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All About Tea

Updated on February 5, 2013
camellia sinensis with flowers
camellia sinensis with flowers | Source
tea plantation in Southern India
tea plantation in Southern India | Source
masala chai, India
masala chai, India | Source

'Have A Cuppa, Luv'.

That's my mother-in-law, in old Ireland, who always had a pot hot near the stove. Whatever the weather, it was in the door, sit ye down, and have a cuppa tay. A good bracing cup too, strong, with milk and a teaspoon or two of white sugar. Who cared about calories, or the evils of white sugar? Not then, maybe now. And the tea was not described as 'black, milk, sugar'; it was simply, 'white, sugar'.



Refreshing Tea

Young woman drinking tea. Tea is accessible to everybody nowadays.
Young woman drinking tea. Tea is accessible to everybody nowadays. | Source

Tea For All Occasions

Herbal teas had not come into vogue in the 70's and 80's in Ireland. It was single choice, black tea, so nobody called it 'black tea' because it was the only color available, and is still the tea of choice in many of the British countries. 'British' is loosely applied, since it is not an empire any more. I'm applying 'British' and 'colonies' to mean British-influenced former colonies.

You drink tea when the weather is cold, to get warm; when it's hot,to cool you down; when you're happy, to celebrate, when you're sad, to cheer you up; when the news is good, and when it's bad; at baptisms and Holy Communion celebrations; at weddings and at funerals.

Tea has become an immense business in America, with companies like Teavana Tea

specialising in custom blends and beautiful tea accessories. Teavana was started by a husband and wife team in Atlanta, Georgia. They sank their life savings into inventing the company after observing the trend of interest in specialty wines and coffees in America. They offer every blend of tea and herbal infusions, gorgeous teapots and teacups and every other tea accessory one could desire, helping to popularise this most British of beverages. On any given day, over 160 million Americans are drinking tea, although coffee remains the more popular of the two.



Tea plantation in beautiful Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Viewed through a grove of Angel Trumpets.
Tea plantation in beautiful Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Viewed through a grove of Angel Trumpets. | Source
Chinese legend credits Shinno (Shennong) with the discovery of tea.
Chinese legend credits Shinno (Shennong) with the discovery of tea. | Source

How Was Tea Brought Out of China?

How did this beverage, which was first drunk in China over 5000 years ago, become the chief and most loved drink in the UK and the other colonies? It was first brought to Portugal by Jesuit priests in 1560; they had been merchants and missionaries in China, where containers of tea were found in tombs dating back to the Han Dynasty (200 BC-220 AD). It became firmly established as a national drink by the Tang Dynasty 400 years later. The first book ever written about tea was reputedly by Lu Yu in 800 AD, called the Ch'a Ching, or Tea Classic. Tea was first brought into Japan shortly after this book. It was brought back by Buddhist monks who had gone to China to study.

The tea brought to Portugal in the 16th century was only enjoyed by the Portuguese. It was not till the Dutch won the China trading routes from the Portuguese that tea was commercially brought to Holland, and then Europe, from Java. But it was the drink of the wealthy only, and still not popular in England till the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza married King Charles II and made tea a fashionable drink at court and in the country. It was her addiction.

How Tea Became Affordable to The Poor.

Tea was heavily taxed and remained the drink of the wealthy for over 150 years till the tax was slashed in 1784 by Prime Minister William Pitt, from 119% to 12.5%. It then became affordable by the less wealthy. The poor never had a chance unless they worked in the rich houses, where they had the third brew of the same leaves; the second brew was for the upper servants. Philanthropists in England realised the value of tea in the temperance movement. It was served at their meetings.

By the mid 18th century, tea had become England's most popular drink, replacing gin and ale. Tea breaks in industries have been around for about 200 years, and the British have been drinking tea for over 350 years. The standard is still the black tea with milk.

4-1973 Postal Stamps depicting the Boston Tea Party.
4-1973 Postal Stamps depicting the Boston Tea Party. | Source

The Boston Tea Party

Tea was imported into the colonies of America and became very popular too. However, with the high taxes imposed by the British government, it was too expensive, and this encouraged smugglers, specifically the Dutch. The British East India Company, which up to then had the monopoly of tea sales, had to compete with cheap smuggled Dutch tea in the colonies. The government then, to make things more equitable, removed the 25% tax it had imposed on the Company, and made up for the loss of tax revenues by imposing it on the colonials.

