Do you like chai? Then you’ll love teh tarik. Even you’re “meh” on chai like I am, you might still like teh tarik.
Literally “pulled tea,” teh tarik strongly resembles non-masala Indian chai although there is a version with ginger (teh tarik halia). It’s milky and sweet like chai but the tea is “pulled” from vessel to vessel with elaborate flourish, thus aerating the hot liquid. Check out this photo montage.
The technique defines the drink. Behold this video demonstrating the showmanship that accompanies teh tarik:
Teh tarik is a national drink of Malaysia, and is popular in Singapore too.
Condensed milk is used. The taste strongly resembles Indian chai but the “pulling” creates a light layer of froth on top. Not only that, the increased aeration makes the whole beverage feel lighter on the palate and cooler on the tongue. It’s no longer piping hot. I speculate that tarik might very well have stemmed from the Indian traditions that have are so richly ingrained here in Malaysia, but I haven’t found any research to back that up.
Malaysians are damn proud of teh tarik. There are teh tarik championships throughout the region. There are chains specializing in teh tarik, like this one. There is even a Malaysian hip-hop band called the Teh Tarik Crew (TTC).
We’ll leave you with one of their videos: