Friday, June 24, 2011

yogi tea

The heat index hit 113 degrees today in some parts of the Carolinas. A nice hot cup of tea is probably the last thing on your mind right now. But, just because it is hot outside doesn’t mean we have to give up all the healing benefits of tea. Yogi tea is an amazing beverage that can deliver wonderful nourishment all year long. When the temperature rises, I drink my Yogi tea over ice.
I’ve been told many times over the years that I make the “best” yogi tea.  The recipe that I use is the classic recipe that Yogi Bhajan has shared with his students.  If my yogi tea has a certain something, it would be this: I hold the intention of creating a delicious and healing beverage that will hold much love for the drinker.  I chant as I make my tea and imagine that my hands are filled with love and that this love goes into the tea.  I also always begin to make my tea the night before I wish to share it.  There are two reasons that I do this.  The first and most important reason is that I am not rushed and am able to make the tea with calm intention.  The second reason is that the tea has an opportunity to steep longer, developing a stronger taste.
Yogi tea is said to be good for the blood, colon, nervous system, and bones.  Yogi tea is also indicated for colds, flu, and any physical weakness.  The science of the blend is this: the black pepper is a blood purifier; the cardamom is a digestive aid; the cloves are for the nervous system as well as to generate heat in the body; the gingerroot is good for colds, flu, physical weakness, digestion as well as overall vitality; the milk helps assimilation of the spices as well as coats the stomach lining to avoid irritation and the black tea is a nice energy boost.
This recipe has a yield of approximately 2 quarts of tea.  If you double it you will have a gallon of tea which is a nice amount for a gathering.  I’ve found that there is no such thing as too much yogi tea!
The ingredients you will need: 2 quarts of water, 15 whole cloves, 20 green cardamom pods, 20 black peppercorns, 3 sticks of cinnamon, 8 thick slices of gingerroot, ½ teaspoon of black tea, 3 cups of milk and honey to taste.
Bring the water to boil in a large pot.  Add the cloves and boil for at least 1 minute.  Mash the cardamom pods in a mortar and add to the boiling water, along with the peppercorns, cinnamon, and gingerroot.  Boil for 20 – 30 minutes.  Turn off heat and add the black tea.  At this point, I leave the pot on the stove, covered, overnight.  The next day I strain the tea and return to the pot to warm gently.  When warm, I add milk and honey.  Voila!  Yogi tea to enjoy.
It is a special treat anytime of the year. In the summer time, I like to drink my Yogi tea iced, with a cinnamon stick to swirl.

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