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Making Tibetan Tea, the Easy Way. {Recipe}

9 Heart it! Richard Josephson 1.1k
August 26, 2018
Richard Josephson
9 Heart it! 1.1k

Tibetan tea is an “acquired” taste, but once acquired, it can be as addicting as coffee.

In short, Tibetan tea, often called “butter tea,” is a salty, buttery, milky, black tea mix.

It served Tibetans well in their cold climate, but is by no means not well-suited for warm climates—as long as you are not calorie or cholesterol-conscious.

Making Tibetan tea is not difficult, and we don’t need a traditional tea churner and plunger to make our tea as the traditional Tibetans do. In fact, it can be made even without a blender.

Easy Tibetan tea:

You will need the following if making the tea for yourself only:

>> One teaspoon of a strong black tea.
>> A quarter teaspoon of salt (Pink Himalayan salt is preferred—and is sometimes called black salt because it changes from pink to black when it hits boiling water.)
>> A teaspoon of butter or ghee.
>> Milk, about 4 to 5 oz or 1/4 ratio to the brewed tea. (Powdered milk is fine, but full cream works even better. I put two tablespoons or three for a 16 oz. cup.)
>> Water, 16 to 20 oz.


  1. Boil the water, then add tea and salt, and stir into the boiling water.
  2. Pour tea and salt into a temporary container, straining out tea.
  3. Pour strained tea back into the pot and bring to a boil again.
  4. Add butter and milk powder, cream, or milk, and bring to a boil again.
  5. Pour all into stainless steel thermos with good lid. Shake like crazy and slowly uncap lid, releasing pressure as you do. (I use my Contigo travel mug, and after shaking, it is all finished and ready to go.)

Of course, you can use a blender or mixer, just reheat afterward.

Thanks, and enjoy!


Richard Josephson

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9 Heart it! Richard Josephson 1.1k
9 Heart it! 1.1k

Renee Ford Aug 27, 2018 9:05am

When bullet proof coffee became a thing I thought “Tibetans grasped that concept long ago”. Pu Erh tea makes a robust Tibetan tea; bags are fine for this purpose. I often gift locally made cultured butter to Tibetan diaspora friends and teachers who drink this beverage as well as the water buff butter found in a food co op in San Francisco.

I have used and traveled with this manual milk frother for almost 20 years. Just stick it in a 3/4 full mug and pump for 30 seconds. Due to its compact size it makes a lovely gift for retreatants, bullet proof coffee, hot chocolate or latte drinking friends or older Tibetan teachers and friends.

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