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Tibetan Butter Tea, image from Serious Eats

Okay, at this point, you might be thinking “what? butter? AND tea?”  Well, I wanted to carry on with the multicultural theme of my previous posts (Japanese and British) and explore tea cultures of more exotic locales… hence, Tibet!

Butter Tea, also known as Po Cha, is a regular part of Tibetan life.  It is made from yak butter, tea leaves and salt.  As much I enjoy tea and all things tea, this blog serves as evidence, I cannot say tea with yak butter and salt sounds at all appealing to me.

According to wikipedia, here is one method of preparation:

“The highest quality tea is made by boiling the tea leaves in water for half a day, achieving a dark brown color. It is then skimmed, and poured into a cylinder with fresh yak butter and salt which is then shaken. The result is a purplish liquid that is about the thickness of a stew or thick oil. It is then poured into clay tea-pots, or jars, that resemble Japanese teapots.”

Not sure what bothers me more, the addition of the yak butter and salt or the fact that the tea turns purplish and has the viscosity of thick oil…

I would love to hear if anyone has ever tried this (and where it was sampled) and what their thoughts are on this tea.