Sunday, March 14, 2010

authentic yogi tea

my favorite version

Perhaps you've seen or tried the Yogi brand of tea that is sold commercially. Did you know that it was inspired by a simple tea that is brewed from five whole spices? This original "Yogi Tea" was popularized by Yogi Bhajan, who also introduced Kundalini Yoga to the US in 1969.

The Ayurvedic blend of spices is said to stimulate the immune system, to aid digestion, and to increase vitality. I find yogi tea to be warming and invigorating. I often make a half-gallon batch and finish it within a few hours, but it can also be kept in the refrigerator for several days.

The recipe below is the adaptation that I prefer. I love using complexly-flavored grains of paradise in place of the traditional black peppercorns. I usually drink this tea hot, with no additions; however, it is also delicious with the addition of nut milk and sweetener (the result is similar to chai latté). I also found the delicious-sounding suggestion of serving crushed, frozen cubes of yogi tea with a splash of ginger beer.

Authentic Yogi Tea
makes 6 servings
  • 2 quarts filtered water
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 15 grains of paradise or black peppercorns
  • 3" cinnamon sticks
  • 15 green cardamom pods (or 3 teaspoons of cardamom seeds)
  • 2" ginger root, peeled, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 teaspoon black tea (or 1 black tea bag)
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add all spices and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and allow to simmer for one hour.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and add the tea. Cover and allow to sit for one hour.
  4. Strain the spices and tea leaves by pouring the tea through a strainer into a bowl.
  5. Enjoy the hot tea immediately, or keep in the refrigerator for several days and reheat by the cup.

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