From a lot of convoluted Acts of Parliament which squeezed the colonials and gave them no representation in the government, arose an ever spiralling resentment which eventually resulted in the famous Boston Tea Party of December 16 th 1773, which spearheaded the Revolutionary War in 1775. Directly and indirectly involved were leaders like Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin. It was not just the tax on tea that inflamed the Americans, but that they were taxed without any representation in government.

Benefits of Tea, and A Warning.

Tea has been found to confer direct health benefits. Black, white,green,oolong and pu-erh teas are chockful of antioxidants, called flavonoids, that appear to fight cancer, diabetes and heart disease and clogged arteries. They lower cholesterol and contribute to mental alertness and even have anti-microbial qualities. These teas are the leaves of the camellia sinensis, a bush native to China and India.

Herbal teas, made from herbs, fruits, seeds or roots steeped in hot water, have less antioxidants than the teas from the Camellia plant. They include ginger, ginkgo biloba, hibiscus, jasmine, rosehip, mint, chamomile and echinacea. Some of them have mild curative properties but some claims are not substantiated by scientific studies.

Be aware of some teas that claim to kill pain and cure cancer.They may be downright dangerous. Be careful about taking teas made from comfrey, ephedra, willow bark, and chaparra

Loose-leaf blend of black teas by English Westminster.
Loose-leaf blend of black teas by English Westminster. | Source
Tea Bags.  Shortened tea making time.  Traditionalists still prefer using loose-leaf tea.
Tea Bags. Shortened tea making time. Traditionalists still prefer using loose-leaf tea. | Source

From Loose Leaf Tea to Tea Bags

Loose tea, or loose leaf tea, had been the only way tea was used till the tea bag was invented in the US. Hand-sewn silk tea bags were first made in 1903. The next year, Thomas Sullivan of N.Y., a tea and coffee merchant, first sold it on a commercial scale and shipped it around the world. Though the leaves were supposed to be freed from the bags before making the tea, people found it more convenient to pour the water directly over the bags.

Modern teabags are made of paper fiber. The heat-sealed paper fiber tea bag was invented by William Hermanson, who sold his patent in 1930 to the Salada Tea Company.

Tea bags shortened the tea making time, but not the brewing time. Tea should be brewed at least 3 minutes for the full flavor to infuse into the water. The bag removed the need for the leaves to be strained. In many households, traditionalists still prefer the old way of making tea with loose leaf, claiming the flavor is fuller. The recipe is 1 teaspoon per cup and one for the pot, and the pot must be warmed first by swirling hot water in it and then emptied. The leaves are then measured in, and water, brought to a rolling boil, is poured into the pot. Steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain into cups, add milk to taste, and sugar as desired. Enjoy! (Herbal tea does not take boiling water).

Chai Latte. Enjoy!

Chai Latte? Here's a recipe for a homemade one, from Instructables.com, a food and drink site.: Bring to boil: 2 cups water, 2 tea bags, 1/8-1/4 tsp.each ginger and cardamom, 1 whole clove, 1 stick cinnamon. Add 1/4 cup sugar, dissolve. (or 2 packets Stevia.) Add 2 1/2 cups milk of your choice. Stir, serve.

Enjoy your tea break! .

An Indian boy making masala chai (Chai Latte) .
An Indian boy making masala chai (Chai Latte) . | Source

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    • mizjo profile image
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      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Hello, Vincent, so nice of you to visit. Good to meet a fellow tea drinker. I've recently learned to like green tea, having only drunk black all my life, albeit with milk. Don't much like coffee, though I grew up drinking it. My grandma used to make it by boiling the ground beans with water on a wood stove (until we progressed to electricity). Drunk either black with sugar, or white with condensed milk - it was yummy!

      Thanks for dropping by and for the vote.

      Looking forward to reading more of your work.

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 5 years ago

      I drink tea often, especially Green Tea. Herbal teas are the most health beneficial and so flavorful to. I love to shop at Tea houses and try their different blends. I also enjoy my coffee to and shop at specialties stores for different flavors and strengths. I loved this very informative hub and voted it to the top, well done.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Hello, Snowdrops, I'm happy to meet a fellow tea drinker. Guess what? I shall be visiting that plantation in Cameron Highlands in a month or two. Wish you could be there too. It is a beautiful part of Malaysia, one of our hill resorts and still unspoiled by tourism.

