I watch the amount of sugar intake I consume. I don’t do strict diet and measuring calories per se, but for most of the time, I try to keep whatever I eat or drink in moderation. Nevertheless, my favorite drinks for all time have been avocado juice, mocha flavored milk and tea tarik. Those three are the bomb for me.
Over the time, I have been drinking various versions of the latter two. Janji Jiwa’s es kopi susu gula aren and earl grey milk tea were my go to drink back when I was still working. My favorite supermarket bought mocha flavored milk are Diamond’s, Cimory’s, and Greenfields’. These mocha flavored drink are my substitute for coffee. I like the taste of it yet can’t stand its acidity.
Of all these three drinks, tea tarik is the one who wins my heart.
Memories from my working at office are still lingering. Some days, I liked to have fancier lunch: truffle pasta and earl grey milk tea at Pakuwon Mall’s Pancious Pancake. Alone. The earl grey milk tea at Pancious Pancake was a different level, it was for two so they served it using two glasses. Each glass was filled with milk tea cubes, and then we poured the milk tea liquid over the cube. Double the milk tea, which I looove. I could finish the entire milk tea by myself. When I strolled around Pakuwon Mall–either for window shopping or really shopping–I liked to buy Teh Gopek’s Teh Susu. I preferred this than milk tea from Tong Tji’s stall. Teh Gopek’s Teh Susu was the perfect combo of tea and creamer. A milk tea made with creamer, was better than the one made with susu kental manis! One more version of milk tea I love is Air Mata Kucing Milk Tea. I know, it isn’t tea, but the blend of lo han kuo/buah kundur and creamer is flavorful!
There was a small depot in a neighborhood next to my then office named Depot Selera. The depot was at the owner’s garage. I used to have lunch there, either alone or with my coworkers. Most of the time I ordered the same set of menu that the owner liked to greet me, as soon as I got off my car, “Hey, soto banjar dan es teh susu?“
As for the instant version, the best ones are Max Tea’s Teh Tarik and Aik Cheong. There were days, where I drank Max Tea’s Teh Tarik every morning before leaving for work. I thought it was a better option than drinking coffee. Thank God I realized soon that consuming instant sweet drink continuously like that wasn’t good for the long term!
For a long period of time (7 working year to say the least…) Iced Tea Tarik (and its variation) has been associated with self-reward and alone time for me. A simple pleasure, a symbol of ease and comfort, I might say. Sipping a tea tarik let me loose the feeling of restless I often dealt with. Tea tarik was there when I finished a meticulous but sudden preparation for events at work, tried to cool my head off after dealing with complaining customers and/or coworkers (LOL), or just took my mind off a heavy workload.
I don’t really go out anymore (well, I just got married–with 3 kids–and resigned right before pandemic happened!) There are days where I miss ordering my tea tarik at my favorite places. Nevertheless, my relationship with tea tarik doesn’t change. It is still my form of simple pleasure after a long day of managing my household, chaperoning my 3 kids, cooking, etc. I have my drink at noon, when the kids are taking their nap and I am done with all the chores at home. I don’t drink my tea tarik daily off course (because you know… sugar!) but on the days when I have it, yes, the feeling is still the same. My simple kind of pleasure.
I have my own version of it.
I make my tea strong since I like a bit of the bitter taste. It is better when I brew the tea on a stove instead of pouring hot water in a cup. I add some Fiber Creme to the tea and a bit of honey for sweetener. A perfect combination of bittersweet creaminess, which now I share with my husband.
Sometimes I make a tea tarik using a giant glass and we drink them together. Three days ago we had our second dose of Covid vaccine. We got our vaccine at Serbuan Vaksinasi TNI AL, way there in Kodikal. We waited for our turn to be vaccinated for 2 hours. It was a very sunny morning and the waiting area was outdoor (well, we were in the Navy building, not in a mall hehehe…). On our way home we planned to make ourselves a glass of cold tea tarik. We ended up with two giant glasses of the drink.
I had my iced tea tarik on one Saturday night.
It was July, 20th 2019. I was in a pizza restaurant and for the first time, sitting in front of a man I have been perpetually waiting.
I found my comfort. I was at ease.