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 :)

See Also:

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.

Teh C Recipe

For best results, use gula melaka instead of white sugar, full cream evaporated milk instead of filled evaporated milk. You can adjust the amount of tea leaves, evaporated milk and sugar used to suit your personal preference.

As a short cut to steps 1 & 2, you can also use 1-2 lipton tea bags, seeped for 3-5 minutes.


  • 2 level tbsp black tea leaves (such as Lipton traditional or international blend)
  • 350 ml hot boiling water

Each cup of Teh C:

  • 1 level tbsp granuated ‘gula melaka’ (palm sugar)
  • 1 tbsp full cream evaporated milk

Additional tools:

  • disposable tea filter pouches or
  • traditional coffee cloth strainer


  1. Place tea leaves into a disposable tea pouch (you may want to double bag it as the tea ‘dust’ is very fine).
  2. Place tea pouch in a tea pot, add hot boiling water and let the tea infused for 5 minutes. Discard the tea pouch. If not using tea pouch, you can filter the tea twice through a coffee cloth strainer.
  3. In each serving cup, add gula melaka. Pour the brewed hot tea until 3/4 full and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Add 1 tbsp evaporated milk to the tea. Enjoy!