Recipe: Butter Tea

Serves 1

Butter and tea are two of my favorite things! :) ¬†This rich and flavorful drink is popular in Bhutan, especially during the cold winter months. The secret is to stir the tea vigorously/froth to blend and eliminate any the “greasiness.”


All ingredients are to taste.

Hot water
Black Tea
Butter (preferably Yak butter, if available)
Milk or cream


1.  Boil water. Add tea to desired strength. I like 1 teabag per cup.

2. Add butter and milk/cream to taste (about 1/4 tsp). Stir vigorously and drink immediately.

I think it is important to use a mug you really like. Here’s the one Keith picked out:

I dig it.

Here’s mine:

Let’s get started.

First, the water because it’s just oh, so pretty!

Then we’ll add a teabag and watch the goodness leach out, into the water.

And then, the magic… a bit o’ butter. Please use the real thing!

Milk and cream make everything better…

Stir it up…

You know what to do next. Smiles all around!

See Bhutanese Meal Review to see what I thought of this drink and the other dishes.

Opt In Image
Hungry for more?
Be notified when National Geographic releases my memoir.

Simply fill in your details below.


  1. Hi there ;)

    Congrats for your idea! I’am not a strict foody blogger, but I like the fact that you bring different elements, like culture,History and lifestyle in here also.
    I’am a US expat living in France, so I’am very sensitive to food as being an expression of a country’s culture.

    I like this and will be back!
    Best of luck for your world tour.

    • globaltable says:


      Thanks for your comment :) As I was researching recipes and ideas I kept running into little factoids and I thought they were too interesting to keep to myself! I’m glad you enjoy them, too. Keep in touch!


  2. How it’s done in Tibet , which I got from websites and sounds like what I saw there:

    “In Tibet, the process of making butter tea takes a long time and is pretty complicated. People use a special black tea that comes from an area called Pemagul in Tibet. The tea comes in bricks of different shapes, and we crumble off some tea and boil it for many hours. We save the liquid from the boiling and then whenever we want to make tea, we add some of that liquid, called chaku, to our boiling water.

    “Pour your tea, one quarter of a teaspoon of salt, two tablespoons of yak butter, and a half cup of milk or a teaspoon of milk powder into a chandong, which is a kind of churn. Churn vigorously.”

    Photo of churning

    • globaltable says:

      Thank you for this, Brian!

      I so wish I could have tried the real thing… but it was fun all the same :)


  3. aunty eileen says:

    Brilliant! Love it!

Speak Your Mind