Homemade chai tea latte for a warm winter treat

This week in Kentucky the winter weather has swept in appropriately with the winter solstice on Dec 21, 2012.  Now, officially it is winter.  The nights are long, days are short and we are lucky if typical grey skies will instead let the sun shine through for even mere minutes of the day. Dry, crisp air outside and in…Especially in this old home where I type now.  The secret to my productive work day is the space heater near my legs.  The warmest part of the house is now against my legs, under the desk.  There ya go! That’s my productive winter work day-

A favorite luscious treat of mine for the winter days is homemade chai lattes, and really it’s an innocent pleasure.  This warm drink has favorite flavors of pungent heat with savory sweetness AND caffeine!  Keep it your style by choosing the style of milk from whole to skim to coconut or other milk alternative.  The best chai comes from Happy Cows raised and milked humanely.  Same goes for the coconut, hemp or whatever milk you enjoy 😉

Today’s chai recipe comes from Himalayan Institute. Two weeks ago I traveled to the Honesdale, Pennsylvania campus to complete my Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist training with Kathryn Templeton.  I think HI’s chai is now my favorite because of the ginger with vanilla. Check it out.  All your friends will force you to make this for parties and brunch get together occasions.  P.S. I totally recommend making the jump over to Himalayan Institute in Honesdale to experience the yoga and meditation programming regularly conducted at the ashram. Thanks to HI for sharing this masterpiece.

HI Style Chai Tea Latte!

2 steps, First make a 8-12 ounces of black tea and add ginger root.  Let steep.

Second, after starting the black tea, take a saucepan to pour about 3 cups of milk into over medium heat on the stove. Add sugar or jaggery* with whole cardamom, whole cloves and either 2 vanilla beans or a “spec” of quality vanilla extract.

Then, turn up the heat and stir into a soft boil.  Then remove from heat and add the black tea, removing the ginger root.  You can strain all of this through mesh, or cheesecloth.

Traditionally, chai teas are sweet so continue to sweeten to your own taste with the jaggery, or raw honey.  Only add raw honey once the milk or tea is no longer cooking.

This is delicious!  It’s great with no black tea, as well, for a decaffeinated warm, drink.

In the next post over the Christmas holiday I’ll offer recipe and instructions for nighttime rasayana, or “yummy sleep inducer” as I like to call it at home.  It will be milk, ghee and spicy sweet fest you’ll look forward to!!

*Jaggery “Gur” or whole brown sugar is a pure, wholesome, traditional, unrefined, raw & whole form of sugar made with from fresh sugar cane juice with whole molasses intact and has a much better Glycemic Index.

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Milk from happy cow

Milk from happy cow!

Cardamom for chai!

Cardamom for chai!




Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract