Last week I decided to give up coffee. I've never been addicted to anything but I think I was becoming addicted to the ritual of a cappuccino each day. I would really look forward to the stirring, the sipping, the chocolate powder sinking into the froth. But then I realised that my iron was low and a friend told me that caffeine doesn't allow your body to absorb iron. At around the same time I noticed that after a coffee I would get a few heart palpitations and generally feel a little off. I came to the conclusion that I wasn't even enjoying the actually coffee anymore - I was addicted to the habit of buying it. Addicted to the ritual.
And so I scrapped one ritual and embraced another.
A cheaper, healthier and much more satisfying ritual - chai.
A sweet, spicy Indian tea that will become, if you let it, the most beautiful comfort drink.
This recipe is from my friend Kellie but keep in mind that the best chai is your chai. Feel free to change the quantities of the ingredients to suit your taste.
place 2 cups of water in a saucepan and heat
2-3 slice of fresh ginger (don't bother peeling)
12-15 cardomon pods (squash a little in a mortar&pessel)
half a cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of cloves
small teaspoon of peppercorns (squash a little in a mortar&pessel)
one slice of whole nutmeg
4 teaspoons of tea leaves (I use a caffeine-free blend)
Let this simmer for about 20mins.
one cup of soy milk
one cup of oat milk
2 cups of dairy milk
2 cups of whatever milk you like
Allow the tea to infuse for about 10-15mins
Strain the tea into another saucepan (to heat for later) or into cups.
Stir honey or raw sugar into your tea.