    • snowdrops profile image

      snowdrops 5 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

      This is awesome. I love to drink teas too. and that plantation looks so..amazing!

    • shalini sharan profile image

      shalini sharan 5 years ago from Delhi

      sure aunt jo :)

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Have a good time. You deserve it.

    • shalini sharan profile image

      shalini sharan 5 years ago from Delhi

      it was entirely my pleasure aut jo

      i fiished with my graduatio a few days back, so o a break at present, would start soon :)

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      You will be so refreshed, Shalini, that you'll get back to your studies with renewed vigour!

      Thanks for the follow.

    • shalini sharan profile image

      shalini sharan 5 years ago from Delhi

      i love tea, reading about it reminds me i should have a cup :)

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      I get it.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Only if you want to drink it as black tea; then, it will involve a more complicated process. I prefer it as green tea.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Moretea, don't you have to dry and ferment the leaves first?

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Today, I thought I would pluck a few of the young leaves and leave buds of my Chinese Camellia Sinensis tea plants. Steep them in boiled water, to make me a cup of home-grown tea on this royal Jubilee day, and make my own 'Tea Party' history. Have a cuppa yourself!

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Heard of "hot toddy"?

      Watch video: How to Make a Hot Toddy

      with Jenna Blackwell. Copy link below, paste and search

      video.about.com/cocktails/How-to-Make-a-Hot-Toddy.htm

      Most green and black tea may be used, with honey for sweetness; lemon and an ounce of whisky, brandy or rum for your preferred taste.

      Another way to enjoy tea, other than "teh tarik", especially on a cold day!

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      The mamak stalls always use condensed milk. There is no substitute.

      Many of our 'old wives' tales' are often found to be based on fact in the west, eventually. They knew, somehow, passed down through centuries of tradition.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      I remember my mum telling me that Ceylon tea is too cooling for my system. Also, if you have a 'bout of cold, to avoid eating meat. Likened to old wives' tales, but it is something a person has to try out and see what is fact and fiction.

      I recently bought a small can of 'condensed milk' (light, or reduced sugar) for 'teh tarik', and enjoyed it. A once in a while treat, that is.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Probably too cooling? I know my grandma always had to have warming foods.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      I've just been advised that older people should be cautious about drinking chrysanthemum tea, although no reason was given as to why. Does anyone know?

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      So many maladies can be cured with some 'cooling' or 'heating' concoctions. The nicest 'cooling' treat my mother made was sweet mung bean soup. Mung bean is boiled, then sugar and coconut milk (not water, but the milk squeezed from the scraped kernel) added. I could drink pots of it, but then, it would have cooled my system too much.

      Nearly everything we ate or drank was 'cooling' or 'heating' and I couldn't remember which was which. There was too much to learn. Yes, a sore throat came from being too heated.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      ...By the way, do you or anyone else know about the "hot" or "cool" aspects of Chinese medicine? I understand that having a sore throat can be referred to as there being "too much heat" in the body system, for example.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Silly me! I seem to repeat myself. I was thinking of where one would find a tea merchant in New York itself.

      Nonetheless, can't stop emphasizing the health benefits of a humble, garden flower. It is also my sister's favourite drink.

      Note: Check with reputable Chinese herbalist, if taking prescribed medicine.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Thanks,Mizjo

      They are better as dried flowers than powder form. I guess Chinatown is a good place to buy. Have you found an alternative outlet? Why, of course, Chinatown in the Big Apple. Where else?

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Chinatown, that's where! If you can get it from a Chinese tea merchant, it would be the real McCoy. I bought some packets once from a grocery store, and they were some sugared powdered chrysanthemum-flavored stuff which I lost no time in dumping. Taught me a lesson: buy from someone who knows his merchandise.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Mizjo, would you know where I can buy chrysanthemum tea, please? It is a herbal drink filled with lots of health benefits. See link:-

      www.bewellbuzz.com/wellness-buzz/10-health-benefits-chrysanthemum-tea/

      ...an extremely potent herbal tea. Chrysanthemum tea has high amounts of B carotene which are present in the yellow part and the fruit. The B carotene is converted in Vitamin A in the liver[1]. This kind of Vitamin A is helpful in treating skin problems and increasing the immunity power. It also helps in postponing the aging process and age related blindness.

