How to make Po Cha – Traditional Tibetan Butter Coffee

tibetan_butter_tea

One genesis for fatCoffee is the traditional Tibetan drink, po cha, or butter tea. (The other is Niter Kibbeh, a traditionally Ethiopian preparation of butter for use in butter coffee ceremonies and other gatherings.)

Typically, po cha is made with fermented yak butter and black tea. Unlike most western butters yak butter is more cheese-like in texture and taste, imparting a typically salty taste to the tea preparation. It can be something of an acquired taste, so omitting the salt in the recipe below is perfectly reasonable.

Tibetan Butter Tea (fatCoffee-style)
Print Recipe
A traditional preparation of butter tea or po cha.
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
Tibetan Butter Tea (fatCoffee-style)
Print Recipe
A traditional preparation of butter tea or po cha.
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 minute
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Boil water for tea
  2. In a large blender (we recommend a Ninja or NutriBullet type blender), add 4 tea bags (or more, depending on your taste)
  3. Add water to blender container
  4. Steep for 5-7 minutes
  5. Remove tea bags
  6. Add two pouches (or 4 tablespoons from a multi-serving pouch) of fatCoffee Vanilla to blender), plus salt.
  7. Close blender tightly and blend on high for 30-45 seconds
  8. Carefully open blender, and pour into separate cups; drink and enjoy!
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Frozen Butter Coffee Pops with fatCoffee

FatCoffe pops ready for the freezer

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With the summer swelter settling in here in Philadelphia, we’ve been busy looking for ways to keep cool. Movie theaters present a compelling option, as does cranking up the air conditioner at home to your preferred setting. In our house, we set it to “Apple Store Cold.”

Thankfully, there’s a tastier, more economical, and much more Paleo option: fatCoffee Summer Ice Pops. Delicious and smooth, and they take about 5 minutes to prep (plus an hour or so in the freezer.) We made these in the evening, so that we can leave the house with our fatCoffee on a stick, a frozen frappé to go.

FatCoffe pops ready for the freezer
Frozen Butter Coffee Pops with fatCoffee
Print Recipe
Mixed with coffee or tea, fatCoffee is delicious and satisfying. Frozen on a stick, it's even more refreshing and convenient.
Servings Prep Time
6 Popsicles 5 Minutes
Passive Time
1 Hour
Servings Prep Time
6 Popsicles 5 Minutes
Passive Time
1 Hour
FatCoffe pops ready for the freezer
Frozen Butter Coffee Pops with fatCoffee
Print Recipe
Mixed with coffee or tea, fatCoffee is delicious and satisfying. Frozen on a stick, it's even more refreshing and convenient.
Servings Prep Time
6 Popsicles 5 Minutes
Passive Time
1 Hour
Servings Prep Time
6 Popsicles 5 Minutes
Passive Time
1 Hour
Ingredients
Servings: Popsicles
Instructions
  1. Brew coffee with 1 1/2 - 2 times as much coffee grounds as you normally use.
    2 cups of brewed coffee
  2. Place in a blender cup (we use a NutriBullet) and add 4 packets of fatCoffee (Vanilla or Mocha work best, but forthcoming flavors might be even more amazing).
    Brewed Coffee with fatCoffee Mocha Added
  3. Blend on high for 30-60 seconds. Blend longer than you normally would if you were making fatCoffee. In this case, a shaker bottle probably won't do the trick, but if you're especially skilled and can pull it off, send us a video and we'll post it here.
    Blender cup with fatCoffee fully mixed
  4. Pour into your popsicle mold. We are also going to try this in some ice pop pouches, which might work even better (see notes, below)
    fatCoffee Pops in their mold
  5. Close the mold with the included lids/sticks, and place in the freezer.
    FatCoffe pops ready for the freezer
  6. In about two hours, remove from the freezer, and enjoy! Our kids are enjoying pops made with Republic of Tea's Hibiscus tea, which makes for a very satisfying treat without the caffeine.
  7. Claudia with her fatCoffee Tea Pop
Recipe Notes

A note about mixing fatCoffee pops: use HOT brewed coffee or tea, because that will mix more thorough with the fatCoffee.

Even still, as the pops cool in the freezer, the foamy part will float to the top before the pops freeze completely. This means that your popsicles will have a richer, smoother part at the bottom of the stick, and a icier part at the top. We rather like it that way, but you should judge for yourself.

One possible way to make a more evenly-mixed Butter Coffee Pop with fatCoffee is to use these Ice Pop Molds instead. About a 1/2 hour after putting them in the freezer, take them out and mash them like you would a sealed fatCoffee packet to mix the material around. Even better, lay them flat in the freezer so that the icey and smooth parts are distributed evenly along the length of the pop. We'll be trying that this weekend!

