Teh Tarik Recipe – How To Make Delicious Frothy Malaysian Pulled Tea

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This teh tarik recipe is for a delicious, frothy, milky tea from Malaysia. Simple to make using just four ingredients, you can easily sip on Malaysia’s national tea in 10 minutes or less

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What is Teh Tarik?

Teh Tarik from Malaysia by Authentic Food Quest
Teh Tarik, simple and flavorful milk tea

Teh Tarik is a simple yet flavourful milk tea that is very popular in Malaysia. Found at coffee shops or Kopi tiam and Indian Muslim Mamak eateries, teh tarik is consumed throughout the day. from breakfast to dinner. 

Interestingly, teh tarik is also the official drink for football fans in Malaysia. It is as popular as beer is to US or European fans. 

Teh Tarik translates to “pulled tea” where Teh means tea and Tarik means pulled. Its name comes from its pulling preparation which is an art and act of showmanship.

The tea is poured from one pitcher to another as high as possible, without ever spilling a drop.

This pulling process is what makes teh tarik very frothy and light. It also improves its flavor and mixes the tea with condensed milk thoroughly. 

Deeply embedded into Malaysian local culture, teh tarik is recognized by the government as an important part of Malaysia Food Heritage.

Outside of Malaysia, teh tarik is also popular in Singapore and around the world.

History of Teh Tarik

Teh Tarik Surprising Malaysian Drink by Authentic Food Quest
Teh Tarik is an important part of the Malaysian food culture

Teh Tarik was brought to the Malay Peninsula by Indian Muslim immigrants. 

Prior to World War II, they used to drink and serve chai because chai tea leaves were common and cheap. It was prepared with black tea and full cream milk. 

However, after the war, chai tea leaves became expensive forcing the immigrants to innovate.

Using the discarded tea leaves after the best tea was sold to the British, immigrants used the remains.

Tea powder derived from the broken tea leaves made a strong bitter tea. So bitter was this concoction, that in order to balance it out, condensed milk was added. 

The condensed milk reduced the bitter taste giving birth to this much-beloved pulled tea. A popular street beverage, teh tarik became an important part of the local food culture. 

This pulled tea is known as the national drink of Malaysia.

Making teh tarik is a sport with competitions held for the most creative way of “pulling” the tea. Pulling is an important part of teh tarik to mix the tea effectively and produce a thick and foamy top.

Another interesting way in which teh tarik rose to popularity is through a video game called Coffee Talk.

Coffee Talk is a visual novel and its gameplay follows a barista in a coffee shop who listens to the concerns of its patrons. 

The game features many real-life beverages from different parts of the world, one of which is teh tarik from Malaysia. 

The players make Teh Tarik and learn more about the beverage as they play Coffee Talk.

RELATED: 10 Unusual Malaysian Drinks To Experience Like a Local

Discovering Teh Tarik in Penang, Malaysia

Claire and Rosemary Eating Roti Tisu with Teh Tarik by Authentic Food Quest
Claire and Rosemary eating roti tisu with frothy mugs of teh tarik in Malaysia

We were pleasantly surprised when tasting Teh Tarik for the first time during our visit in Penang, Malaysia. 

Penang, considered the food capital of Malaysia, offers diverse and mouth watering local foods. 

And, unique local drinks are part of the culinary highlights. 

While exploring the diverse drinks, we were captivated by the foamy, creamy and delightful taste of teh tarik.

Drinking this Malyasian pulled tea by itself or accompanying Roti Canai, an indian flatbread, was always enjoyable. 

And, we’re excited to share this teh tarik recipe for a taste of our favorite Malaysian tea. 

Teh Tarik in Malaysia is more than just a cup of tea with condensed milk. It is a revered Malaysian drink that is deeply embedded into the local food culture.

READ MORE: The Best of Penang Food: Our 9 Most Beloved Authentic Dishes

Teh Tarik Recipe – How To Make Teh Tarik at Home

Ingredients Teh Tarik Recipe by Authentic Food Quest
Ingredients for Teh Tarik Recipe

Making Teh Tarik at home is actually quite simple. You need only four ingredients that are easily available for this teh tarik recipe.

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Teh Tarik Recipe Tips

Which Tea to Use To Make Teh Tarik?

Ceylan Black Tea For Teh Tarik Recipe by Authentic Food Quest
Ceylan black tea for teh tarik recipe

Loose Leaf Tea

For the best teh tarik experience, choose loose leaf tea which is usually the highest quality tea. Loose leaf tea is made of whole unbroken tea leaves which have the most flavor and yield the best tasting tea.

Tea sachets and tea bags can also work if looking for convenience or are short on time. However, the flavors may not be as intense.

Ceylon Black Tea

Authentic teh tarik tea is made with strong black tea and we recommend Ceylon loose tea. Ceylon tea from the mountains of Sri Lanka is strong and bold bringing out the flavors in this teh tarik recipe.

If you’re not able to get hold of loose tea leaves, you can use Lipton black tea sachets and steep them.

Substitute Teh Tarik Sachet

If you want to make this Malaysian tea fast and not follow this teh tarik recipe, you can order it from Amazon. 

Teh Tarik sachets are available for ease and comfort of making teh tarik at home. You simply steep the teh tarik sachets in hot water and enjoy the milk tea with little effort.

How Much Caffeine in Teh Tarik

Tea contains caffeine though generally less when compared to coffee. The amount of caffeine in both tea and coffee vary based on the processing and brewing methods used.

Ceylon tea which is tea from the Sri Lanka highlands is available in several varieties, like green, white and black.

