course, I’m not skilled at the “stretching, pulling and pouring” part yet. I have beed doing it but things always gets messy.  I often spill my tea everywhere.   Anyway, here’s our simple recipe.


Ceylon or Black tea – 3 teabags
Water – 750 ml
Condensed milk – 4 tbsp
Evaporated Milk – 6 tbsp


1.  Boil the water.  Take out the water from fire.  Cool it down for a couple of minutes
2.  Add the tea bag and steep for 10-15 minutes. Take out the tea bag.
3. Add the condensed milk and evaporated milk. Stir.
You can actually stop at this process.  But if you want to get dirty and messy, you can try to do the stretching, pulling and pouring.  You need two containers for this enough to hold the tea.
“stretching, pulling and pouring process”
1. Hold the containers, one in both hands.  One container should contain the tea.
2.  Stretch your arms but not too far apart, one container should be held down, and the other container with the tea must be held up.
3. Now pour the tea gently on the other container, while stretching your arms away from each other (one up and one down).  Do this process until you get a nice bubbly and frothy teh tarik
Serve and enjoy with a scrambled egg. Don’t forget to clean your mess :-)

– foodformylove(04November2011)

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