About Teh Tarik

Teh tarik is Malaysian style tea and literally translates into ‘Pulled Tea”. The typical traditional Malaysian Teh Tarik is prepared by brewing the tea, adding milk and ‘pulling’ the tea by shifting rapidly the contents between two containers, preferably with a distance between the containers like a juggler.

Malaysian Teh Tarik is typified by a strong tea aroma with a rich, creamy milk background.

Why Pull or ‘Tarik’ Tea

The distinctive taste of teh tarik is achieved by pulling the tea before drinking. In pulling the tea, some or all of the below is achieved :

  1. It creates a foamy tea, enhancing the creaminess of the milk.
  2. It rapidly cools the tea down to make it easier to consume.
  3. It creates agitation and assists in enhancing the tea flavour. In technical terms, this is known as ‘Flavour Release’.

Teh tarik is prepared from black tea harvested from the evergreen shrub, Camellia Sinensis.  After harvesting, the tea is crushed.  Crushing the tea leaves releases  enzymes in the tea leaf cells, which reacts on the tea leaves; and develops the distinctive flavour of the tea and turns it dark.  The flavour of the tea depends on the degree of fermentation, which is carefully controlled by heating and drying which deactivates the enzymes.

The components of black tea are highly complex, but the main components are caffeine, thobromine theophylline and xanthine which are stimulants and polyphenols.  The astrigency and flavours in tea comes from polyphenols, which can make up to 40% of brewed tea.  It is believed that the main health benefits of tea comes from the polyphenols, which are strong anti-oxidants and can reduce damage from free redicals on the human body.

Like coffee, tea comes in many grades and prices may vary from USD100 per kg for the best China black tea to as little as USD2 for low grade lowland tea harvested mechanically.

Tea quality depends on many factors, but the main ones are :

  1. Elevation of tea plantation above sea level
  2. Soil conditions
  3. Harvesting methods
  4. Processing and fermentation

The soil conditions and nutrients determine the concentration of desirable components of the tea.  At high elevation, tea grows more slowly and the desirable flavours are therefore concentrated, as compared to lowland tea.  Highland teas are also smoother and more aromatic.

Harvesting of the tea is also of primary importance.  For best quality tea, only the top 2.5 to 5 centimeters of the plucked tea are the new and tender leaves of the tree, known as ‘Flushes’.  Best quality tea is from specific plantations at high elevations, and the ‘Flushes’ are carefully selected and plucked by hand.  On the other extreme, we have cheap lowland tea where mechanical harvesters lopped off the top of the trees, including branches to produce so called tea.

Tea Brewing

The eventual flavour of the tea depends greatly on the brewing. Low temperatures below 85cwith long soak times will produce aweakly flavoured tea, the so called ‘english breakfast tea’ . Brew temperature is also lowed by use of teabags or tea sachets. For teh tarik, the stronger flavours, which comes from the essential oils in tea, must be extracted and a temperature of 95c and above must be used. Unfortunately, at higher temperatures, the undesirable flavours especially caffiene and other stimulants are also released. Caffeine is almost insoluble in cold water, and partially soluble in hot water above 90c. Long soak times at high temperature will extract excessive amounts of caffiene. This is evident by the cloudy appearence of the tea when cooled. This cloud is aninsoluble complex of caffiene and other ingredients like cellulose which will precipitate upon cooling. Cloudy or over brewed tea is characterised by a rough, bitterish taste.

The best teh tarik consists of tea which is brewed at elevated temperatures above 95c for short time typically below 5 minutes before excessive caffiene is extracted.

Milk in Teh Tarik

A characteristic of teh tarik is the rich, creamy taste which is achieved by addition of milk and milk fats.  Milk alone does not achieve creaminess, it is the milk fats which imparts creaminess.  Milk fats is butter, which is a solid at room temperature.  When suspended in milk, its high melting point above body temperature makes the beverage taste thick and creamy.

Unfortunately, butter is very expensive.  Hence, your coffeeshop teh tarik seldom contains butter to enhance creaminess.

Enter the product known as ‘Filled Milk’.  Filled milk is milk in which other fats than butter are added to enhance the fat content.  The most commonly used fat is hydrogenated palm kernel oil. Natural palm kernal oil is a liquid at room temperature with a melting point of about 24℃.  To increase the melting point to match that of butter at around 35℃, the palm kernal oil is modified via a process known as hydrogenation to make it a solid at room temperature.  Hydrogenated palm kernal oil is also a primary ingredient of non-dairy creamer powders.  To make it taste buttery, butter flavours, mostly artificial, are added to the hydrogenated palm kernel oil.

Hydrogenation of palm kernel oil apart from solidifying, it also creates transfatty acids, better known as transfats.  Transfats are proven to be hazardous to health and its propensity for causing clogged arteries have led it to being banned in most developed countries.

Only naturally occurring, unmodified fats like butter are transfat free.

At Sundrop Fruit Juices Sdn. Bhd

We have many years experience with manufacture of ready to drink milk teas. Our teh tarik is prepared with best quality highland teas, brewed to perfection. Only natural, non modified and transfat free fats are used in our teh tarik. Also, no artificial butter or tea flavours. Everything is natural and healthy.

Our Product

Fresh Brewed Teh Tarik/ Milk Tea

At Sundrop Fruit Juices Sdn. Bhd

We have many years experience with manufacture of ready to drink milk teas. Our teh tarik is prepared with best quality highland teas, brewed to perfection. Only natural, non modified and transfat free fats are used in our teh tarik. Also, no artificial butter or tea flavours. Everything is natural and healthy.

Our Product

Fresh Brewed Teh Tarik/ Milk Tea