Po Cha is a widely consumed tea in the Tibet and most countries surrounding the Himalayas. The assorted drink infused with locally available items is also a delicacy in most parts of South Asia, and carries the richer Tibetan heritage.
Po Cha or the Butter tea is also known as Tibetan tea, Cha Süma (Tibetan “churned tea”), Sūyóu chá (Mandarin) or Gur Gur in the Ladakhi language. It is a popular everyday drink consumed by the inhabitants of the Himalaya regions of Nepal, Bhutan, India and Tibet.
Traditionally, it’s made from Tibetan black tea, milk and unsalted Yak butter. Today, cow’s butter is popularly used while making the tea, mainly because of the easy availability and lesser cost. However, the inhabitants of Tibet still prefer to drink Po Cha with Yak’s butter.
The earliest history of the Po Cha goes back to medieval Tibet. It originated in the 7th century Tang Dynasty, however, it didn’t reach its current state until 13th century. The early migrants and traders from Tibet flourished the consumption of the tea to the other surrounding nations.
Today, the native Tibetans and most Mongol tribes residing in Nepal, Bhutan and India drink Po Cha on a daily basis.
The traditional process of making butter tea can take a long time and is pretty complicated. People use a special black tea that comes from an area called Pemagul in Tibet. The tea comes in the shape of bricks and can be crumbled and boiled for hours.
- 4 cups of water
- Plain black tea (Preferablly Tibetan ethnic tea)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter (Unsalted butter from the female Yak)
- 1/3 cup of Yak’s milk
Materials needed: One churn, blender, or some other large container with a tight lid to shake the tea up with.
The tea is boiled 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 and then churned. The purplish liquid is the end result of the churn which can be poured into clay tea-pots or the jars.
Nowadays, when modern method has bring variety of tea style at home. People often make butter tea using tea bags, different types of butter available in the market and a blender.