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Tea in Tibet and Mongolia

Tibet is located 4000m altitude highland and most of the area in the country of Mongolia is a grassland of vast extent. People's life in Tibet and Mongolia are not easy because of its climate. Under those severe environment, Lamaism is a big support for the people living there. Lamaism is a one kind of Buddhism, and tea was used to be used for mediators. Butter tea in Tibet Traditional life style of Tibetan live with animals. And the dairy products was necessary thing for their life. Tea was first introduced from China, and Tibetan people mixed their butter and those tea from China, and called them "butter tea" or "salty tea". Nutrition of butter and the element of tea are mixed and support their life. Yaku is a family of cow which lives in a highland area. Tibetan people make butter from this animal. This butter has very strong smell, and so as butter tea. Nai cha from Mongol People in Mongolia's belief is also a Lamaism. Lamaism is perhaps brought by Tibetan people. Tea was brought from near the Chang-Jiang river where is famous of tea producing area of China. We are not sure if butter tea was also introduced by Tibetan people when Lamaism came to Mongolia, or if Mongolian also discovered similar tea since their life style and eating habits were very similar to Tibetan. However, traditionally Mongolian use sheep milk or horse milk for making nai-cha.

(Satoru Matsushita)