Melissa's Yogi Tea: Chai Recipe

 Melissa's Yogi Tea: Chai Recipe

By Steph Ball-Mitchell

Yogi Tea

It was starting to get cold here in Pennsylvania when my dear friend and colleague, Melissa Zegley, invited me over for her homemade chai. Nothing was more comforting than sitting curled up in Melissa’s beautiful new home and sipping on her homemade chai. I’ve tried many versions of chai tea. This was by far my favorite.

This is one of those recipes that is passed from friend to friend. Melissa got the recipe from her friend Maya before putting her own twist on it. She then shared it with me. I’ve now been making it for my family and they crave it, especially during winter months.

Coming to us from Ayurveda, chai warms the soul and soothes the belly. Chai can be traced back to its roots in India where it was also known as Masala Chai. Masala Chai just means spiced tea or mixed spiced tea. In India, chai is a way of life. Here in the West, we tend to view chai as a special flavor of tea. In India, this is the way that tea is always prepared although milk is usually included.

Once Melissa shared her recipe with me, I began preparing it weekly in my home. I love fresh hot chai and sometimes even add a little steamed almond milk. Once it cools, I refrigerate it and drink iced chai, sometimes infused with tangerines or lemons. I’ve found that I rarely make tea with tea bags after learning how to make homemade chai. And, as a lifelong practitioner of yoga, there’s something special about drinking chai as I know it originates in India where this sacred practice comes from.

Yogi Tea (Chai) Recipe


Six quarts of water

25-30 Green Cardamom Pods

25-30 Whole Cloves

10-15 Allspice

3-4 Star Anise

8-10 Cinnamon Sticks

3-4 Inches Sliced or Grated Ginger

1-2 Inches Sliced Tumeric

10-15 Peppercorns

2 Teaspoons Black Tea (optional)

Honey to taste


· Bring all ingredients except tea and honey to a boil

· Turn down to a simmer and steep at least two hours (Melissa often lets it steep longer)

· Add tea and steep fifteen minutes (longer will make it bitter)

· Strain and add honey to taste


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