Ayurveda and tea – thousands of years of experience

Where else to learn prepare a good tea than from the Indians who grow tea plants in gardens at the Himalaya foothills. While green tea will cool one down, Indian black teas are suitable for autumn, especially those picked during the second and third flushes which provide darker infusions smelling of chocolate. Apart from tea, India is also the origin of Ayurveda, more than a five-thousand-year-old system of alternative medicine whose natural recipes can strengthen immunity and prevent many diseases.
In autumn and winter, everybody needs to warm up, get stimulated and strengthen one’s health – precisely these three qualities combine in the Masala Indian spiced tea, often called Yogi tea as well. In India, there are dozens of various recipes for this marvellous, sweet milky beverage and we brought one of them. We drank the famous chai chai at many places in India, whose price is around 2 to 5 rupees for a small cup (mostly a plastic cup). You can buy it on the train, in the streets, anywhere. It is mostly strong and excessively sweet.
A mix of spices, tea and milk feels pleasant even in the Indian sultry hot weather. We are “lucky” as our climate is rather cold, thus we can drink a Yogi tea to warm up. We also experimented with various ingredients and finally we ended up with a classic recipe. Half of the mix is a black tea grown in the Indian state of Assam, the other half are spices with convincingly warm and healthy effects:
Ginger quickly warms up the whole organism, has antibacterial and antiviral effects. It also reduces the cholesterol level, regulates low blood pressure, helps with the morning sickness and flatulency.
Clove is an analgesic relieving pain and is often used for toothaches. It is also a natural disinfectant, acts against parasites, fungi, bacteria and viruses. It also freshens breath.
Cardamom has a stunning aroma, it also helps warm up. It is beneficial for digestion, respiratory problems and prevents muscle cramps. It relieves inflammation.
Cinnamon is naturally sweet and is beneficial particularly for flues and colds. It also regulates blood sugar level and blood pressure and helps alleviate digestive problems.
White pepper is an antioxidant. It stimulates blood circulation, thus warming and powering up the body. Blood circulation in organs increases sensitivity to stimulation and makes pepper an aphrodisiac.
Tea preparation
For Masala or Yogi tea, it is important to prepare it as the Indians do – i.e. let it boil for a while. Let four teaspoons of the mix boil in half a litre of water. After five minutes add a quarter to half a litre of milk (it can be soy milk as well) and sugar or honey as you like. Bring to a boil again, then let it sit for a while, and finally strain and serve.
Experimenting
If you wish to experiment with the Indian spiced tea, you may buy the Masala spice mix only and try other quality loose teas from Indian gardens, instead of Assam, using mainly second and third flushes from the famous Darjeeling or neighbouring Nepal. While some smell of baked apples, others remind of chocolate or plum jam. After some time, you may also try experimenting with the spices. Every family in India has their own Masala tea recipe, thus you can also try adding your favourite spice, such as nutmeg, to the traditional mix.
Look at the chaichai preparation in India 🙂

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