China Daily (Canada) - - SPECIAL -

But­ter tea is made from tea leaves, yak but­ter, wa­ter and salt. Also known as po cha (Ti­betan tea), cha suma (churned tea) or suy­oucha in Man­darin.

Be­cause but­ter is the main in­gre­di­ent, but­ter tea pro­vides plenty of caloric en­ergy and is par­tic­u­larly suited to high al­ti­tudes. The but­ter also may help pre­vent chapped lips.

But­ter tea is con­sumed in sep­a­rate sips, and after each sip, the host re­fills the bowl to the brim. Thus, the guest never drains his bowl.

If a vis­i­tor does not wish to drink, the best thing to do is to leave the tea un­touched un­til the time comes to leave, and then drain the bowl. In this way, eti­quette is ob­served, and the host will not be of­fended.

But­ter tea is also poured on tsampa (roasted bar­ley flour), or the tsampa is dipped into it.

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