My Butter Tea Latte

And now for something completely different.

I’ve been reading up on Buddhism quite a bit lately and one thing that has been mentioned a few times is Tibetan butter tea.  In Tibet, it is apparently made with rancid dri (female yak) milk.  Obviously, that’s in short supply here.

My butter tea latté

I searched on-line for a few recipes and found ones that called for blenders, made mass quantities etc.  I also looked for butter tea somewhere from a restaurant to see what it should taste like.  It turns out that the closest restaurant serving butter tea is in Toronto.  Having tasted the real thing (or at least as close to it as you can get here) I have come up with my own recipe that makes use of the milk frother on our espresso maker.  It isn’t as good as what was served at the Little Tibet Restaurant but I can swing it and find it less trouble to make than digging out a blender.  Here’s the scoop:

  • Make a decent black tea with about an inch of clearance at the top of the cup.  Let it steep for 5 minutes, remove the tea bag/pouch.  I prefer black lose leaf.  I’m using “Sylvakandy” at the moment but have been told that “Tou cha” leaves are best.  I haven’t found them in Kingston.
  • Add 1/4tsp of salt, stir
  • Melt a tablespoon+ of unsalted butter in the microwave
  • Add this to about 1/4 cup of milk
  • Froth the milk/butter
  • Slowly add milk/butter to the tea while stirring
  • Enjoy slowly

The butter tea in the restaurant was very thick, buttery and relaxing.  I haven’t completely recreated it but I’m getting close.  One recommendation I have is not to skimp on the salt or butter.  If you can, I heartily suggest making the trek to your closest Tibetan restaurant for the real thing as a point of reference.  I found it to be quite the pleasant experience.

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