A bowl of highland barley wine or a cup of buttered tea is the first greeting from Tibetan people for visitors to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Being an essential drink of Tibetans, buttered tea symbolizes both local life and folk culture. Thus tea pots and kettles also become livelihood necessities in Tibet.
The various buttered tea utensils made of different materials, may reflect the living standards of different families. Ceramic tea pot is the most common ones in Tibetan families; while coppery ones, especially those made of bronze, can be only possessed by families having certain economic strength and social status. As for those legendary buttered tea pots made of gold or silver, they were rather artworks than life necessities which were used by nobilities of ancient time.