Don’t we love sipping our tea while biting into a slice of buttered toast or a butter cookie or bun maska at the next-door Parsi cafe! Now what if the butter element was added to the tea itself?
Surprising as it may sound but our Himalayan friends have acquired a taste for what is known as Butter Tea. It is an acquired taste because of the completely unexpected flavor it has owing to the presence of salt in the tea instead of sugar. This fascinating version of tea is called Po Cha in Tibet and is made from churning Black Tea, salt and yak butter. The Tibetans consume this concoction of tea and butter all day as it provides plenty of energy and is particularly suited to the cold, high-altitude Himalayan life.
The traditional preparation of Po Cha is a lengthy process and is made using a special black tea form the Pemagul area in Tibet. The tea, which comes in bricks of different shapes, is crumbled and boiled in water for several hours to form a concentrate knows as chaku. The tea is then poured into a tall cylindrical wooden churn along with butter and salt and churned thoroughly before serving hot.
For all of us living outside Tibet, we can try our hands at butter tea in a simpler way. All you need is the following:
- 2 spoons Loose Black Tea
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1/3 cup milk
Boil 5-6 cups of water and steep the loose Black tea (we recommend Assam Allure or English Breakfast) in it for 5 minutes. Strain and pour your tea along with the salt, butter and milk into a blender/churner. Churn for a few minuted and serve hot.
So this autumn try brewing yourself your favorite comforting cuppa the Tibetan way.