Payu Chaa, The Traditional Tea of Baltistan

Payu Cha
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Payu Cha is a butter tea which is the most famous drink in Baltistan region of Gilgit-Baltistan, which is known for its hospitality. Balti people drink tea thrice a day after every meal. This all-time beverage of Baltistan region which is also known as butter tea, dates back to the 7th century and it connects with the Tang Dynasty. This tea is used in the mountainous area of Pakistan, India, China, Bhutan and Nepal. It is known with different names in different areas like in Baltistan it is known as Payu Cha and in Tibet it is known as Po Chavor Bod ja.

How Payu Cha is made?

For making Payu Cha you need to boil the tea leaves also known as green tea for half an hour to one hour until the solution turns black. You need to add soda while tea is boiling which will help iin early preparation otherwise it will take hours in backing the tea leaves as the green tea leaves are very difficult to boil. Once the solution turns into black you are required to add salt and water and again boil the solution. Once the solution is boiled you need to add it to tea churn. After this you need to shake it for almost half an hour. During the shaking process add some butter and continue churning until the tea reaches proper consistency. After this it is added to bronze brazier in order to keep it hot. For churning you can use blenders now a days. In older days special wooden churn were used which are rare now.


Payu Cha is also very healthy as well as the butter in it helps in keeping the body warm in the winters. The butter also lets you fight in the altitude and for the new comers in this area, Payu Cha is very beneficial. The hospitality of Baltis is incomplete without Payu Cha. It is served during a casual talk, a festival, at the time of happiness as well as sorrow.

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