      Chrysanthemum tea is also a good source of Vitamin Bs like choline, folacin, niacin as well...

      Note: Chrysanthemum flowers - Chrysanthemum morifolium or Chrysanthemum indicum species

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      The camellia is one of my favourite flowers. I associate it with Southern romance. You know, the antebellum ladies like Scarlett O'Hara, and their beaux, though I don't think I saw any camellia in the movie.

      How coincidental that you should have the camellia tree and the camellia sinensis, both of the same family.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      My big magnolia tree is awash with silky, pinkish white blooms, which complement the bright red flowers of the camellia tree next to it.

      To date, my two newly-acquired tea plants (camillia sinensis) have sprouted new leaves, but I will leave them be to grow for a couple of years more before, I pluck them to dry and make green tea. Can't wait!

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Spring has sprung there too?

      The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is celebrating the season as well. Daffodil Hill is a waving sea of glorious yellow, and the magnolias, especially the magnificent Star Magnolias, have to be seen to be believed! They crept up on us because of the unseasonable warmth.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Was in Chinatown to buy chrysanthemum tea; 2 lots of 30 grammes each, at £3.00 per packet. Later, went for 'teh tarek', which was a 'pick me up' beverage. Wish you were here too. And it was really sunny and warm...spring is truly here! My tulips have popped their heads out, amongst the daffodils. Enjoy the rest of the evening.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      My mom knew what was good for her. Though in her time, there was not all this research into health benefits of any sort of tea, the older generation just knew it in their bones, or it was born in their Chinese collective memory.

      Have a good cuppa.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      ...and protects the eyes. ...

      Do I hear 'Tea is served'? Enjoy! You know that you are drinking one of the best herbal teas. I am going to the shops to buy some, and fill up my tea caddy.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Yes, add oranges, kumquats, limes, pomelo -citrus maxima or citrus grandis, carambola (star fruit). The list is endless. A conservatory will do just as well as a greenhouse. You can brew your tea and drink it there; just stretch out your hand to pluck a lemon from a tree next to you.

      Not keen on chrysanthemum tea, but I will drink it, because I know that it has many beneficial health effects. For instance, high amounts of B carotene, which the liver converts into Vitamin A. This is good for treating skin problems; increasing immunity; helping to postpone age-related blindness and the ageing process.

      Minerals like calcium - essential for the teeth and bones formation; iron, as used in producing red blood cells - haemoglobin that helps in the transportation of oxygen. Potassium; magnesium; glycosides, amino acids, adenine.

      Chrysanthemum tea is also a source of riboflavin, niacin, choline, folacin (B-vitamins); vitamin C, which prevents scurvy, and protect the eyes.

      A surprisingly remarkably healthy herbal tea, indeed. Wise choice, indeed, by your mother.

      Time for a cuppa!

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Ever tried honey on a zit? Dries it up by the next day. My theory is that it dessicates the zit and starves the bacteria of oxygen. But it never fails to work.

      Condensed milk..I'm afraid I'm addicted. My father always made Malaysian tea with it, the precursor of teh tarik. He didn't do the 'tarik' part but it was still delicious.

      Jasmine and chrysanthemum tea were my mother's favorites. Sorry, I have to spell it as an American word.

      I keep running out of lemon. Wish I had a lemon tree, but besides not having the yard, this climate can't support it. If I ever move out of this apartment to a house, I'll have a greenhouse with a lemon tree in it, maybe two, for better pollination.

    • profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Yes, lose that sweet tooth a bit. Condensed milk has high sugar content. Jasmine is an all time favourite of mine. Just been drinking it with my dinner! Chinese tea also helps towards slimming, by aiding digestion, especially after a rich, oily meal, such as roast pork and duck.

      Honey has a number of health benefits - it helps soothe sore throats, boosts your immunity and is a natural source of energy. Tastes delicious, when spread on hot toast. It has antiseptic properties that promote healing of wounds, burns and cuts.

