Teh is tea in Malay and Hokkien. Tarik is a Malay word that means pull, so teh tarik is pulled tea. The two main ingredients in this tea are condensed milk and tea. This is the most common way to serve it that I know of growing up in Malaysia.
This is the drink I always order at roti canai stalls. I love watching the seller pulling the tea and passing them between two stainless steel mugs with ease. Each cup is made to order so each cup is served at the right temperature.
There are 2 main reasons why we pull the tea; one is to make it frothy, and second is to cool down the temperature. Believe it or not, the tea is silkier and smoother after they were passed between the mugs.
Is there a magic number for the pulls, you’d asked? I usually see about 3-4 times. Too many pulls will cool down the tea too quickly. For you who prefer not to pull it, you can use a frother to froth the milk, equally tasty!
Types of teas at Kopitiam
There are a variety of drinks to order at kopitiam. Below are some options that are related to the tea I’m sharing today. These drinks can be ordered cold (add ‘bing’ or ice at the end) or hot.
- Teh-O – The ‘o’ comes from ‘kosong’, a Malay word that means zero or nothing. This is just tea with hot water and sweetened with sugar.
- Teh-Si (c) – The ‘c’ comes from a popular milk brand, Carnation and this combo is tea and evaporated milk.
- Teh – This is made from tea and condensed milk which is the recipe that I veganized here. This is often not pulled unless you requested it. The pulled version is more popular at Mamak stalls.
- Cham – It’s a Cantonese or Hokkien word that means ‘mix’, so this is a combo made from coffee and tea that is sweetened with condensed milk.
What you’ll need to make teh tarik
- 2 mugs to pull the tea
- Tea sock strainer or stainless strainer
- Black tea dust (such as Boh tea)
- Oat milk
How to make vegan pulled tea (teh tarik)
1. Fit a mug with a tea sock strainer
2. Add the black tea dust. Adjust the amount depending on how strong you’ll like tea to be.
3. Pour the hot boiling water over and steep for 2-3 minutes. You should get a dark amber liquid. If the tea starts to cool down (especially in the cold weather areas), remove the strainer and heat the tea so the sugar will melt in the next step.
4. Add your sugar and stir to dissolve. While stirring, add the milk and continue to stir until well combined.
5. Pull the tea by pouring it into another mug. Repeat this pull 3-4 times until you see large bubbles. Serve this warm.
How to pull milk tea
The process is pouring and passing the tea between 2 mugs. Start practicing with water first over a kitchen sink to get a feel for how the flow is.
When you first pull the tea, try passing them at a level and speed that you are comfortable with. Once you feel you can do it, then, you can slowly pull it higher and higher.
Tip: Pull the tea using your dominant arm for better control.
Vegan pulled milk tea FAQ
1. While the traditional teh tarik uses just condensed milk, I used oat milk and sugar to create the same creaminess.
2. What if I don’t want to pull the tea – To make teh tarik without the pull, you can froth your milk in the frother. Then, add to the sweetened tea. This is how I normally serve without the pull.
3. Do you know you can add some bobas to this drink? You’ll want it sweeter if you plan to do so.
This vegan pulled milk tea is
- Fun to make
- Simple and quick
- Taste just like the real teh tarik
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Vegan Pulled Milk Tea – Teh Tarik
- Tea sock strainer
- 1 tablespoon black tea dust plus more for stronger tea
- 1 cup hot boiling water
- ¾ cup warm oat milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar adjust to taste
- Fit a tea sock strainer on a large mug and rinse the serving cups with hot water.
- Add the black tea and pour in the hot water. Steep for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the strainer and stir in the sugar along with the warm oat milk. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Pass and pull the tea between two mugs about 3-4 times to froth the tea.
- Serve warm.