I make chai every morning before I sit for meditation. Chai is an integral part of my daily sadhana (practice).
A friend once told me that he had to start drinking chai after he was given a particular meditation practice. I know my teacher loves it, and his teacher, and his teacher’s, teacher enjoyed it as well. There is quite a lot of mystery and intrigue for me surrounding the practice of chai.
In addition to being an integral part of my morning practice chai is a fabulous coffee alternative. Here’s a list of a few reasons why chai latte is an Ayurvedic blend of awesomeness: The black tea is more stable in terms of its caffeine absorption, rather than the quick burst of cafeine that you receive from coffee; the cardamom and milk help balance the stimulating effects of the caffeine; ginger is heating and therefore is a great digestive and eliminative stimulant; and finally sugar acts as a carrier bringing the nutrients to where they are needed in the body.
The chai that you’ll find at Starbucks is much different. Although delicious, its a pre made mixture which does not have the benefits that you’ll find in your fresh, homemade chai latte. (Not to mention that your skipping the best part, the process of making chai latte!)
Let me know how it goes. If you have a favorite way of making your chai latte please comment.
Tools: Medium size pot, small grader (for ginger), and strainer
1-2″ fresh ginger (peeled)
2 cups of water
2 cups of milk
2-3 heaping tbs of black tea
1-2 heaping tbs of sugar
1/2 tps of cardamom
less ginger, less sugar, more/less cardamom and additional ingredients
Pinch of cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg and/or pinch of saffron
Put 2 cups of water on high heat. Peel and grade the ginger into the water and bring the water to a boil. Add 2 cups of milk, 2-3 heaping tbs of black tea, 1-2 heaping tbs of sugar, stir ingredients and bring to a boil. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes to brew tea and add 1/2 tps of cardamom. Strain tea and graded ginger. Best served now.