hiking, travel

Su Cha: Sherpa Butter Tea


September 14

View from breakfast

Woke up to the most amazing view ever. What was covered with fog and clouds when we arrived opened up to snow covered mountains reaching out of the valley. Absolutely amazing. Astani said today would be a bit harder, so looking forward to it, yesterday was pretty chill. Steep, but I felt like could have gone farther. We’ll see how today goes, the views are this amazing I am super stoked! It’s unbelievable and my words right now could never describe the awesomeness of it.

Had some porridge and sherpa tea for breakfast. I’m going to need to find a recipe for the tea. It is so good. Tastes buttery and creamy, maybe a touch salty too but so good. Makes me feel like I could take on Everest today. (see bottom for recipe)

Porridge and sherpa tea

Today started nice enough the clouds cleared and we got some amazing views of the surrounding mountains. It was hot for a bit, then clouds came. Hiking up was awesome, I got out of breath real fast, the altitude maybe or maybe I’m also out of shape. But we made it to the lunch spot around 10am, seemed a bit early for lunch but I was kind of already hungry.

Had spaghetti with some veggies, the guys had more of a dal bhat curry (which we had last night as well) and coffee. There was the cutest little girl there, I took a few photos. The family who ran the tea house lived such a simple life but a great life. Their home was made of rocks, about a foot thick or so, cozy enough. A giant bed area took up most of the house, straw then mattresses, then blankets. It looked like it must have been cozy in the winter. The kitchen was simple, but so nice, such a simple life no need for massive amounts of space or multiple bathrooms or any of that. Traveling teaches you so much about what you don’t need.

Views heading up to lunch.
Astani taking a few photos at lunch
Hiking to the lunch spot

Sherpa Butter Tea Recipe

Butter tea known as “su cha” in Sherpa language is a very popular drink of the Sherpa people in Nepal. People in Tibet, China and Bhutan also drink butter tea.  Since the weather is often chilly and cold in the Himalaya region, Sherpa people drink butter tea throughout the day to keep themselves warm and hydrated. Butter in the tea also provides nourishment and calories. It is made from special tea leaves, yak butter, salt and milk (optional). For breakfast, butter tea is enjoyed with tsampa.

Traditionally, butter tea is made by boiling tea leaves in water until the tea is dark brown in color. Then the tea is strained and poured in a special butter churn along with a large lump of yak butter, salt and tsampa (optional) and then this is churned until the butter and salt are well mixed. The tea is then transferred to a thermos or kettle. Butter tea is served in a special cup and silver cup holder.

Sherpasisters.com

To make the tea you can substitute Nepali ingredients with some of those found locally. The Salter butter versus the yak butter will make a difference, so if you can seek out grass fed butter for a closer taste.

Ingredients:
4 cups of water
1 cup of milk
2 Black Lipton teabags
4 tablespoon salted butter
Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pan, boil water with two Lipton teabags.
  2. Once the color of the tea is dark brown, add milk. 
  3. Boil the tea until it bubbles. 
  4. In a blender, add butter and salt. 
  5. Transfer tea to the blender and blend using liquefy. 
  6. Enjoy butter tea with cookies or anything you like. 

Simple but good lives with houses nestled into the mountain sides

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