      Start the day well with a glass of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of honey and lemon - makes a good cleansing tonic.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      I am so prejudiced in my choice of tea, I only like black, with milk (condensed preferred). Rooibos - couldn't get to like it. Like Jasmine though, and chrysanthemum with sugar. And have recently learned to drink black with lemon and honey.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      You bet!

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      I very much enjoy Oolong, Pu-er and Jasmine tea. Nowadays, I keep to English breakfast tea, when I enjoy my slice of Victorian sponge cake; and Rooibos tea for my daily cups.

      Rooibos is also known as "red bush" (scientific name is Aspalathus linearis), which is grown in the Western Cape in South Africa. I like it, because it is lacking in caffeine, has low tannin level, and is also rich in antoxidants. It can be drunk with milk and sugar, or a slice of lemon with honey,if preferred.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Hi! Mizjo...No, I think it will be okay, once the trees get bushy. I could pluck a few now, but it is better to let them grow for another 2 years, as advised by the nursery. The young leaves can be plucked from April right through to September. So, again, look forward to having a hot cuppa.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Soon as my ticket is printed!

      I like it good and strong. I think you'd need more than 2 plants to make a cup, since you'd only pick the new young leaves. Maybe a quarter cup each?

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      moretea3

      Yay! My 2 camillia sinensis have arrived, and with instructions on care. These tea plants are now 4 years old and could be left to grow for another 2; whereupon a few new leaves may be plucked and left to dry naturally, before steeping them in boiled water to make green tea. It is a more complicated process involved with black tea.

      The nursery seems glad to be rid of them, hence, the reduced price. This is, for me, a good thing. They have done their bit in caring for them. I do like plants that are already established. Growing from seeds takes longer and does not guarantee success.

      So, drop in and have a cuppa, luv.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      You're weloome. You really should try one of my teh tariks. Thanks for your nice comment.

    • profile image

      Lien-Hua 1 5 years ago

      mmmm... masala chai is one of my favorites! thanks for all the info; i never knew so much about tea. great info/writing ^_^

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      No way, it was from Wikipedia. I do have a gorgeous one from Cameron Highlands,though, but I could not load it onto the hub once I had it published. But no, this picture is purportedly of a tea plantation in Kerala, Southern India.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Looks like I patted my own shoulder in the last comment, but it was actually Moretea3 who wrote that. I know, my head spun around when I saw my picture with that comment. Yikes!

    • profile image

      Lah lah lah 5 years ago

      The photo of the tea plantation in Southern India looks exactly like the one i took in Cameron Highlands! :)

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Joanna, good job you are doing. You write extremely well. You will go places. Keep it going.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Keep us posted. That should be very interesting.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Hello, Mizjo, I am very excited, because I have just ordered two 4-year-old camellia sinensis, grown in 1-litre-tubs in a nursery. So, I'm expecting the doorbell to ring soon. The idea is to try to grow and process my own tea leaves. I'll keep you posted.

      Another cuppa, anyone?

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Well, done, Moretea3. that was very interesting. We shall some day meet at a mamak stall and have a yarn while savoring every variation on the menu!. It should take the whole day but what is time for but to enjoy?

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      The above information is on this link:-

      http://goseasia.about.com/od/malaysianculturepeopl...

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Hi! Mizjo,

      Yes, it does transport us back to a whole new world. My youngsters (then) were also intrigued with the skill of 'pulling' tea, just to the point of drinking it without burning your lips.

      Aww...most things tend to come as instant stuff, but I have posted below, about the way to prepare it yourself. have fun trying, and let me know how you get on :-).

      Here's more information about tea - prepared and drunk in different cultures.

      -------------------------------------------------- Originating from Malaysia but famous the world over, teh tarik holds a special place in the hearts of Southeast Asians. Teh tarik is comprised of black tea, sugar, and condensed milk mixed to frothy perfection. While the ingredients are simple enough, Malaysians know that pouring a proper cup of teh tarik is an art requiring years to master.

      ************

      Teh tarik literally means “pulled tea,” which is exactly what artisans in Indian mamak stalls do to create the drink. The tea and milk are poured through the air between two cups until it reaches a rich, frothy texture - skilled teh tarik artists never spill a drop! More than just showmanship and tradition, pouring teh tarik through the air cools the tea and produces a foamy head. The graceful pours by artists bring out the full flavor of the tea in milk by combining the mixture to extreme saturation. Teh tarik is typically served in a clear glass so that the perfect mixture can be seen and appreciated.

