Tibetan Tea

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Tibetan Tea

Postby rabbit » Sep 21st, '10, 13:52

I have this infatuation with Tibet and Tibetan culture, I've heard a few mentions of Tibetan tea but I'm wondering if anybody has had much experience with it, what are the most common types of teas produced here? Are there any retailers that sell Tibetan tea online?

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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby Victoria » Sep 21st, '10, 14:14

Well there's Yak Butter Tea. :shock: :!:

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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby rabbit » Sep 21st, '10, 14:23

Yes, I'm quite familier with yak butter tea, but I'm looking more along the lines of teas that are GROWN in Tibet, not how they're drank. I'm assuming that black and pu-erh are probably the more common teas there because of they way they drink it?

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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby Proinsias » Sep 21st, '10, 15:17

My friend picked me up a few teas when he was in the himalayas a couple of years ago. 2 teas from Nepal, and one that might have been from Tibet apparently. They were all fairly similar, and not of the highest grade, but processing wise I would say there were more akin to a first flush darjeeling as opposed to a more traditional black or pu'er tea.

I've not looked into it in the slightest but I get the feeling Tibet may not be ideal for tea growing. I gather they are quite reliant on pu'er imported from China, at least the more rural or nomaic people, and have been for some time. I imagine if they could grow and make pu'er they would. I imagine a lot though.

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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby teaisme » Sep 21st, '10, 16:20

looking for only teas from tibet or is nepal close enough?

Teatrekker has 3 blacks and one white from nepal...nothing from tibet though

I imagine the climate of tibet is just a little too dry,dusty, salty, high temp, fluctuations and windy for tea cultivation in most parts. It seems like the areas that do have more fertile lands are closer to the south/southwest along the borders of nepal/bhutan/india

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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby Mr. Usaji » Sep 21st, '10, 17:18

They don't grow tea in Tibet as far as I know, because it's dry and cold. The lower parts of Nepal, bordering India, have a better climate and produce black tea similar to Darjeeling.

I haven't tried butter tea, but I hear it's pretty gross. If you want something Tibetan that's more like actual tea, Xiaguan's Bao Yan products are at least supposedly made for Tibet, and have Tibetan writing on the wrapper.

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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby gingkoseto » Sep 21st, '10, 23:18

Xia Guan Bao Yan tea is supposed to be pretty good. It was royal tribute to the late Banchan Lama for years (but I guess the version he got was more exceptional :wink: )

If you find yak butter tea too hard to make or to like, you can also try Tibetan sweet tea, which is simply boiling shu puerh or aged sheng puerh (or Hei Cha from Sichuan or Hunan) in milk for a while. I am not a big fan of shu puerh but found puerh milk tea quite pleasant. I also seal the puerh tea in a paper bag to keep the milk neat :D

There is a saying that Tibetan milk tea is the root of English tea. The way of adding milk to tea went from Tibet to Nepal, then India and then to the English. I think it's very possible :D

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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby Chip » Sep 22nd, '10, 12:19

TeaDay today, one of the maps included Tibet origin tea ...


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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby Shambles » Sep 22nd, '10, 16:52

I drank yak butter tea when I was in Tibet 10 years ago. . . in all honesty, it would be impossible to form an opinion of the actual tea used underneath all that butter.

I loved my first sip; it was not as revolting as I had been expecting. But it very soon became, well, like sitting down to eat a block of butter.

I drank two-and-a-half cups, to the delight of my hosts, but I did need to go and lie down in a darkened room after that. I believe the polite term is nauseous.

It was early afternoon on a hot day. I'd guess that it would be a completely different drink if you were doing heavy physical work in the bitter cold. Like eating Christmas cake when you are hiking in the snow - pure rocket fuel.

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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby IPT » Sep 22nd, '10, 23:49

I loved yak butter tea. I've always heard it was horrible and that nobody likes it the first time, but I really loved it. I get yak butter shipped to me from Tibet so I can make it in Guilin. I usually only drink it in the winter though. It is a bit strong in the summer. It really is an energy boost!

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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby debunix » Sep 23rd, '10, 01:06

I heard someone say he enjoyed his nice yak butter tea as long as he approached it as a pleasant soup broth, rather than as tea.

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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby rabbit » Sep 23rd, '10, 10:36

debunix wrote:I heard someone say he enjoyed his nice yak butter tea as long as he approached it as a pleasant soup broth, rather than as tea.

That is an interesting thing to me... often the way we view something makes it good or revolting, some people can't eat sushi because it's "gross! RAW FISH!!! BLEH!" and other people look at it and say "sushi is so pure and healthy!" and even though it's the same for both people, the viewpoint changes the opinion...

To think of our favorite tea which we wouldn't even put milk in and then think "butter... YAK butter... in... TEA?!" grosses one out... but to view it like a broth it looses some of the grossness!

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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby rabbit » Sep 27th, '10, 11:31

I didn't feel like posting another thread, but can someone point me in the direction of some info on Nepalese tea & culture?

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Re: Tibetan Tea

Postby RaynBeatle » Sep 27th, '10, 12:49

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