There is a commercial brand of tea bags called Yogi Tea, but the yogi tea of this article is a type of chai that originates in India.
Yogi tea is a spiced tea which originates in the northern Indian state of Punjab. Yogi tea has even more spices than chai which gives it a distinctive taste as well as extra health benefits.
Yogi tea was introduced to American tea drinkers in the late 1960s by the Yogi Bhajan who was a native of Punjab. It is used as a digestive aid and also has cleansing properties that make it a suitable beverage for those following the yogic tradition.
Although yogi tea is often classified as a type of chai, it differs from chai in the amount of spices used. Chai is lightly spiced in comparison with yogi tea, and has abundant mile and sugar. Yogi tea, on the other hand, is made with a greater number of spices and is often served without milk or sugar.
Cardamom is the main spice that is used in both yogi tea and chai. Cardamom enhances the tea flavor and is also a digestive aid. Many Indians chew cardamom seeds after a meal to help digest the food.
Sometimes cardamom is the only spice used in chai, but yogi tea has at least three other spices in addition the cardamom - ginger, cinnamon, and long pepper. The Sikh religion values these spices as an aid to stimulate spiritual purity, and they also have medicinal properties. Other spices that may be used in yogi tea include pepper corns and cloves.
Yogi tea is usually made with black tea, although there are some recipes that call for green tea. It can be sweetened with sugar, honey, or maple syrup, and soy or dairy milk can also be added.
Although yogi tea usually has tea - some people simply drink the infusion of spices without the addition of tea, milk or sweeteners.
Here is a recipe for yogi tea:
1. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in 3-4 quart pot.
2. Add 15 whole cloves and boil for 1 minute.
3. Add 20 black peppercorns, 3 sticks of cinnamon, 20 green cardamom pods (crushed or split), and 8 or more 1/4" slices of fresh, peeled ginger root.
4. Cover and simmer gently for at least 30 minutes. For best flavor, cover tightly and simmer over low heat for 2 to 3 hours adding water as necessary.
5. Remove from heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of black tea.
6. Let the tea steep for about 10 minutes and then strain it into a glass container.
Yogi tea can be sweetened to taste with honey or maple syrup. Add soy milk or dairy milk as desired. Store the excess in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.