When Yogi Bhajan first came to North America in the late 1960’s, he would prepare a blend of tea containing cinnamon, black peppercorns, whole cloves, green cardamom pods, and ginger, which people started dubbing “Yogi Tea”. This tea has many healing benefits and is great to drink hot or cold, depending on the season. It makes a great coffee substitute too!
• Black pepper: blood purifier
• Cardamom pods: digestive aid
• Cloves: beneficial to the nervous system
• Cinnamon: strengthens the bones
• Ginger root: healing for colds and flu, increases energy
The milk in the tea helps in the easy assimilation of the spices. I choose to use a non-dairy substitute and it tastes great! Adding a pinch of organic black tea is a great “pick-me-up” as well as becoming a great alloy for the spices to create just the right chemical balance.
It’s my favourite thing to serve during a workshop and I enjoy brewing a large pot on the weekend to enjoy throughout the week.
Below is the recipe, based on the traditional Yogi Bhajan recipe posted on 3hO (Healthy, Happy Holy Organization).
Using a large pot (3 – 5 L), fill with water. Add to it the following ingredients:
- 26 – 28 whole black peppercorns
- 26 – 28 green cardamom pods (I crush them using a mortar & pestle)
- 26 – 28 whole cloves
- 5 sticks of cinnamon bark
- approximately 2 inches of ginger root, peeled & sliced about 1/2″ thick
Bring the above ingredients to a boil; lower heat and simmer for 20+ minutes (I often allow mine to simmer for up to an hour!).
Optional: add milk or non-dairy substitute (I just pour and go by colour!) Return to a near boil without allowing to boil over.
Add to it two to three pinches of organic black tea (a tea bag may be used) and allow to simmer for 5 more minutes.
Strain. I typically strain into another pot. Traditionally, raw unpasteurized honey was added. Please note: do NOT re-heat once honey has been added as it will destroy the antibacterial and healing properties of the honey. I would strongly recommend that if you choose to sweeten your tea, do it as you’re serving it.
Store the remaining amount in the fridge. Without milk, it will keep for up to a month; once milk has been added, it should be consumed within the week.
Enjoy! (I’m enjoying a freshly-made batch as I write this.)