There are many different types of tea to order from a Mamak Store (Malaysian’s Indian-Muslim cafe) or Kopitiam (Malaysian open style cafe) and each has unique names – Teh C (Tea with evaporated milk), Teh O Kosong (Unsweetened Tea with milk), Teh C Peng (Iced Tea without milk), Teh O Ais Limau (Lime Tea with Ice) just to name a few. But Teh Tarik is one of my favourite drinks.
Teh Tarik a.k.a Pulled Tea is a sweetened tea with evaporated milk. Black tea leaves such as Ceylon or Pu’er are brewed to extract its strong flavor. On its own, it is distastefully bitter. But the bitterness is tamed down with evaporated milk and sweetened with condensed milk. I usually like to order Teh Tarik kurang manis (which means less sweet) as the vendors normally make it overly sweet. For my recipe, I reduce the amount of condensed milk as I distaste overly sweet beverage. If you have a sweet tooth, you might want to add more condensed milk.
The thoughts of Teh Tarik reminisce me of the cheerful ambience of Mamak store – tables filled with patrons hanging out during breakfast / supper, workers busy taking orders and skilled workers pull / stretch Teh Tarik back and forth repeatedly with two stainless steel cup as high as they can. This is how its name is derived and makes it extraordinary. The method of pulling the tea blends the tea with the milk providing a smoother texture and create a thick frothy top.
I used to patron the mamak store with my friends almost every night while in college to get my dosage of warm Teh Tarik for supper. Those days I couldn’t sleep without a cup of warm Teh Tarik. How time has changed (LOL) but I still miss the good old times! When I made this as part of my cooking classes in Japan, it became a fun session to engage with my students. So why not give this a try as a fun project? If you try this, you might want to do it over the sink. For first timer, spillage constantly occur while pulling the tea back and forth.
For a printable version (in pdf) of the recipe, please CLICK HERE.