All about Kalmyk tea

Health Tips

This favorite drink of nomads has been known since ancient times. It warms in the cold and quenches thirst in the heat, saturates and nourishes the body. It has an original taste, so it has long “crossed the borders” of the steppes, and people all over the world drink it with pleasure.

In 2014, Kalmyk Tea Day will be celebrated on May 17, and on the eve of the holiday, Goodshapetips talks about the benefits of this drink and how to prepare it.

But first, let’s say a few words about what this type of tea is. Kalmyk tea is a drink made from non-fermented tea leaves with the addition of milk, fat, salt and spices.

Legends of the origin of Kalmyk tea

There are several versions of the appearance of Kalmyk tea. The first legend says: one Tibetan lama invented this drink in order to maintain the strength of the monks in those days when any meat food was prohibited. He experimented with the proportions and duration of cooking until he got a hearty and tasty either tea or soup.

According to the second version, this drink was prepared for a sick religious reformer. The doctor prescribed milk tea for him as a remedy. The patient had to take it on an empty stomach for a week. Having fulfilled the prescription, he was completely cured and ordered his students to start every morning with a bowl of Kalmyk tea.

However, most likely, the Kalmyks simply modified the method of brewing, brought along with tea from China. The fact is that it is difficult to hold a traditional tea ceremony in the steppes, besides, there is little water there, but there is an abundance of mare and camel milk. Therefore, the nomads began to brew tea in milk, adding butter to it for satiety, and spices available to them for taste and aroma.

The benefits of Kalmyk tea

For Kalmyks and other nomadic peoples, boiled milk tea has always been and remains not only a drink, but also a medicine and a general tonic.

This tea normalizes metabolism, and also increases the body’s resistance to pathogenic bacteria, that is, it strengthens the immune system.

Kalmyk tea relieves colds and severe coughs. It is used to treat respiratory diseases.

This drink has a beneficial effect on digestion and the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. It is taken for poisoning – both during treatment and to restore strength. In addition, it is recommended to drink it for diseases of the gallbladder.

Kalmyk tea resembles soup in its density and nutritional value, so it can be used as an independent dish that saturates and energizes for several hours. By the way, even those who want to lose weight can drink it – despite the fact that it is boiled in milk and with the addition of butter, it helps to reduce weight.

This drink has a beneficial effect on lactation, that is, it increases the amount of milk in nursing mothers. True, during the feeding period it is better not to put a lot of spices in tea.

Kalmyk tea, brewed only with milk, perfectly relieves a hangover. It removes the decay products of alcohol from the body, removes nausea and heartburn, and clears the brain.

This tea helps to cope with fatigue, restores vigor and perfectly tones. And at the same time, it relieves insomnia and feelings of inner restlessness.

Recipes for making Kalmyk tea

A real brew for Kalmyk tea is made from fully ripe and rather coarse large tea leaves, which are harvested in late autumn, slightly dried and no longer subjected to any processing. They do not undergo fermentation, they are simply dried and pressed into small briquettes. In fact, this is just one type of green tea.

However, not in all cities you can buy such tea, so its lovers take the principle of brewing as a basis, and use both black and ordinary green tea leaves as raw materials. So we offer you recipes based on the presence and absence of the original Kalmyk tea leaves.

Classic Kalmyk tea recipe


  • Kalmyk tea – 30-50 g,
  • Water – 0.2 l,
  • Milk (mare or cow with high fat content) – 0.8 l,
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon (or to taste),
  • Black peppercorns – 10 pcs.,
  • Butter (melted) – 30-40 g.


Put a crumbled piece of Kalmyk tea briquette into cold water and bring to a boil over low heat. Then pour in the milk, salt, add black peppercorns (it can be slightly crushed in a mortar) and mix.

Bring to a boil again, but do not boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes on the smallest fire, stirring occasionally (clockwise). Remove the Kalmyk tea from the stove, season with melted butter and let it brew for 20 minutes.

Some then strain the tea, but many Kalmyks use it together with tea leaves. It is believed that it is healthier and more nutritious. In addition, nomads sometimes replace butter with the same amount of mutton fat. You can also experiment with spices by adding to the drink those that you usually put in meat.

Kalmyk tea with black tea leaf

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  • Large leaf black tea – 1 tbsp. a spoon,
  • Water – 1 glass,
  • Milk (3.2% fat) – 1 cup,
  • Butter – 20 g,
  • Salt – to taste
  • Black ground pepper – 1 teaspoon (or to taste),
  • Nutmeg – on the tip of a knife.


Boil water with tea leaves, boil for 5-7 minutes over low heat, add milk. Season with salt, ground pepper and nutmeg, stir. Cook, stirring, for another 10 minutes, then put the butter and immediately remove the tea from the stove. Let stand for 5 minutes, strain and pour the drink into bowls or cups.

Kalmyk tea with green tea leaf


  • Green tea leaf – 30 g,
  • Water – 0.5 l,
  • Milk (3.2% fat) – 0.5 l,
  • White peppercorns – 10 pcs.,
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon (or to taste),
  • Bay leaf – 2-3 pcs.,
  • Butter (melted) – 30-40 g.


Put green tea into boiling water and immediately pour in the separately boiled milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a minimum, add salt, white pepper and bay leaf, stir. Boil for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and lifting the tea leaves from the bottom. Then put the melted butter, remove the tea from the stove and let stand for 5-6 minutes. You can strain if you wish.

Kalmyk tea with a mixture of black and green tea leaves


  • Large leaf black tea – 1 tbsp. a spoon,
  • Green tea leaf – 1 tbsp. a spoon,
  • Milk (3.2% fat) – 1 l,
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon (or to taste),
  • A mixture of peppers – to taste,
  • Carnation – 2 pcs.,
  • Nutmeg – on the tip of a knife,
  • Butter – 30 g.


Warm the milk, add black and green tea leaves to it, mix. Bring the tea to a boil over low heat, add the salt, pepper mixture, cloves and nutmeg. Cook, stirring and not letting boil, for 10-15 minutes, then strain and put the butter.


At the end of the article, we will say that some people advise adding cinnamon to Kalmyk sacchari tea, but this does not correspond to the original recipe. Nomads perceived this drink more as food than as a drink, so they made it spicy and salty, spicy. However, you can try sweetening the tea, perhaps it will be easier for you to get used to its peculiar taste.

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