Tibetan butter tea

Warm yourself with a cub of Po Cha.

Warm yourself with a cub of Po Cha.

Running the risk of putting you all off my writing, today I’ll give you a love it or hate it recipe: Po Cha, or Tibetan Butter Tea. In the highlands of Tibet this is a staple drink, served three to four times a day to warm the bones and provide enough sustenance (caffeine, fat) to last the day and save you from horribly chapped lips. Traditionally made with yak butter, this savoury version of your afternoon brew is easily replicated with goat’s milk, even if you don’t own a churn. It’€™s possible to make butter tea with your regular cow’€™s butter and cream, but switching to whole fat goat’s milk instead will give you an earthier taste more similar to yak than cow. All you need is a very strong black tea, preferably of the smokey kind. Tibetans use tea from the Pemagul area and cook their brew down till very, very strong. Yak butter and salt are added and the mixture is churned for several minutes to reach a creamy consistency. For a homemade version the tea can be replaced with other strong, smokey black teas like Lapsang Souchong. Add butter, salt and goat’s milk and blend together. Really, try it. It’s delicious.


4 cups of water

smoky black tea, like Lapsang Souchong

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbs butter (unsalted, cow’s milk)

1/3 cup goat’s milk


1. Boil the water and simmer with the tea bags until very strong, for at least 10 minutes.

2. Pour into blender, add milk, butter, and salt and blend together for about 3 minutes.

3. Serve hot.