      --------------------------------------------------

      A Teh Tarik Culture

      Malaysians are proud of their famous tea drink; teh tarik has been exported to Singapore, Indonesia, and all around the world. Perhaps more important than the drink itself is the underlying culture. Locals gather in kopitiams - Malaysian coffee shops - and Mamak restaurants run by Indian Muslims to socialize, share gossip, watch soccer, and generally just chat while their teh tarik is being poured. The ubiquitous roti canai - a thin bread served with dipping sauce - is the perfect compliment to balance the sweetness of teh tarik.

      Teh tarik was recognized by the government as an important part of Malaysia's food heritage. Annual competitions in Kuala Lumpur determine who can pour the perfect teh tarik without spilling.

      ************

      Teh Tarik Recipe for Home

      While you may make a bigger mess than the guys working the Mamak stalls, teh tarik is simple enough to make at home.

      Add 4 tbsp of powdered black tea to boiling water; allow to brew for five minutes.

      Filter the tea into a separate glass, then add 2 tbsp of sugar and 4 tbsp of condensed milk.

      Pour the tea between two glasses until it becomes thick and has foam on top.

      Serve hot in a clear glass accompanied by a heavy dose of gossip for good measure.

      ---------------------------------------------------

      While teh tarik is certainly the most popular, visitors unfamiliar with Malaysian kopitiam jargon may be baffled at these common drinks on the menu. Unless ordered otherwise, drinks tend to be served extremely sweet by Western standards.

      **************

      Kopi o kosong: Literally plain, black coffee served hot and strong.

      Kopi: Coffee with both milk and sugar.

      Kopi o: Hot coffee with sugar.

      Kopi o peng: Iced coffee served sweet.

      Kopi c: Coffee with evaporated milk and sugar.

      Teh: Hot tea with milk and sugar.

      Teh o: Hot tea with sugar.

      Teh o peng: Iced tea with sugar.

      Teh halia: Teh tarik with ginger added; teh halia is often drank when one feels cold or sick.

      Milk, Sugar, and Ice

      By default, sugar and some form of milk are added to most Malaysian coffee and tea drinks. Drinks are typically served hot, unless you specify "peng" which means chilled with ice.

      ---------------------------------------------------

      Add the following expressions to your order just to be sure:

      For no sugar: tidak mau gula (pronounced “tee-dak maw goolah”)

      For no milk: tidak mau susu (pronounced “tee-dak maw soozoo”)

      “Kosong” means empty or plain to ensure that both milk and sugar are left out.

      For iced coffee and tea add peng (pronounced "ping")

    • profile image

      mizjo 5 years ago

      Hi, Moretea3, nobody who's ever had teh tarik could forget the sweet tea aroma, nor the high spectacle of its preparation. And nobody makes it like the Indian coffee shops do.

      This is a particular treat for visitors to Malaysia. My kids love it. The instant version that's recently been put on the market doesn't quite cut it. Teh tarik, my favorite tea. Thanks for the link - happy memories.

    • moretea3 profile image

      moretea3 5 years ago

      Hi Mizjo

      ,

      Sorry about the image/video that does not seem to work, and show how 'pulled tea'(literal meaning of teh tarik) is prepared. I hope this this link does.

      A traditional pulled tea being prepared at Nasi Kandar Line Clear, Penang.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X7W3lz9zi8&fea...

    • profile image

      moretea? 5 years ago

      Heard of "teh-tarik"? Copy and paste links below...

      For more info:-

      http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=teh+tarik&hl=...

      To see image/video:-

      http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=teh+tarik&hl=...//www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/news_lite.php%3Fid%3D297522&docid=BgJHclFVSllbfM&imgurl=http://web7.bernama.com/bernama/newspic/fe/KL15_21...

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Hi, Moonlake, thanks for visiting. I lived in Texas many years ago and yes, they had lots of cold tea. I never got into it. Loved the people, though.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      Enjoyed your hub. Love tea but I'm the south and we always had cold tea. I also love hot tea. Great hub.