tea

Warmth

Autumn arrives with eagerness here in Switzerland. It's mid-October and the mountains are already capped with snow, visible on a rare clear autumn day. Our first of the season colds have set in already and I've un-earthed my hibernating knitting projects.

My life with tea has always been abundant and favorable to the everyday coffee. Listening to the needs of my body first thing in the morning and for the mid-day pick up. How well did my child sleep? Am I still bloated from yet another fondue dinner? How quickly do I have to run out the door?

Here are a few of my most gratifying, replace-the-cafe-latte, tea recipes to steep on. Enjoy the warmth.

 

Masala Chai

A love affair ever deepening since my time in India 5 years ago. This recipe is so unlike the cinnamon ladden, sugar syrup you get with frothy milk at your local Starbucks. It's deep with cardamom (my favorite spice) and only as sweet as you like. I prefer mine spicy, to add warmth and digestive fire to my day, therefore you can be as generous as you like with the ginger- 4 or 5 slices, and even toss one or two back in after straining and blend to incorporate. Plus, blending it will add froth to your Masala Chai Latte. 

serves 2

  • 3/4 c water
  • 2-4 green cardamom pods, smashed
  • 5 whole black pepper
  • 1-2 this slices of ginger
  • 1 one inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece of star anise
  • 3/4 c milk (or milk alternative)
  • 1 1/2 t  strong loose-leaf black tea
  • sweetener of choice- honey, cane sugar, jaggery, xylitol, etc

Add water, cardamom pods, black pepper, cinnamon stick and star anise to a small pot. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover. Leave overnight.

In the morning, add ginger and bring back to a boil, reduce to simmer. Add milk and tea. Simmer for 1 more minute then turn off heat and steep for 2 minutes.

Strain and add sweeteners. 

GOLDEN MILK -Turmeric tea

 

Benefits of turmeric: Turmeric is especially known for its benefits to digestion, immune function, reducing inflammation, liver health and even possible protection from cancer. Turmeric is one of the foods with the highest antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. When you mix turmeric with black pepper, you increase your body's absorption significantly. I especially love this recipe without cows milk as I like to give my body a break from dairy now and again (it is hard to do during fondue season in Switzerland, mind you...) Cashew milk has recently been my go-to as I have not found the coconut milk brand that I LOVE here yet, but in California, I navigated to the coconut version often. This is a great one to drink before bed as well. I think it has done wonders for my toddler's sleep patterns (extra honey and cinnamon added, of course)

  • 1 cup of coconut milk plus 1 cup of coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric 
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup or to taste
  • Pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)
  • 1 inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into a small sauce pan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
  3. Drink immediately

recipe made with fresh turmeric:

  • 1 1-inch knob fresh turmeric
  • 1 1/2-inch knob fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ghee 
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut water, or water
  • 1 tablespoon manuka honey, or other raw honey

Instructions

  1. Peel both the turmeric and ginger, then grate them finely into a mortar and pestle. Spoon the ghee into the mortar and grind the ghee into the turmeric and ginger with your pestle until they form a fine paste.
  2. Pour the coconut milk and coconut water into a saucepan, and spoon in the paste made with turmeric, ginger and ghee. Turn the heat up to medium-high and warm the ingredients together until little bubbles just begin to creep up the sides of the pot. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan, allowing the turmeric and ginger to steep about 3 minutes. Strain the golden milk through a fine-mesh strainer or tea strainer into a tea pot. Stir in the Manuka honey and continue stirring until it dissolves. Serve warm.

Notes

Golden Milk is traditionally made with cow's milk. If you wish to omit the coconut milk and coconut water, simply substitute 2 cups whole milk. Or another way I love it is with fresh cashew milk.

 

MATCHA LATTE

This creamy, dreamy, green wonder caught my attention when I was a teen. Mind you it was the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CA coffee chain) version, blended, heavily sweetened, and topped with whipped cream. But still introducing me to the desirable, earthy undertones of green tea. More often than not, this is my go-to replacement for the cafe-latte days of my past (coffee has never felt the same in my body since my pregnancy 3 years ago.) This is my 3 pm pick-me-up or Sunday morning brunch tea. Most other mornings I gravitate towards pure sencha for a clear mind and a little boost. It is important to remember that all green teas turn bitter if over-steeped or made too hot. It is a tea to be mindful and delicate with, in turn, it will provide the same for you.

  • 3/4 c cows milk, almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp matcha powder

Heat your milk choice gently on the stove, not boiling. I use a hand held milk frother. Spoon out approximately 2 T of hot milk into a small bowl with the matcha powder. Whisk vigorously with a bamboo whisk until frothy and slightly lighter in color. It is better to use bamboo when working with green tea and not metal, but if you are without a bamboo whisk, then you may. Froth or whisk the left over warm milk

 

Enjoy and stay warm everyone. -Ash