Tibetan Tea Culture

With butter as the main ingredient, the buttered tea is a very warming drink and a good antidote to the cold, so it is especially suited to high altitudes.

According to the Tibetan custom, the buttered tea is drunk in separate sips, and after each sip the host refills the bowl to the brim. Thus the guest never drains his bowl yet it is constantly topped up. If the visitor does not wish to drink, the best thing to do is leave the tea untouched until the time comes to leave and then drain the bowl, except for a small amount. In this way etiquette is observed and the host will not be offended.

Milk Tea

Tibetans like drinking tea. Besides salted buttered tea, sweet milk tea is another popular alternative. Hot boiling black tea filtered is poured into a churn, and then fresh milk and sugar are added. Vigorous churning turns out a light reddish white drink. There are many teashops inLhasaserving the sweet milk tea.

 Way to make tea

The Tibetans are addicted to tea drinking. Such a habit has given birth to their unique way of making tea. Tibetans in the Amdo area love broad-leafed tea and tea bricks. A tea brick, which is rectangular in shape, usually weighs two kilograms. Such a tea brick can withstand long journeys.

Tibetans mix tea with cold water in a teapot, before heating over a small fire. When the water turns brown, the good tea is ready. Most Tibetans love to have salt in their tea.

In some areas, the Tibetans love to put fruit, ginger, and peppers in tea. Such tea is believed to cure headaches and colds. Some Tibetans love to have milk and sugar in tea. When brown sugar is added to tea, such tea is believed to be good for women in their prenatal and postnatal periods.

 Way to sip tea

People of Gannan drink tea three times a day. In the morning, they drink morning tea containing fried flour, milk dregs, and butter. After lunch, they often drink several bowls of tea in order to beef up their stomach's digestive ability as well as to perk themselves up. After supper, the whole family usually sits around the table, talking while drinking tea to their hearts' content.

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