Pulling Tea

Teh Tarik

(1/200, F3.5, ISO200, 17mm)

When I first arrived in Malaysia I was surprised to see so many people on the streets drinking out of a bag with a straw.
Most of the times the fluid inside will be teh tarik (literally meaning ´pulled tea´), which is the national drink in Malaysia.
It´s made of tea and condensed milk and the process of pouring or ´pulling´ is what makes it cool down to drinking temperature and mix the two ingredients perfectly (see an artsy ´pull´ in this video).

Nowadays I´m so used to the sight that I wasn´t surprised to find this half finished bag in an abandoned Chinese shophouse in the former mining village of Kampung Kepayang, Malaysia.

67 thoughts on “Pulling Tea

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  2. I grew up with pulled tea and I was born in the Caribbean! My grandmother used to love the stuff (my dad still drinks it)- I guess our traditions can all be traced back to the Motherland…I absolutely hate pulled tea though, I’ve never liked the taste of condensed milk. Here they also make a weird concoction of Coca Cola and condensed milk, if anything I find it even worse- it’s like sparkling syrup.

    • Hola Ana,

      Totally agree with not liking the condensed milk and its all too sweet to my taste; that cola/condensed milk mix sounds even worse 😉
      Like the way they made the ´pulling´ into an art though!

      Greetings from KL, Ron.

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    • Hi Shabnam, it is definitely different than I was used to in Europe!
      Hope all is great, sorry to not be around here too much lately, but appreciate your attention always!
      Have a great week,

    • Thank you, Stevie, easy to compose when the subject is staying still: just find the most interesting piece of wall with the bag on one of the golden triangle points 😉
      Cheers, Ron

    • Thanks very much for your thorough look! I love the different layers of paint in these walls, slowly crumbling over decades and then somebody decided to put the cherry on thecake with that tea-bag 😉
      Happy travels and greetings from Malaysia,

    • Thanks very much, Louis, there are so much fantasies hidden in these walls, I couldnt believe this was how I found it…
      Have a great week, greetings,

    • Thats so great ot hear, Judith, many thanks for your compliment! Can you believe this scene was there as this shows? The only explanation I can think of there has been a photographer before me or someone that hopes a photographer finds it like this 😉
      Hope all is great, reetings from Malaysia,

    • Hi Vera, thats very kind of you to say,i guess my love for textures and abandoned scenes is very obvious here 😉
      Hope all is well, greetz, Ron.

    • Hi Alli, link didnt work, guess the video was taken off, but here they serve lots of stuff in plastic bags, any juices, coffees, teas and even their curries to take away 😉
      Saludos, Ron.

  4. I love the simplicity of this image–it really pulls you in and makes you take notice of the wonderful texture and color of the walls and the bag. It is what I would call–sublime.

    • Thank you very much, Meg, thats so great to hear; thats the whole idea behind the simplicity in composition and subject to make the textures and detail tell the story and play with our fantasy 😉
      Hope all is great with you, greetings, Ron.

    • Hola Luis, ah nice to know there´s more people doing it like this; I must say it´s maybe not the best way, cuz these bags are thrown out everywhere, but I guess its just more common here to throw rubbish everywhere, hate that!
      Have a great day, Ron.

    • Hi Noeline, thats so great about following all these blogs around the world -always better to see with your own eyes- but it does give you so much knowledge and sights you would never have known through ´normal´ media!
      Thanks, hope all is well, greetings,

    • Hi Kathy, its very similar to the Inidan Chai tea, very sweet milky tea, but I wouldnt try this bag looks like its been hanging there for awhile 😉
      Thanks for your comment, all the best from KL,

    • Hi Angeline, thanks for the compliment, appreciate that a lot! And although lots of this ´tea´ is served from a certain height to get the air in they are not all as skilled as this one 😉
      Have a good week, greetings, Ron

    • Thank you very much, Lisa, always a pleasure to read your comments 😉
      I try to keep it simple as a composition to enhance the interest on the texture and detail, at least that is the idea 😉
      All the best to you,

  5. Wow! Now that is an art. Before I watched the video I was interested in the “weight”of the bag hanging on the wall And , of course, the texture. Thanks for sharing, it is amazing what I learn from these blogs.

    • Hi Jane, thanks for your interest, it´s merely half a kilo at its most, just a cup, glass or can of anything put in a bag with a straw 😉
      Totally agree that all these blogs form all over the world is a nice way to learn about other cultures and habits!
      Hope all is great, greetings from Malaysia

    • Thanks a lot, David! I love it when my subject is standing or eh hanging still so i can take the time to do my settings and lighting 😉
      Greetings, Ron.

    • Muchas gracias, Fran, thanks very much and nice to hear you read and watched it, makes me a happy blogger 😉
      Have a great weekend, Ron

    • Hi there, thanks very much and yeah, he´s very skillful, unfortunately they don´t all serve it like that 😉
      Have a great week, Ron.

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