Mongolia: 47/52

Suutei Tsai (Mongolian Milk Tea)

We’ve been eyeing Mongolia on our list of countries for a long time. Mongolia’s cuisine has been shaped by the country’s extreme climate and conditions, and a lot of their dishes call for rather unique set-ups and situations  (open fires, yaks, whole goats, etc.) hard to come by in Brooklyn. So, we opted for an easier but unique drink called Suutei Tsai, which is a salty milk tea.

The Dish

The recipe comes from Global Tea Adventure. The basic idea is to boil heat up some water & milk, and then steep some green tea for a few minutes and add salt to taste. The recipe calls for millet, which you cook up with some butter and serve with tea – we used puffed millet instead, which together with the milk tea reminded us of cereal.

That ain’t sugar, baby

The Verdict

The distinguishing feature of this tea is the added salt. Knowing that, we didn’t play it safe by adding a pinch  – we added the whole 1/2 teaspoons and didn’t look back.

The result was, perhaps not surprisingly, a salty drink. It reminded us more of a soup than a tea. Even after a few sips, our taste buds continued to be confused by the fact that this tea was salty rather than sweet. It wasn’t bad, but we never really got used to drinking it.


Suutei tsai is probably a very satisfying drink on a cold day in the vast Mongolian plains, a setting we just couldn’t recreate in Brooklyn.

We’ve probably drank too many Chai Lattes to ever want a salty tea again, but we’re glad we gave it a try!


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