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Teh tarik (literally "pulled tea") is a hot milk tea beverage which can be commonly found in restaurants, outdoor stalls and kopi tiams in southeastern Asian countries of Malaysia and Singapore. Its name is derived from the pouring process of "pulling" the drink during preparation. It is made from black tea, condensed milk and/or evaporated milk. It is also considered as the national drink of Malaysia.
The mixture is poured back and forth repeatedly between two vessels from a height, giving it a thick frothy top. This process cools the tea to optimal drinking temperatures, and helps to thoroughly mix the tea with the condensed milk. It is also done to give the tea a better flavor. This is often compared to the decantering of toddy to improve the flavor function.
Locally and regionally sourced tea used for teh tarik are not of the highest grade. The taste is sharp and acrid and generally would not go well with a little cream or fresh milk. Hence condensed milk or evaporated milk is used to ensure the sharp tea taste is well balanced by the thick creamy flavor of the thickened milk.
An element of showmanship exists in the preparation of teh tarik. The ability to drag a long stream of tea above the heads of the patrons without giving them a shower is an amusing novelty for the locals and tourists alike.
In Malaysia, there are occasions where teh tarik brewers gather for competitions and performances to show their skills. Teh tarik has become recognised along with nasi lemak as part of the food and beverage heritage of Malaysia by the Malaysian government ministry.
- Teh-C refers to tea made with unsweetened evaporated milk, unlike the traditional teh tarik which is made with sweetened condensed milk. Vendors however will add sugar to Teh-C unless specifically requested not to do so. The Malay word , "kosong" is added if do not want your beverage to be sweetened.
- Teh halia, ginger tea which is also found in various coffee shops.
- Cham (Cantonese word for "mix") is a combination of tea and coffee
- Kopi tarik, the coffee equivalent of teh tarik.
- Thai tea, a similar drink from Thailand that has become popular abroad.
- Hong Kong-style milk tea
- "Pledge your support for 'teh tarik'". New Straits Times. 5 September 2012. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
- "Lipton urges Malaysians to take pride in teh tarik, our national beverage". New Sabah Times. 7 September 2012. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.