Yaara thei


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Very occasionally even tea tasters develop a yearning for the frothy, milky, sweet tea Sri Lankans know as yaara thei — ‘a yard of tea’. It is the perfect weekend tea comforter, just not too often as it is very, very sweet. I used to love it as a kid, as it had a big froth on top when it was handed to me.

If you happen to be in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Kuwait, Brunei or the United Arab Emirates, you can get to a Dilmah tea lounge to have it made for you, otherwise here is the recipe. Be sure to use a double-walled glass so you don’t lose the effect of the frothy tea, and to avoid any burns from hot cups!

Preparation 5 minutes
Cooking 10 minutes


  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) hot water (from a kettle)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons finest-quality loose-leaf breakfast tea, such as Dilmah T-Series Brilliant Breakfast tea
  • 75 g ( oz/ ¼ cup) condensed milk
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


Pour the water into a saucepan and place over high heat. When the water is close to boiling, add the cinnamon sticks and allow to boil for 3–4 minutes, so the oil from the cinnamon infuses the water.

Now add the tea and continue to boil for 1–2 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.

Strain the tea and stir in the condensed milk.

Now you can ‘pull’ the tea, by pouring the tea into a second container from as high as your arms will allow you. Repeat this step three or four times, until you have a nice froth on top.

Pour the tea into a double-walled glass, dust with the ground cinnamon and enjoy.