On teh tarik, that is.
I can’t live without teh tarik. Even at this age where I should be reducing my sugar intake, I can't say no to it. I have to have teh tarik for breakfast, teh tarik for lunch, teh tarik for tea and of course teh tarik for dinner. Crazy, am I not?
Of course I have tried (to reduce my sugar intake, that is). "Teh tarik kurang manis satu," I told the mamak. It makes no different though. They would serve you with the same teh tarik that has the exact sugar content. You are just trying to make yourself feel good by asking for the kurang manis version.
Even if the mamak uses less sugar, it makes no different to your body after the two helping of roti canai. You know what would happen to the carbo and fat in your roti canai, when your body process it, so it is useless to be asking for teh tarik kurang manis!
What makes the tarik special? It is after all only tea, sugar and 'condensed milk'. I have tried it with fresh milk or powder creamer. Nah, it is simply not teh tarik. It has to be prepared using 'condensed milk'.
Does the chemistry change in the process of ‘tarik-ing’? I would like to think so, but I have no evidence to support my claim. I think the process of aeration would dissolve more oxygent which enhances the taste. Couple with all those wonderful particulates suspended in the air, especially if it is done in KL, it tastes better.
|Tarik lagi panjang lagi sedap. Kalau boleh tarik tepi highway or tepi jalan, my goodness, tasty brother. |
Exhaust kete and especially exhaust bas dan lori, semua masuk dalam teh tarik!
I am being sarcastic here just in case you didn’t notice.
Of course I think it is the cooling effect (during the tarik-ing process) that makes teh tarik so drinkable compared to other piping hot hot-drinks.
Indonesians don’t know teh tarik. They all live and die on teh botol (Sosro) or teh O. Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't have the ummph of teh tarik (AKU MUSNAHKAn KAU! Teringat arwah Mahmud Jun from the Boh tea advert fame in the 70s). There used to be one restaurant near Sarinah in Jakarta serving teh tarik – Restaurant Pak Dollah, but had never tried them.
|Teh botol for the Indonesians - they don't know what they are missing in life!|
In 2005, I spent 3 weeks in in Lake Charles in Louisiana. I dropped by at the regional office of Farris Engineering at Baton Rouge and was introduced to the secretary there as someone from Malaysia. And you know what her response was?
She said, “Is that the country where people drink (hot) tea in a glass?”
What more can I say about teh tarik?
This article was written in 2007 when I was hot on teh tarik. After a friend mentioned that I am practically drinking palm oil every time I have my teh tarik, Well there is no such thing as condensed milk anymore - it is mostly creamer made from palm oil. So I decided to switch to teh o, like the Indonesians, and if I have my craving, I will have teh tarik with real condensed milk rather than creamer!