Tea, tea and more tea!
I can’t appreciate oolong tea straight from the teapot, but I’m in love with smooth and creamy oolong tea, which taste even better with tapioca pearls.
What about you? How do you enjoy your tea? Do you drink it without any additives? Do you make it sweet and smooth by adding milk and sugar? Or do you add in tapioca pearls, so that you get a different texture from your drinking experience?
I’m all about the chewiness in a smooth and creamy drink. And that’s the only reason I put on with the extra calories that comes bubble tea.
Drinking tea without any additives is said to be the the best for our health as it helps in weight loss and some even said cell repairing. But when the addition of milk can result in a less astringent, less bitter flavour, how can you say no to a smooth and creamy option?
Did you know that the name ‘bubble tea’ originally came from the bubbles formed when the milk tea was shaken, instead of the pearls inside the drink? Bubble tea is known by many other names, including ‘pearl tea,’ ‘boba tea,’ and ‘tapioca tea.’ The variations are seemingly endless because the drink can be made with many different ingredients, and taste very different.
While it’s a common beverage among younger people, what the Singapore milk tea market currently offer is actually only the tip of an iceberg. With different type of tea as a base ,types of milk added in, there are endless possibilities for consuming tea.
Did you know that different places in the world actually have their tea in very different ways?
Malaysia and Singapore
Teh Tarik (means “pulled tea”), is a kind of milk tea popular in Malaysia and Singapore.
Made using sweetened creamer, some people even add in evaporated milk. What truly sets the Tarik apart from the others is the process of pouring the prepared tea, back and forth between two containers. As a result? Smooth and creamy milk tea with a good froth.
Some people even prefer their Teh Tarik with cloves or ginger.
Thai tea, also known as Cha Yen is popular within Southeast Asia, served in Thai restaurants worldwide. Sweetened with sugar and condensed milk, it is usually served chilled. Some might even pour evaporated milk, coconut milk or whole milk over the tea to add taste and creamy appearance.
Most of us heard of, or even seen “Ocha” – the traditional way of serving tea in Japan, as it is so well known. Served using Matcha, a finely powdered green tea mixed with hot water, only the highest quality leaves are used for Matcha.
“Ocha” has a long history of being associated with Japanese royal culture.
And this is what I mentioned at the start, Taiwan way of serving tea.
Being a popular milk tea originated from Taiwan, the “boba” tea has been popping up all over the world.
Even for someone that has never visited Taiwan, they would have tried it before when boba tea franchises are all over the world.
If there’s anything you need to know, the tea is addictive. Being a person who drinks too much milk tea per week, I’ll say, consume at your own risk.
Hong Kong Milk Tea – This is the most popular version of tea in Hong Kong, prepared with evaporated milk or condensed milk instead of ordinary milk. Using a sackcloth bag to filter out the tea leaves, the tea stain makes the bag to look like pantyhose, thus the name “pantyhose milk tea” or “silk stocking tea”
It plays a very important role in Hong Kong’s culture of “yumcha”, when it is typically served as a part of afternoon tea with buttered pineapple bun.
There also another famous version of tea, Yuan yang. Which is Hong Kong Milk Tea mixed with strong coffee.
Speaking of tea in India, a lot of us might immediately think of Masala chai is a spiced Indian milk tea, the tea leaves are boiled along with spices and then boiled again after the addition of milk and sugar. There are many popular variations depending on different regions, when north Indians would add in ginger for their Chai.
Yup, that’s oil on your cup of tea. While we might not be able to appreciate oiliness in our cup of tea, it has served Tibetan well for decades!
Given Tibet’s weather and the country’s fascination with Yak milk products, “Po Cha” is a combination of tea, salt and Yak butter. Brewed for several hours to make it bitter in taste before it is churned with butter and salt.
Perfect for Tibet’s weather conditions, Po Cha is a favorite when butter tea is the standard in Tibet, providing extra calories to keep people going in very cold temperature.
Suutei tsai (means “tea with milk”) is a traditional Mongolian beverage, it is also known as Mongolian salty tea. Just like Tibet’s Po Cha, it uses black tea crumbled from a block. A pinch of salt is put during brewing of the tea, and served in shallow metal bowls during meals. Some might even add in fried millet for their Suutei Tsai.
While Po Cha is churned, Suutei Tsai is traditionally made in a pan on the stove. And it is repeatedly scooped and poured back into the pan form a height.
The list of teas can go on and on. Even they all come in different names, their interesting recipes make all of them truly one of a kind. Tea is truly a beverage that conquered people across global borders, making its mark in different cultures all over the world.