When I wake to grey skies and don’t quite feel the bounce of spring, a home made cup of chai is the elixir to clear my grogginess and inspire a more focused engagement with the unfolding day.
While there are many variations on making chai this is my standard classic method:
Simmer a few cloves, peppercorns, a big thumb or grated ginger, some star anise (optional) and 4 -5 cardamom pods
for about 10 min. in 3 cups of water.
Add Assam tea or any robust black tea, steep for 3 min.
Add warm milk or soya milk & a spoonful of honey or sugar to taste.
The other option I like is to make it with Rooibos or Honey bush tea for a caffeine free brew (or you can mix ½ & ½ )
The combination of spices, milk and tea each have an effect of balancing each other.
The rajasic caffeine and tannins of black tea are balanced by the milk.
The kaphic / heavy, mucus inducing quality of milk is balanced by the heat of pepper and ginger.
Cardamom is a special uplifting ingredient.
Some Ayurvedic doctors recommend adding ground cardamom to your cup after the chai has simmered so that it maintains its healing properties.