Teh C Special: The Special Milk Tea Served with Palm Sugar Syrup from Kuching
Teh C Special is an iced milk tea made from black tea, palm sugar syrup and evaporated milk, originated from Kuching Sarawak. It is different from the common Teh C Peng available throughout Malaysia, which is iced sweetened tea served with evaporated milk. Teh C Special is named as “special” due to its use of a denser palm sugar syrup, which forms three aesthetic and distinct layers of individual ingredients.
The drink is said to be created in the food court at 7th Mile Bazaar in Kota Sentosa, Kuching. It has since gained huge popularity all over Sarawak. Now it is even marketed and exported to Peninsular Malaysia, where it is more commonly known as Three-layer Tea (Teh Tiga Lapis in Bahasa Malaysia).
The sugar syrup used can be made from any palm sugar like gula melaka, gula anau or gula kabung, but in Sarawak, it is usually made from Sarawak’s special palm sugar called gula apong. The palm sugar syrup makes all the difference and adds a more delicious richness compared to normal cane sugar.
Before drinking, Teh C Special needs to be stirred with a tall spoon or straw, so that the three layers can be well combined. You can actually adjust the overall sweetness, depending on how much or how vigorous you stir the palm sugar syrup at the bottom of the tea.
There is also a version of Teh C Special where it has a green layer of sugar syrup, which was made with pandan. Then there is a 5-layer version of Teh C Special, with the basic 3 ingredients, plus aforementioned pandan syrup and cincau (herbal grass jellies).