This morning, I had a revelation.
Some mornings, I miss the company bus, and I head on down to my favorite Chinese kopitiam for some char siew pau (roasted pork bun) and teh susu panas (hot tea with condensed milk at the base.) I usually say “teh” to order. However, the waiter asked what I wanted to drink again, and for some reason, I said teh tarik (pulled hot tea with condensed milk.)
The teh tarik came in a bigger, transparent plastic mug. Teh susu panas however usually comes in a cup with saucer and a little plastic spoon to scoop the condensed milk from the base (heaven!) or to stir it. *
So, I took a sip of the teh tarik… and it tasted the same, and yet felt different. I then realized why – the thickness of the cup made a difference! I definitely paid more attention to the flavor from the cup due to its thinner lip. The spoon’s lip was much thinner and I could taste it. I would scoop some condensed milk from the base, and go “mmm condensed milk… and then some warm tea.”
With the teh tarik mug however, it was just “mmm warm tea warm tea warms my throat and my tummy.”
I felt like a sommelier (wine expert). Now I understood why wines come in different cups! Perhaps now I shall go on a search for a thin-lipped metal cup for my fix of free office coffee.
* This is why I hate Old Town Kopitiam; their teh susu panas does not come with the conventional condensed milk. Blasphemy!