Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Cuppa: Quit yakking and start cracking!

On my last post, I yakked about butter tea. Now I’m going to show you how to make it.

The problem I ran into was finding yak butter. Even here in multicultural Toronto, I was unable to find it anywhere. So, I decided to make the appropriate substitutions instead. Since this is my first attempt, I thought I’d play it safe and use Assam instead of Pu-erh. I’ll give Pu-erh a shot sometime in the future if everything goes to my liking. I used 2% milk, though you could use whole milk which is recommended. I used regular, unsalted butter you can get in any market. Finally, for a bit of authenticity, I used Himalayan pink salt! I also don’t own a butter churner, so I used a whisk for mixing instead. You could mix everything in a blender too if you’d like. What you want is a butter tea that’s a little frothy.

Tea, butter, salt.

Whisky business!


  • 2 tablespoon regular, unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of 2% milk
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of Assam tea
  • 1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt


1.   Brew tea using 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of Assam. I brewed it for 10 minutes to make it extra strong since I’m not using Pu-erh. I removed the leaves before moving on to the next step.

2.   Add 2 tablespoons of butter. This will start to melt upon contact with the tea.

3.   Add 1 teaspoon of salt.  Mix all the contents with a whisk.

4.   Add milk. I just eye it and look for a certain colour. It was about 2 tablespoons. Vigorously whisk everything.

5.   Pour into a drinking bowl, take a deep breath and sip.

Transferred goods!

It actually tasted pretty good! It was salty, hearty, buttery, nutty, creamy, and rich. The aroma was buttery. The colour was velvety and shiny with an oily surface. I can see myself making this again to enjoy on a cold night when I don’t feel like having a heavy meal but want some sort of comfort food. I felt full and relaxed. It was very soothing.

I can see why Tibetans would enjoy their yak tea with tsampa. I had a desire to drink my butter tea along with some warm bread to nibble on. I even had ideas of using the butter tea as a soup and adding dumplings into it! How cool would that be? 

A hearty bowl!

Well, since this was a success, I will definitely try making a butter tea using Pu-erh. I’m sure the results will be different, but it’s all about experimenting.

Hey, if there are any Torontonians out there who know where I can get my hands on yak butter locally, please let me know.

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