I’ve been trying to avoid coffee for a few weeks now. I’m passionate about coffee; I love the smell, taste and obviously benefit nicely from the kick. But with a regular morning yoga practice, I find that I don’t want the “fake energy” it gives me as I’m already on a natural high that can’t be beaten. It’s also been giving me an extremely erratic boost that makes me feel very jittery, as by starting the day with a cleansed system after yoga, I’m so sensitive to anything that I eat or drink. Gentle foods and drinks are best, which is why I’ve opted to try chai tea instead.
Chai tea is a delicious blend of spices infused into green or black tea. The spices used are sattvic, which means that they are gentle for the body, mind and soul and won’t slow you down, but equally as such, wont give you excessive amounts of energy that are unnatural. It’s straight down the middle bliss and calm, not to mention absolutely divine in taste! However you drink it, it’s packed with fantastic health benefits and a little bit of a kick at the same time.
Health Benefits Of Chai Tea
- The combination of ingredients in chai tea make for a great antioxidant that cleanses the system of toxins and aids in digestion
- The ginger, cinnamon and cardamom pods are all high in phytochemicals, which are highly active in the fight against cancer by helping prevent the spread of cancerous cells
- Cinnamon also helps balance the blood sugar and has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It’s also exceptional for “opening up” your awareness and increasing your sense of vitality
- Chai is also a great mood enhancer thanks to the cardamom pods, which are also responsible for enhancing the health of the lungs, the immune system and the circulatory system. It’s no wonder that cardamom is found in almost all Tibetan medicinal recipes
- The tea that you use is also packed with antioxidants, whether you choose green tea or black tea. Although there is caffeine found in the tea leaves, it’s balanced by the natural energy found in the spices, which smooth out any erratic, jittery feelings
- Ongoing energy supplies can be experienced when drinking a good old cup of chai. Unlike coffee and energy drinks, chai offers a lasting dose of healthy, naturally occurring energy that won’t have you crashing afterwards
Our Chai Tea Recipe
There are loads of powdered chai teas and chai teabags available in the shops, but it’s really rewarding making a cup of your own from scratch using all these divine ingredients:
- Boiled water
- Black tea or green tea (you can also use teabags)
- 1 star anise pod
- 2 cinnamon quills
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or grated raw ginger
- 3 or 4 cardamom pods
- A splash of vanilla extract or essence
- Warm milk, rice milk or soy milk – bear in mind that soy milk is very sweet on it’s own and isn’t the greatest accompaniment for this recipe
Sweeteners? You can use honey or if you’re vegan, opt for some dates melted into the boiling water. They’re super sweet and add a nice fruity taste to the tea. Of course, there is also sugar! If you’re using honey, xylitol, or sugar, add them in last after pouring into your cup.
Boil all the ingredients together in a pot for about 5 – 10 minutes so that all their flavours can infuse. Then you can either blend everything together so that all the whole ingredients become granular, or you can strain the tea and add your honey, dates, sugar and milk. Blending will give you more of the health benefits.
The first few times I tried to make my own chai, I couldn’t get the ratios to suit me, so the cups I made weren’t always delicious! But try it a few times to find which flavours you prefer and add more of that per recipe. Enjoy!