Sweet milky tea is the language of hospitality in Nepal. Whether in a Sherpa or a Gurung home, along a trekking trail, or on first arrival at your lodge, you will be offered a cup—or more usually a glass—of Nepali chiya.
This national drink is prepared by boiling tea-leaves, sometimes even tea dust, with milk and sugar, then strained into a glass. Infused with spiced herbs such as cardamom, ginger and clove, the flavor varies with each household and teashop, and is often laced with a tinge of smoke from the open fire. Be sure to accept your glass holding the top so as not to burn your fingers. Need a souvenir? Attractively packaged Nepali tea makes a tasty gift and an interesting talking point back home.