Suutei tsai

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Dokumentary: Suutei tsai

Suutei tsai (literally "tea with milk") is a traditional Mongolian beverage. The name suutei tsai in Mongolian means milk tea. The drink is also known as süütei tsai, tsutai tsai, or Mongolian salty tea.


The ingredients to suutei tsai are typically water, milk, tea and salt. A simple recipe might call for one quart of water, one quart of milk, a tablespoon of green tea, and one teaspoon of salt. But the ingredients often vary. Some recipes use green tea while others use black tea. Some recipes even include butter or fat. The amount of salt in the tea is also often varied. Sometimes the milk in the tea is omitted if not available. Another common addition to the suutei tsai is fried millet.

The way of preparing the drink can also vary. The traditional way of cooking it includes stirring it by scooping it up while it is boiling and pouring it back in from a height. However, many today omit this step.

The tea that the Mongolians use for suutei tsai commonly comes from a block. The block consists of a lower quality of tea that is made up of stems or inferior tea leaves and is compressed into a block that can be easily stored. When needed, the tea is chipped off and added to the suutei tsai.

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