Teh C Peng “Special” (Three-Layer Milk Tea)

“Teh C Peng Special” is the local speak for iced (“peng”) tea (“teh”) with evaporated milk (“C”). This tea is “special” because it consists of three aesthetic layers of gula melaka syrup (bottom), evaporated milk (middle) and brewed black tea (top). So this drink is also known as “Three Layer Teh C Peng“.

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This drink is native to Sarawak Malaysia, though I think you can order it at other parts of Malaysia, as well. As a teaholic and especially a huge fan of Teh C (hot tea with evaporated milk), I totally love this new discovery. The gula melaka or palm sugar made all the difference which adds a delicious richness incomparable with any other types of sugar :)Teh C Peng "Special" Recipe

Before drinking, stir the drink with a tall spoon or stirrer, so that the three layers are well combined. You can actually adjust the sweetness of the drink, by how vigorous you want to go about mixing in the gula melaka syrup with the tea. Also, the syrup hardens when cooled, so I try to be quick-handed when I go about serving this tea.

Gula Melaka Syrup

I made my own gula melaka syrup (steps 1-3 pictured above) by melting the finely chopped chunks with a bit of water over a gentle flame on the stove top. The resultant consistency should resemble a thick maple syrup. If the gula melaka syrup is too watery, it will combine with the milk layer; on the other hand, if it is too thick, you will find that it solidifies into a chunk of candy instead when you try to stir the drink. As a short cut, you can also buy ready-made gula melaka syrup (pictured 4 above) from the supermarket.

Three-Layer Teh C Peng Recipe

Three-Layer Iced Milk Tea Recipe

As a short cut to step two, you can also buy ready-made gula melaka syrup off the shelves.


  • 40 grams gula melaka (palm sugar) finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 red or black tea bags (such as Lipton or Boh)
  • 250 ml hot boiling water
  • ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk per serving; to taste

You also need

  • 2 x 250ml tall glass for serving
  • straw
  • stirrer/tall spoon


  1. Brew tea bags with hot boiling water in a mug. Let the tea seep for 5 minutes. Dunk the tea bags in the tea a few times and discard the tea bags.
  2. In the meantime, add gula melaka and 1 tbsp water to a pan. Over a low stove heat, stir continuously with a spatula, until the sugar is fully dissolved and the liquid resembles a thick maple syrup consistency. You may add more water, 1 tsp at a time, if the syrup is too thick.
  3. Divide gula melaka syrup while it is still warm, equally among two serving glass. Fill each glass to the brim with ice cubes, then add a layer of evaporated milk, and lastly fill the glass to the brim with brewed tea. Serve with a straw and stirrer.