When Yogi Bhajan came to the USA in the late 60’s and taught yoga classes he would prepare a blend of tea containing cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and black pepper which the students later dubbed “Yogi Tea”. Most people (myself included) have fond memories of this hot, yummy, spicy, healthy tea. This tea has become a part of the 3HO/Sikh Dharma culture. At any home you will find a batch of “Yogi Tea” in the refrigerator. It is an energizing and healthy tea which which can help your overall health.
“Cloves take away pain, cardamom aids digestion, cinnamon is good for the bones, black pepper stimulates the digestive process, and ginger is an Ayurvedic panacea, giving strength and energy. And the synergistic effect of all the herbs is more than the sum of its parts”
At any of our camps or events fresh yogi tea is always served. When you come to visit Espanola check my fridge to make sure I have a stock of tea! (I have to make some more tomorrow). In the summer I mix it cold with apple juice and it is like a great spicy apple cider. Everyone makes it a little different. I personally like it with loads of ginger which makes it spicier and gives me lots of energy. I drink lots of the tea especially if I get a “cold” or am not feeling well. I prefer natural healing methods rather than drugs, which in many cases just mask the symptoms, rather than dealing with the cause.
I prefer to stay away from caffeine and other stimulants, so this tea gives me the energy that I need to keep going. I am already so energetic that if I have caffeine I’ll bounce off the walls and go nuts!
So…now that I have raved all about it, you have the chance to make a batch of this tea and try it for yourself. Everyone I know seems to make it a little different (some people make it better than others). It’s one of those things that people perfect to their taste.
The Yogi Tea Recipe – Yield 2 Quarts
Yogi Tea comprises a specific combination of spices, mild and black tea. Health-promoting, delicious, soothing, and great coffee substitute. Yogi Tea is easy to make from scratch. We like to make a big pot-full (without adding milk), store in the refrigerator. To make a cup of tea just fill your cup three-forths with tea, add milk and heat (stove or microwave oven).
In the science of Ayurveda the spices are said to have the following properties: Black Pepper: blood purifier; Cardamom: digestive aid; Cloves: nervous system and generate heat in the body; Cinnamon: bones; Ginger root: for colds, flu, physical weakness, digestions, increased potency. The milk helps in the easy assimilation of the spices and coats the stomach lining to avoid irritation there. A pinch of black tea gives just a touch of “pick up”.
These spices can be purchased at most health food stores (US/UK/Europe) or an Indian grocery store.
2 Quarts of Water (1.89 liters paani)
15 whole cloves (Long)
20 green cardamom pods (Elaichi)
20 black peppercorns (Kala Mirch)
3 Sticks cinnamon (Dal chini)
8 slices of gingerroot (Adarakh)
1/2 tea spoon black tea (Chai patti)
3 cups of milk (Dood)
Bring water to boil in a 3-4 quart pot. Add cloves and boil for 1 minute. Add cardamom pods (to better release flavor, crush or split pods), peppercorns, cinnamon sticks and gingerroot. Cover and boil gently for 20-30 minutes. Add black tea.
At this point, you can let the tea cool, strain it and refrigerate. Or, add the milk, return to boil, and immediately remove from heat (or else it will boil over). Add sweetener to taste…and enjoy!
Recipe from the cook book “From Vegetables with Love” by Siri Ved Kaur Khalsa
The Yogi Tea was so popular that in the 80’s it was packaged and sold commercially. This has grown over the past 20 years to become one of the most popular herbal/health teas in the USA and Europe. They now have expanded way beyond the classic “yogi tea”. You can see their website online at – http://www.yogitea.com/ and Europe: http://www.yogitea.nl/