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16:44 Dec 15 2008

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English>>Tibet Online>>Travel
Butter Oil Tea
13:43, December 12, 2008  

The butter oil tea is the necessary drinking in Tibetans' daily life just like coffee to the westerners!

To the Tibetans, tea is a beverage that is just like coffee to the westerners -- a wake-up and a shake-up drink that keeps almost everyone sound and safe.

In Tibet no meal can be complete without some tea, almost all the time the Tibetan buttered tea.

Town folks prefer to go to a tea house before going to work for the rest of their day. Tea houses sometimes stand as alternative places to find the ones who are otherwise expected in their workplace in the morning and in the early afternoon.
The Tibetan buttered tea is prepared by mixing butter and salt with the juice from fully boiled fermented tea leaves. Before serving, the mixture has to be further blended in a special blender.

More often than not, a slim wooden cylinder is used for the blending. After the mixture is put in the cylinder, a piston is used to push and pull inside the cylinder. With the passing of the mixture through the slit between the piston and the cylinder, the mixture of butter, salt and tea is forcefully and thoroughly blended.

In Tibet, tea, either sweet tea or Tibetan buttered tea, is served in small or large thermo flasks, in that both are of their best smack when served hot.
The local habit of drinking tea has to do with the local food composition. The Tibetans eat lots of meat of yak and goat. The strong buttered tea not only helps to keep the body warm but also helps to promote the digestion of the meat that is taken almost three meals a day and 365 days a year.

Local sayings have it that the others cannot do without salt whereas the Tibetans cannot do without either salt or tea.

Source:China Tibet Tourism Bureau

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