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Bhai Sarbat
Photograph: Dewi Nurjuwita

Heritage tea stall Bhai Sarbat goes online

You can now enjoy a frothy cup of teh sarbat from home.
Written by
Dewi Nurjuwita

Since 1977, Bhai Sarbat has been serving up cups of frothy, delicious teh sarbat in an unassuming corner of a row of shophouses along Bussorah Street. The tea stall is known for its snaking queues almost each night. But you may soon skip the queues – because the legendary tea stall in the heart of Kampong Gelam has gone online. 

In a video announcement on the tea stall's Instagram page, owner Mohammad Asgar is seen doing what he does best: pulling cups of teh sarbat with absolute finesse and precision. Asgar, who helms the business now, took over and learnt the trade from his uncle Kabiruddin. He has since pivoted the business online, first by starting out an Instagram account, which now boasts 1,177 followers. "Quenching the thirst of tourists, hipsters, taxi drivers, devotees and artists since the 50's," its bio reads. 

Not as if the tea stall needed more publicity. Asgar often sees regulars who have known and loved the stall for decades. In fact, he now makes at least 1,000 cups of tea and coffee a day – mostly sarbat tea. 

For the uninitiated, sarbat tea (or teh sarbat), is a type of strong pulled black tea mixed with milk and flavoured with ginger. Popular in India, no one stall has tea that tastes the same. The recipe is often tweaked – and the taste depends on the amount of ginger extract added, and the tea-pulling skills of the tea master. 

The delivery comes in 3-litre boxes, which serves up to 17 cups each. Prices are affordable too, ranging from $33 for Teh O, $43 for Teh Halia, $48 for Teh Masala and $33 for Kopi O. Islandwide delivery costs $10. Bhai Sarbat starts taking pre-orders from today and deliveries will be available from July 16.

We don't know about you, but with the rainy weather these days, a teh sarbat party sounds very comforting. 

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