Due to the unanimous popularity of tea as a daily drink in Bangladesh, a lot of new and unique varieties can be seen. Spice tea, green pepper tea, layered tea, etc. have gone viral on social media for their uniqueness.
Now imagine a tea, a bit like our local tea, prepared by dribbling the concoction from one tin cup to another to add some bubbles.
And as the phases pass by one another, the distance from one cup to another increase as well, making you think it’s a mini waterfall.
After several bouts of pulling the tea from one cup to another, a layer of foam (or you can say bubbles) is accumulated on top of the teacup. Like it is an unconventional way of making, it also has a beautiful name - Teh Tarik.
Teh Tarik is a piping hot milk tea beverage, a household name in Malaysia. It’s preparation is identical to our local tea preparation, apart from that mini waterfall action which adds a different texture and taste.
The name Teh tarik prevails from two languages - Malay and hokkien. Teh, in Hokkein dialect, means tea and the Malay word Tarik means pulled. It's name originated from the pouring process of ‘pulling’ the drink during preparation.
Just as we adore our tea, Teh Tarik is similar to the Malaysian people. Like our storm in a cup of tea in every roadside stall, Teh Tarik serves the same purpose there.
Photo - TripSavvy
Every family-run stall has different procedures, tactics, unique from others. Another important thing is the pulling action. Whichever stall has the best pulling action, attracts the most number of consumers.
And the tong wala mama there instantly becomes a local superstar, with his video going viral. Here’s a video of a Malaysian local boy making Teh Tarik in acrobatic fashion.
Video link to be inserted - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cvH8bCl14Y
Although many foreign fusion foods like Turkish Ice-cream and boba milk tea are emerging, Teh Tarik is yet to be seen in the tea picture of our country.
Nevertheless, if you are curious to taste what is unofficially the ‘national drink’ of Malaysia, you can make it in your home, it’s easy! All you need is three ingredients - water, black tea and sweetened condensed milk.
Place the tea bag or loose tea in your strainer and drop it in piping hot water. Wait a minute until the mixture becomes dark and intense.
Allow it to boil a few more seconds, then add around two teaspoons of sweetened condensed milk, or more if your taste bud wants to. Next is the waterfall action.
Pour the concoction prepared earlier in a steel jug and pair it up with a mug. Pour the tea from jug to mug and vice versa. Repeat the process and increase the height as the steps pass until it transforms into a foamy, rich yummilicious sip.
Here you have to be way too cautious as the concoction is still hot and could burn your hands if spilt on.
As you pour the tea between the jug and mug, do not start pulling it with a big distance. Try a small distance first as it will make your aiming better and gradually increase it.
Bonus trick, this bittersweet drink can be both served piping hot or over ice. Hot Teh Tarik is the popular one, but icey one is craving on hot summer days.
If you are wondering whether Teh Tarik contains caffeine or not, the answer is a yes, but less in proportion than normal tea.
After reading the whole article, you might wonder why Teh Tarik is so hyped. It's just normal tea or Cha we always consume, isn’t it?
Well It's not the same. Teh Tarik is less sugary than the normal ones as it is only prepared with condensed milk while others contain extra sugar. And not to mention the making process or the foamy rich texture.
The writer is a third-year student pursuing her BBA in Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Dhaka.