This teh tarik recipe calls for the use of Ceylon black tea. Ceylon tea, like other teas, contains a small amount of caffeine. It is also rich in antioxidants and has several trace minerals.

Additionally, Ceylon tea has health benefits like weight loss, blood sugar control, and heart health.

What is The Difference Between Teh Tarik and Milk Tea

Milk Tea is different than Teh Tarih by Authentic Food Quest
A dash of milk in black tea

Milk tea is simply tea with the addition of milk. It can be a simple splash of milk in a hot cup of tea or a creative recipe involving other ingredients.

There are no set guidelines for the amount of milk to use in milk tea. A lot depends on personal taste and type of tea brewed.

Milk tea is popular around the world and commonly consumed in India, England, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, and more.

Teh Tarik is typically made using condensed milk. This makes the tea richer and creamier. Also, the act of “pulling” the tea is uniquely Malaysian and rooted in the culture.

Beyond being a simple tea with milk, teh tarik is also growing in popularity among gamers and millennials around the world.

Can I Drink Teh Tarik Hot or Cold?

Teh Tarik Malaysian Drinks by Authentic Food Quest
Delicious teh tarik

When we were in Penang, Malaysia, we observed Teh Tarik typically served hot in a glass cup. 

However, there are some variations of teh tarik where it is served cold. If you want your teh tarik cold, you can have Teh Ais where it is served with ice cubes in a glass.

Another popular variation is teh tarik blended with honey. This is known as Teh Tarik Madu. And, if you have it iced, it is known as Teh Tarik Madu Kaw or honey ice tea.

Teh Tarik Recipe –  Step by Step Instructions

Steep The Tea

There are different ways in which you can steep the tea leaves. For this teh tarik recipe, we use a tea infuser. However, feel free to use what is convenient for you.

Tea Infuser: Add tea leaves to an infuser and place it in a cup. Add boiling water over it and let it steep for 3 minutes.

Saucepan and Tea Strainer: Add tea leaves in a tea pot or saucepan with boiling water, let it steep for 3 minutes and strain in a cup.

Tea Tumbler: Drop loose tea leaves in your tea tumbler along with hot water. Close the lid and let it steep for at least 3 minutes. 

Tea Sachets: Drop a tea bag in a cup of hot water and let it steep for 3 -5 minutes. We recommend Lipton black tea bags.

Add Sweetened Condensed Milk

Add the sweetened condensed milk to the tea and water mixture.

Condensed milk not only gives Teh Tarik a rich aroma but also sweetens it. 

The more condensed milk you add, the more light, sweet and milky the tea becomes. 

If you prefer your teh tarik recipe to be kurang manis which is “less sugar” in Malay, then we recommend using very little condensed milk.

Pulling The Tea

Pulling is what makes Teh Tarik unique and special. To pull or tarik the tea means pouring the tea from one pitcher to another from a height which should be carefully increased with each pull. 

This is done to combine the tea evenly with the condensed milk and make it frothier. Have fun doing this as it does require practice and time. 

Be sure not to “over pull” the tea as it may get cold quickly.

In Malaysia, this pulling practice is widely regarded as an act of showmanship at the Mamaks, or food stalls. So much so that competitions are held to find the most stylistic and thrilling way to pull Teh Tarik. 

If you want to know how to make the authentic Malaysian Teh Tarik, practicing the pulling method is the way to go.

Teh Tarik from Malaysia by Authentic Food Quest

Teh Tarik Recipe

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This teh tarik recipe is for a delicious, frothy, milky tea from Malaysia. Simple to make using just four ingredients, you can sip on Malaysia’s national tea in 10 minutes or less.

Instructions

    1. First, steep the black tea in boiling water for around 3 minutes. Then, transfer the tea into a mug.
    2. Add room temperature sweetened condensed milk. Mix well with a small spoon.
    3. Pour the tea from one mug to another for the pulling of the tea. Do this about 3-4 times, each time cautiously increasing the height of the second cup.
    4. Add a pinch of salt and serve hot.

Notes

  • To make Teh Tarik stronger, steep tea for longer and add only 1 tsp of condensed milk.
  • If you like your tea a little sweeter, add more condensed milk.
  • Don’t pull the tea more than 4-5 times as it might get cold.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 42Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 159mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information is generated by an online API and makes calculations based on serving sizes. These figures are only estimates and results may vary.

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35 thoughts on “Teh Tarik Recipe – How To Make Delicious Frothy Malaysian Pulled Tea”

  1. I finally made my own! I’ve been seeing this on YouTube and immediately looked for recipes and stumbled upon this. Great recipe!

    Reply
  2. I love this blog, I’m always discovering great recipes I’ve never heard of before like this Teh Tarik! Looks absolutely delicious, can’t wait to try it for myself!

    Reply
  3. Finally got around to preparing this delicious pulled tea and so glad I did as it was amazing. My kids loved the theatrics of pulling the tea! Will be making this tea again 🙂

    Reply
  4. I just made this pulled tea and it was delicious! I’ll be making it again on Friday when friends are coming over for a visit. Thanks so much for sharing this easy yummy drink.

    Reply
  5. This sounds wonderful and creamy! Thank you for sharing a taste of Malaysia with us. I am definitely going to try this out. I love tea, but have never made frothed tea before.

    Reply
  6. Wonderful post so interesting. I have a can of vegan condensed milk and going to try preparing this tea! Looking forward to attempting the pulled part though think I may just end up spilling it!

    Reply
  7. Such an interesting read! The tea not only looks creamy and delicious but learning about the method and history of it was such a delight, thank you for this recipe!

    Reply

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