I was never fond of tea. Honestly, it was something I would forcefully drink only when sick. Of course, with a huge tablespoon of honey to make it ridiculously sweet. In my mind hot tea was always linked to a not-feeling-well state. Wow, how things change…
Over the years I have discovered the strong bond I have with nature. Using nature’s gifts for enjoyment, nourishment and healing, understanding its powers in altering the way we feel and react, and witnessing many health disturbances being corrected by simply including certain foods, herbs or spices into our diet, makes my heart pound faster.
During my first years of practicing yoga, I was offered the Yogi tea in the centre I was attending classes. I will never forget its inviting aroma and delicious flavour. Sweet, rich, warming, energising and calming at the same time. Surrounded with other yogis with their glowing skin, chanting mantras, and burning incense sticks, I was hooked. It took me another few years to move through my wild years of growing up to truly understand that yoga goes beyond chanting and amazing scents. But the Yogi tea spice blend found its place on my cupboard right away.
Last September I embarked on a 3-year journey of yoga and meditation teacher training. Being a fresh mum, in a foreign country where I still don’t understand their language (sorry mensen!), and with my yoga mat being rolled up for some time, I felt an urge to find my tribe that will guide and support me on my yoga path. The universe did its magic and I found myself in this beautiful yoga school surrounded with green trees, where the stars can be seen and the earth’s smell be felt. The group of different, yet likeminded women, made me felt welcome from the first moment. They proved that language brings people closer, instead of dividing them. I’m immensely grateful for sharing my yoga journey with them.
I made this richly spiced tea last week, and shared it with my yoga group. Instead of just saying thank you, I wanted to make them FEEL my gratefulness. Chanting my favourite mantras, I carefully selected spices that will bring out feelings of warmth, nourishment, softness and love in them. All I can say is that I was deeply touched with their reactions and the atmosphere we had. I share with you the variation of the recipe I was given years back in my first yoga centre and I hope you will share it with your loved ones too.
Yoga means “to unite”, thus the name of this tea couldn’t be more appropriate. Let love, understanding and appreciation bring us all together, over a cup of Yogi tea.
Yogi tea health benefits:
- immunity strengthening
- remedy and preventive measure for colds, flu, intestinal issues, allergies, weakness…
- strengthens the nervous system
- clears the mind
- stimulates digestion
- boosts metabolisms – helpful in weight control
- tonic for the whole body
- tridoshic – balances all three doshas
With the arrival of cold, windy fall days, nothing feels more appealing than a cup of Yogi tea with a splash of milk, with a good book wrapped in a cozy blanket, and – of course – a burning incense stick.
- 1 litre water
- 8 cloves
- 8 black peppercorns
- 2 cinnamon sticks (or 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder)
- 8 whole green cardamom pods (split the pods)
- 1 star anis
- 2 cm fresh ginger, sliced (or 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder)
- milk, full-fat or plant-based such as almond milk for a vegan option
- honey, rice or maple syrup to taste
Bring water to the boil. Add the spices and fresh ginger, cover the lid, and simmer over low heat for at least 5 minutes, and up to 15 minutes for a stronger flavour. If using milk, add it at the end of cooking. Just when it is about to boil again, turn off the heat. Strain and serve warm. Add sweetener to taste.
- You can crush dried spices using a mortar and pestle for a stronger aroma. This way cooking time can be reduced to 3-5 minutes.
- You can prepare the tea in the morning and warm it up for enjoyment during the day.
- If you are sleep sensitive, avoid the tea in the evening since it might be too stimulating for your nervous system.
- For an extra energy boost, add 1 teaspoon of black tea at the end of cooking and let sit for 3 minutes before straining it. Spices reduce the negative effect of theine in the black tea, and improve antioxidant activity of the tea.
- Excess milk and sugar can provoke Kapha, so be careful if this is your dominant or sensitive dosha.
Vata (-) Pitta (-) Kapha (-)