Teh Halia (ginger tea)


Singapore, Singapore

  • Available
  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 5

Wall Art

Home Decor



Artist's Description

For Linaji … who just invited me to tea :-)

This image forms part of a photo essay at JPGmag on One spot shooting.

A small newspaper cutting at the stall there says “The best and cheapest tea in Singapore”.

For as little as 60 cents Singapore currency (approx US 42 cents) for a cuppa, how much cheaper can it get? In comparison, a cup of coffee or tea at Starbucks in Singapore costs over S$5!

The stall is almost a hole in the wall. In it, an elderly man (whom most Singaporeans would describe as ‘Indian’ although we suspect he might be Afghan or from somewhere further north of India) makes tea.

The two favourite drinks there are teh tarik and teh halia.

Teh tarik literally means “pulled tea”. After mixing the tea with milk (condensed plus evaporated), the man pours it from one mug to another, sometimes stretching the distance till the mugs are more than a metre apart. This cools the tea somewhat. It probably oxygenates it as well, and creates a froth.

Teh halia is tea with ginger, halia being the Malay word for “ginger” – even though the brew is usually prepared by Indians / Afghans?

All this takes place at Baghdad Street, in a corner of Singapore known as Kampong Glam. Kampong means “village” but Glam, in this case, is not short for “glamorous”. Instead, it is short for the Gelam tree, that used to grow in the area.

The area is rich with history. It is even described in Wikipedia!

It is also rich in friendship and fellowship.

This is the regular hangout of David, Larry and I. All three of us are photographers / artists. Larry and I both own the Fuji S5 Pro DSLR. We are there practically every Saturday night, while David is there a lot more often.

Our usual drink there is teh-o halia – the “o” indicating “without milk”.

And if one prefers it without sugar as well, then it is called teh-o-kosong halia, the word kosong meaning “empty”.

This image was taken one night when Larry and I did a photographic exercise, whereby we would shoot as many pictures as we can from one single position.

It started with Larry just taking two or three shots, half out of boredom. Within minutes, he and I were excitedly grabbing the camera from each other, not wanting to miss our shots!

In just over half an hour, we shot about 70 frames, with some repeats. Of these, about 25 turned out reasonably good.

We hope to publish some of them soon, as part of our planned book on “seeing”.

Meanwhile, here is one for sharing.

All Products Tags

india tea

Artwork Comments

  • Dan Chang
  • Anne-Marie Bokslag
  • linaji
  • rochelle
  • Prasad
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.