Standing next to me on the MRT was a young Indian-looking man. Having just arrived in Singapore less than an hour ago, I decided to find out about the Singaporean tea world from a local. It turns out that he was a foreign student and would be returning to Kingston, Ontario, the next day. He did tell me that I should definitely try Teh Tarik. He described it as the Malaysian version of Indian chaï. While pushing for a more detailed description of the difference between Teh Tarik and chaï, the only thing I got was “It just tastes perfect,” in a solemn tone. Now, this was a beverage that I HAD to try.
Singapore being a very rapidly changing city, I was lucky enough to come across a Teh Tarik establishment just minutes walk away from my hostel, Sleepy Sam’s. Sokmean, a Montrealer friend who now relocated to Singapore, later told me that it has been around for decades. It is a no name sarabat stall located at the junction of Bussorah and Baghdad street, not far from 21 Bussorah street. A glass of this heart warming beverage still goes for less than 1 SGD.
After hearing such a mouth watering description of the beverage, I walked there full of anticipation. What is this beverage made up of? What type of spices are used? Could this be the perfect chaï that I’ve been looking for? Read more