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fatCoffee Pomegranate Zinger

an_opened_pomegranate

This is another example of sweetness without a lot of sugar. Whereas a Hot Cup of Pie has no sugar whatsoever, this has a small amount – about 4 grams per 2 TBSP of Pomegranate powder.

If you’re going to have any fruit sugar in your diet, nighttime is one of the best times to have it, which makes this another good pre-bedtime treat. I find the slight tartness of the pomegranate is well balanced by the richness of the ghee and coconut oil in fatCoffee, and the drink is altogether a very satisfying experience.

Make this with coffee or just hot water (if you want to skip the caffeine, especially at night.)

 

Ingredients

Preparation

  • Add Pomegranate Powder and 8-oz of hot water to a blender or small, tightly-sealable water bottle
  • Add 1 packet of fatCoffee®
  • Close lid securely, and shake/blend for 45-60 seconds
  • Open carefully, pour into a mug and enjoy!
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Mr. Butter Coffee Freeze (Iced fatCoffee)

An iced butter coffee, made with fatCoffee

Have I mentioned how hot it is in Philadelphia in the summertime? You know how they say, out in Arizona and other parts of the American West, that it’s “a dry heat”? So, like, it’s a 120˚, but it’s “dry.” Supposedly that makes it better, easier to tolerate; they don’t tell you that it’s “a dry heat, so dry that the air actually sucks the moisture directly out of your organs, and within 5 minutes you’ve shriveled into a hollowed-out husk of a person, like that guy in Indiana Jones who ‘chose… poorly‘.”

Philadelphia is not dry in the summer. It’s hot. And humid. And swampy, sweltering… sultry. So hot and dank that when you sweat, the sweat goes inward, where it’s cooler.

All of which is to say: iced is nice. “Italian ice” or “wooter ice” in the local patois, is one common respite from the insufferable heat – if you’ve enjoyed a Rita’s anywhere in the US this year, you can thank Philadelphia for that. You’re probably also still recovering from the insulin shock, but at least you’re looking in the right place for a replacement.

Making an Iced fatCoffee has long been a mission of mine… I don’t really want to stop drinking butter coffee just because the Real Feel is 104˚ and rising. But there have been some challenges, namely: coconut oil. This rather interesting drupe boasts many fascinating attributes, one of which is: it’s solid at room temperature. So while fatCoffee might be liquid at 85˚, when you put it into a glass of iced coffee, you get a solid chunk of coconut oil floating to the top.

Thankfully, the Ninja Goat has some Ninja Friends, and one of them has agreed to help out.

Ingredients

  • 2 packets of fatCoffee®
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered coconut milk (don’t substitute canned coconut milk. You want the powdered stuff because of it’s ability to help everything else emulsify.)
  • 1 cup of ice cubes
  • 8-10 fl oz coffee
  • One extremely powerful blender, like this one.

Preparation

  • Add all ingredients to a blender or small
  • Close lid securely, and blend on high for 45-60 seconds
  • Pour into a tall glass and enjoy

Initially, you will notice an effect not unlike the way Guinness bubbles go downward. This is normal.

Eventually, about half way through your Iced fatCoffee, you will notice a general sense of well being and acceptance of the Universe. This is also normal.

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fatCoffee® Spiced Chocolate

Ground Cocoa Powder

There is a cafe not far from where I live – I often pass by as I walk to or from my office, but almost never stop in. They are open from 6PM to Midnight, which isn’t terribly convenient if you want a cup of coffee in the morning. But the owner is known for his hot chocolate, and for attempting to make the World’s Strongest Espresso shot.

I actually had one of those once, and not entirely on purpose. It was a Saturday afternoon, and we’d just finished walking down through the 9th Street Market, and were headed home. I needed something to perk me up for the afternoon, and we stopped in for a cup of coffee.

“How about an espresso,” René asked, “it’s really good, I make it wonderfully.”

“Sure,” I said. I was in a rush, anything would do.

René then proceeded to run water through the espresso machine to clear it out – about 23 gallons of steaming hot water. “Most people don’t bother to clean the machine but once a day, and you have to clean it every single time or the coffee will be horrible.” He started tapping out freshly ground coffee into the filter – I’m sure I heard that handle snap 12 or 13 times. Every third or fourth snap he tamped the grounds down, and then snapped the filter into the machine and began pumping water through it.

What came out was impossibly thick, almost syrupy, and topped with an almost-solidified crema. I downed it in two quick sips, paid my $6, and left.

