Teh Halia (Ginger Milk Tea)

This Singaporean tea is finished with condensed milk for a rich sweetness that balances the spicy, bright ginger.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    10 minutes


By Christopher Tan

Updated on January 19, 2024

In April 2007, Singaporean writer Christopher Tan introduced Saveur readers to the city-state’s best restaurants, hawker centers, and signature fare, including this soothing ginger tea that’s finished with sweetened condensed milk—an enduring colonial import throughout Southeast Asia. Tan, who still lives in Singapore, continues to sing the beverage’s praises: “The soulful marriage of tannic tea and ginger’s slow burn, officiated by syrupy dairy, is a universally calming panacea,” he says.


  • One 14-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 7 cups strongly brewed, strained black tea, such as assam
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk


Step 1

Line a small pot with several large layers of cheesecloth. Finely grate the ginger over the cheesecloth. Bring the edges up to form a purse, then squeeze the purse over the pot, extracting as much ginger juice as possible (you should have about ½ cup). Discard the solids. Add the sugar to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar just dissolves, about 2 minutes.

Step 2

In a large pitcher, stir together the ginger syrup, tea, and milks. Serve hot or over ice.

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