Syed Khaidir is the champion of Battle of Teh Tarik 2018 (NST TV)

OOI TEE CHING

KUALA LUMPUR: Syed Khaidir Syed Abdullah, last evening, won a total of RM10,000 when he emerged the champion at the Battle of Teh Tarik 2018 for both individual and restaurant categories.

Teh tarik, literally 'pulled tea', is a hot milk tea beverage which can be commonly found in restaurants, outdoor stalls and coffeeshops throughout Malaysia. Indeed, this beverage is a cherished fixture of Malaysian culture.

The art of ‘pulling’ tea has become widely regarded as an amazing display of showmanship, so much so that Malaysia often holds competitions for stylistic skills, and competitors never fail to put on thrilling acrobatic shows.


Teh tarik, literally 'pulled tea', is a hot milk tea beverage which can be commonly found in restaurants, outdoor stalls and coffeeshops throughout Malaysia. Pix by Hafiz Sohaimi

"I'm so happy I won both categories with my friend, Zainal of Banafee Enterprise. To be honest, we didn't have much time to practise together as he was in Selangor and I was in Johor. But it looks like, we managed to pull it off," Syed Khaidir grinned, with a wink in his eyes.

Syed Khaidir, who is a veteran participant in other Teh Tarik competitions, said the secret to performing such spinning and leaping stunts on stage while handling boiling tea between two or four or six pitchers is self-confidence.

"Through years of practice, we can anticipate how the boiling and foaming tea will flow as we 'pull' it from one pitcher to another," he said.

The Battle of Teh Tarik 2018 organising chairman William Lee, who was mingling with the contestants, explained the majority of points the judges accord to is based on tea-pulling showmanship while the restaurant category emphasises taste, aroma and of course, the team's synchronised teamwork," Lee said, adding there were 15 participants in the individual category while seven groups contested in the restaurant category.

Among interesting debut at this third edition of the Battle of Teh Tarik series is an 'all ladies' team. Tahira Bee Vi and her three daughters Salima, Siti Amirah and Siti Anisah of Restoran HJ Yahiya & Fatimah took to the stage with much confidence, after rehearsing together for three weeks.


Among interesting debut at this third edition of the Battle of Teh Tarik series is an 'all ladies' team. Tahira Bee Vi and her three daughters Salima, Siti Amirah and Siti Anisah of Restoran HJ Yahiya & Fatimah took to the stage with much confidence, after rehearsing together for three weeks. Pix by Hafiz Sohaimi

Lee noted there was also teh tarik sampling sessions and photocalls with the contestants, much to the delight of a cheerful crowd at the Selangor International Business Summit yesterday evening.

Sponsors of this competition were Cameron Valley Tea Group and Able Dairies Marketing Sdn Bhd.

Yong Swee Chong, the general manager of Able Dairies said the quality of condensed milk and evaporated milk is key to making lip-smacking teh tarik. "The teh tarik has to be thick and creamy so that when it's 'pulled' the air that goes into the tea makes its bubbly.”

Lee said Tea Trade Association of Malaysia is thankful for Invest Selangor Bhd strong support in helping to publicise this tourist and cultural event.

Co-organiser of this Battle Of Teh Tarik edition include the Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association, Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners’ Association, Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Chinese Coffee & Tea Shopkeeper’s Association and KL Tea Art Society Malaysia.

Keywords: Teh tarik, competition, Syed Khaidir Syed Abdullah, battle of the teh tarik, Tea Trade Association of Malaysia © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd