Saturday, 12 January 2013

Tibetan Po Cha Recipe

I'm quite fond of po cha - Tibetan butter tea - especially in the cold grey months. It's surprisingly easy to make at home, especially if you don't have access to a Little Tibet or instant po cha. I used the po cha recipe from Yowangdu, which makes two big bowls, but you can halve or double it pretty easily.
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 spoons of black tea (or two teabags). I used part of a brick of Tibetan black tea specifically meant for po cha, but you can use any black tea. CTC or cheap black tea would work well here.
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
Bring the water to a boil, then add the tea. Let it boil (yes, boil the tea) for two minutes or so. Strain or remove the tea leaves, and add in the salt. Stir in the milk and immediately turn off the heat. Add the butter.

Now you need to churn the butter tea, traditionally done with a chandong churn. The best (and least messy) way to do it is with an immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender or egg beater, you can pour the hot tea into a blender and give it a good churn. If you want to be a bit more old school, you can pour it into a watertight container and shake it, the longer the better. Once it's good and frothy, pour into a bowl and enjoy hot!


  1. Are you using salted butter plus salt? Or unsalted butter plus salt?

    1. Unsalted butter. Sorry! I'll clarify in the recipe.

  2. Well, I have an oversupply of cooked puerh so I've been loosely following your recipe, doing a long brew in a vacuum flask before adding salt, butter and powdered milk, then shaking hard.

    I'm drinking rather too much of this now, and it's still only summer here in Oz. You may have created a po cha junkie. Thank you for the idea. So pleased I found your site.