Sometimes I bring a thermos of chai to yoga class (or meetings).

According to my scientific guesstimates, drinking one cup of chai is equivalent to 23.4 sun salutations.

Here’s my recipe that makes 8 cups.

In 8 cups of cold water, add:

  • 8 Cinnamon sticks about 4″ long
  • 1 TBSP shell-less Cardomon seeds (whole, not ground, but crushed a little bit if you have a mortar and pestle)
  • 2 TBSP whole black peppercorn
  • 10 whole Star Anise seeds
  • 10 thinnest-possible slices fresh Ginger
  • 1 TBSP cloves
  • 2 TBSP real vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP fennel seed (optional, but I like it)

Bring to a light boil, cover, simmer on lowest setting for 4 hours or more (I do 6 hours).

Add 8 TSP good loose tea (I use half green jasmine and half black assam).

Simmer covered (still lowest setting) 60 minutes. Stir once or twice. Simmered so long, the tea itself will be slightly bitter, which nicely (and authentically) offsets the spices and the honey and milk.

Add 1 cup cold whole milk. Simmer (lowest setting) covered another 20-30 minutes. Stir once or twice.

Turn off heat. Add 1/2 cup honey. Use the good stuff. Stir in. Taste. Add a little more milk and/or honey to taste. It needs to be sweet… experiment with adding even a little more honey to a cup of chai and find out for yourself what the “sweet spot” is.

Pour through strainer into glass jar. Serve and enjoy.

Stays great for 5 days or more if you refrigerate it promptly. Easy to reheat, or, on a hot day enjoy over ice.