My family, who had gone in with me, and left a few minutes earlier (the kids were antsy) and I jogged to catch up with them. About 5 strides in, I noticed the strangest thing: my feet weren’t actually touching the ground any more. I was coasting down the sidewalk, about 4 inches above the concrete, the air in my wake swirling under the hot summer sun.

When I caught up with my family, my wife reminded me that the kids would need to nap when we got home.

“YeahIthinkthatsagreatideaIthinkImgoingtocleantheyardandmaybemakesomedinnerandpossiblystraightenoutthebasement,” I replied.

“What’s wrong with you,” she asked.

“NothingIfeelgreatIthinkmaybethatcoffeewasalittlestrongandmaybehadmorethanoneortwoshotsinitIcantbesureitwasreallygoodthrough.”

“You’re sweating. A lot. Are you sure you’re ok?”

“Yeahdefinitelynoproblemfeelinggreatshouldwebegettinghomenowwhyistheskyturningpurple?”

About an hour later I finally hit the ground. It was a soft landing, mostly, and the sweating had stopped. I’m pretty sure it took another 30 minutes before my heart stopped pounding.

René also makes a mean cup of hot chocolate, so I’ve heard. This recipe is partly inspired by that, but with no sugar it provides quite a different experience. Make this with a cup of mild coffee, or 14 shots of espresso, whichever you prefer.

Ingredients

Preparation

  • Add all ingredients to a blender or small, tightly-sealable water bottle
  • Close lid securely, and shake/blend for 45-60 seconds (a little longer with water/tea than coffee.)
  • Open carefully, pour into a mug and enjoy!
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fatCoffee® Turmeric Tea

A picture of whole and ground turmeric, a root

I love spicy food, and a hot curry (at least, the Americanized versions I usually encounter) tends to fit the bill quite nicely.

But there was that one time in 2001, at Minar Palace, back when it was a narrow little spot on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. I’d ordered Chicken Vindaloo, and was happily munching away while at a table full of friends and family.

And then, suddenly, I noticed the view in front of me receding, as if I were suddenly whooshing backwards at a fantastic speed. Swirling patches dotted my peripheral vision, and I heard a clearly-audible “SNAP” emanate from somewhere between the back of my throat and the top of my head. I remember trying to speak the word “hot”, but all that came out was a high-pitched and unintelligible hiss from somewhere deep, dark, and forbidden within: “Haaaaaaaugh…. haaaaaaaugh… haaaaaaaugh…….”

When I’d finally managed to spit out the offending seed, and mash enough dry bread into my mouth to quell the rebellion, I made a mental note to swear off foods that ended in guttural sounds like “oooo” and “gaaaaagh” and “nugget”.

And yet, inspiration lingers. For from the same traditions comes a spice with a variety of medicinal uses: turmeric.

Yes, turmeric, the yellow spice that’s normally a staple of curries and French’s Yellow Mustard, has some rather fantastic qualities.

The taste is slightly bitter, which pairs well with a robust, smokey coffee. But in truth, this works best with just hot water (though if you’re looking for a caffeine boost you can pair this with something like a green or black tea.)

Ingredients

Preparation

  • Add all ingredients to a blender or small, tightly-sealable water bottle
  • Close lid securely, and shake/blend for 45-60 seconds (a little longer with water/tea than coffee.)
  • Open carefully, pour into a mug and enjoy!
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fatCoffee® Hot Cup of Pie

An apple pie with a lattice crust

From my personal experience, I can say that making coffee with butter tends to result in a smoother, more even effect from the caffeine – rather than a strong jolt about 20 minutes after finishing my cup, I find that the energy lift lasts for a few hours. Your mileage may vary.

I used to drink about 14-16 cups of coffee a day. I used to make a fresh pot – at 11PM. It seemed to have little effect on my sleep, but eventually it had very little effect on my wakefulness either. Since I’ve started drinking butter coffee, I find I need 2-3 cups/day, max.

But in the evenings, or if you just don’t want the caffeine, it’s helpful to have another option. This one’s pretty freakin’ awesome.

Butter (and fats in general) tend to be flavor-enhancers, and when combined with an herbal tea infused with fruits, the result is something like a hot, decadent cup of pie. Sweet without sugar, smooth and warming straight through.

I usually do this late in the evening, an hour or two before bed.

Ingredients

Preparation

  • Add tea bag and 8-oz of hot water to a blender or small, tightly-sealable water bottle
  • Let tea seep for 5-7 minutes
  • Remove tea bag, and add 1 packet of fatCoffee®
  • Close lid securely, and shake/blend for 45-60 seconds
  • Open carefully, pour into a mug and enjoy!