malaysian national drink recipe - teh tarik

[Recipe] Teh Tarik: Malaysia’s National Drink

Teh Tarik is a hot frothy milk tea made of condensed milk (or evaporated for less sweet) and strong black or Ceylon tea. Delicious! (in moderation)

Teh Tarik (in Malay) literally means pulled tea because the mamak guys actually pull the milk tea to make it frothy & creamy! Nowadays, the mamak guys usually use a milkshake machine to froth the milk tea up because it’s faster. As a kid, it was always entertaining when the mamak guys put on a show of pulling guys pull the Teh Tarik from mug to mug and then seeing milk tea “moustaches” on happy customers’ faces. The mamak guys would be really cheeky too by pulling it extra long; making my heart skip a beat but not a single drop would go to waste…

Tip 1: Typically, the Malaysian BOH tea is used to steep the tea for Teh Tarik but you can use any black or Ceylon tea. Just make sure it is of high quality. The quality and amount of the tea used really determines the aroma of the Teh Tarik. I’ve tried making Teh Tarik with less aromatic teas, it looked and tasted like dirt water. Seriously, it was quite bad.. 🙈

The Malaysian BOH tea is a local tea grown and processed in Cameron Highlands (in the state of Pahang). This tea plantation all began when the English conquered Malaysia 🌿 If you go to Cameron Highlands, you can visit tea plantations and enjoy tea with scones or sandwiches just like you would in England, with slight modification for the local taste.

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Typical Malaysian breakfast: A stack of kaya butter toast, 2 soft boiled eggs and a cup of teh tarik

Teh Tarik can be found in any kopitiam shops or mamak stalls. It’s consumed anytime of the day. For me, it’s best in the morning with my breakfast (see above) or midnight at mamak stalls when you watch the football on the big screens ⚽️ It truly completes the mood of cheering for your football team with your family and friends. Best nya!! ✌🏽️ For non-Malaysians, this article (The Mamak Stall Culture) sums it up very nicely about why mamak stalls are so special.


Health advice:

  • Consume this tea in moderation because of the condensed milk, which is high in sugar content.
  • Those with poor digestion or have a sensitive stomach, like me, should minimise the consumption of this beverage because the high caffeine content would “erode” or increase inflammation to the stomach lining.
  • If you are going to have Teh Tarik, make sure you 1) drink a cup of warm water before & after the milk tea (advice from the Traditional Chinese Med doctor I’ve been seeing) and 2) are not drinking it on an empty stomach.


Makes for 4 people


  • 10 tbsps black or Ceylon tea leaves
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk, to taste (or evaporated for less sweet)
  • 4 cups hot water


  1. Steep the tea for 1 hour
  2. Add the condensed milk and mix it well
  3. Froth the milk tea using the pulling method, a milk frothing equipment or a milkshake machine. For the pulling method: Pour the tea from one mug to another mug from a distance. Repeat the action between the two mugs for 4-5 times until the milk tea is frothy enough. Do not over-pull because the milk tea will lose its heat.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy


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