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Teh C (Tea with Evaporated Milk)

As an avid tea lover, one of my favourite tea is Teh-C (Teh Si), or hot tea with evaporated milk. “Teh” is local word for tea, while “C” refers to the evaporated milk added to the beverage. This is a tea originating from and popular in Singapore and Malaysia. A nicely brewed cup of Teh C is not easy to find, and I found a good one in Bedok. I experimented to make my own home-brewed Teh C recipe to satisfy my caffeine craving :)

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What does the C in Teh-C mean? I think the most plausible & simplest explanation for the “C” in Teh-C is the “Carnation” brand of evaporated milk added to the tea, a popular brand of evaporated milk back in the earlier days. Another belief is that the “C” refers to the Chinese word for “稀” (sounds like C) which means less thick compared to the condensed milk added in Teh (Source: HWZ). A more obscure theory was that it was the Hainanese way of pronouncing evaporated milk in their dialect (C for xian “鲜” which means fresh). Back then, evaporated milk was the freshest milk readily available (Source: Yahoo!).


Lipton Tea Dust (Teh C Recipe)
Ingredient 1: Tea leaves (tea dust) I am using Lipton international blend, it’s very common and cheap, available at all supermarkets. You can use your favourite black tea leaves, they should be very affordable (less than $3 for a small packet). This is a peasant, everyday drink so there is really no need to spurge on expensive tea. P.S. you can also use lipton tea bags as a short-cut (but that will not be as authentic).

Full Cream Evaporated Milk (Teh C Recipe)
Ingredient 2: Full Cream Evaporated Milk For good Teh C, you must use FULL CREAM evaporated milk, not filled. The full cream makes a world of difference in the taste, and worth the price difference.

Granulated Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar) (Teh C Recipe)
Ingredient 3: Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar) I use granulated gula melaka (also used in my homemade sambal chilli) instead of white sugar. Like full cream evaporated milk, the taste is much better. Of course, you can substitute white sugar, but the taste is certainly not as aromatic.

Teh-C Recipe
Step 1 Measure the tea leaves and add into a disposable tea pouch (you can get a pack of 100s at Daiso for $2). As the tea dust is very fine, it is recommended to double bag it. You can also use a mug with a traditional coffee cloth strainer (filter twice), but I find them a hassle to clean.

Teh-C Recipe
Step 2 Add hot boiling water, let the tea seep for 5 minutes (colour will darken gradually).

Teh-C Recipe
Step 3 Meanwhile, in each serving tea cup, add measured palm sugar.

Teh C Recipe
Step 4 Pour the hot brewed tea until about 3/4 full. You can stir to dissolve the sugar now, or stir it only during drinking, so that you can control the sweetness as you are drinking.

Teh C Recipe
Step 5
Add evaporated milk. Enjoy your Teh C :)

Teh C Recipe


  • “Siu Dai” (less sugar): Add 1 tsp less sugar per cup.
  • “KoSong” (“zero” sugar): Omit the sugar.
  • “Gao” (thick): Seep the tea leaves for a few minutes longer to get a richer taste, or use more tea leaves.
  • “Po” (thin): Add less brewed tea, add hot water to dilute the tea.
  • “Peng” (iced): chill or add ice cubes.

22 comments on “Teh C (Tea with Evaporated Milk)”

  1. Hi noob cook, like your post thing very much. I’m just wanna to ask whether have you ever try out to make sour cream that put onto the baked potato, those like serving in jack’s place. I have try a few but not successful.

  2. Hihi, I love Teh-C Peng! I would like to ask if there’s a difference if i use the normal Lipton teabags as compared to the tealeaves you showed?


    • Yes, you can :) Just use 2-3 tea bags and seep for 5 minutes. You may need to dilute the tea with hot water, to taste. Coffee shops use tea leaves as they are much cheaper than tea bags.

  3. Love the taste of Teh C. An aromatic start to the day!

  4. You’ve run out of recipes to share? You’ve been sharing instant noodle, instant tea, and things like that…. I hope you have more recipes in you

    • This is not “instant” tea, if you want instant you can buy those 3-in-1 from supermarkets. The recipe may seem simple but I took more than 30 experimental cups to get the taste right, so please do not belittle my effort. This tea is something close to a Singaporean heart.

    • I was just searching how to make hawker-style-teh and I am very glad that I found out your post by adding gula melaka instead of white sugar. It is not only to get the nice color but also a better taste. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Glad that you like the gula melaka too, thanks :)

  5. Though I prefer my tea pure, this does look very tempting that I want to give it a try too. Lovely tea set.

  6. My fave drink too! Will definitely give it a try. It looks good, wiffy!

  7. I actually like Teh-C (or maybe SiuDai) more than the Teh itself :) That said, even I like it, I seldom hv it cos it is usually coffee at home for me. And even if I drink in kopitiam when in Sg, I will take kopi-gaw (is that kopi with condensed milk w/o sugar?)
    I also like the HK style yuan-yang :)..

    • I like teas of all forms – Thai ice tea, HK yuan yang, Japanese green tea and of course Teh C. Not much of a kopi drinker though :P Yes I think kopi “gaw” means “thick” kopi with condensed milk.

  8. Hi noob cook, wonder if I can use the same gula melaka as you use in your the C special by grating it into little pieces since they are Palm sugar?

    • Hey Sheryln :) Yes they are the same type of sugar, just that the granulated form is easier to dissolve in hot water. You can try to grate them finely to see if they dissolve in the hot water, I think it is possible. Let me know if it works ^^

  9. i’m obsessed wit Teh-C. But i’m trying to make a healthier version because i drink it everyday.
    Is it ok to use brown sugar or honey to subs the sugar?

  10. Hi Wiffy,
    For the full cream evaporated milk, I did see NTUC etc selling in tin cans.
    However, in my own experience, once we open the can, and can’t finish all at one go, the evaporated milk will somehow turn sour after 1-2 days even stored in fridge.
    Do you have the same issue?
    Cuz 1 can is around 400g. Can’t really finish it if we are only making Teh C for 2 pax.
    Any suggestion how to keep the evaporated milk for a longer period of time?

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