It has been some time since I felt like I could really catch my breath.
No matter how tenaciously I try to resist, the calendar fills to overflowing and exhaustion reaches levels far beyond what a weekend can remedy.
We trudge forward, looking for moments to breathe deep, find gratefulness, and give our bodies and minds a few brief, but restorative stretches.
I have been told to step back. My body has told me, my doctors have told me, and friends and family echo the same commands. It is time, I know the signs, but that does not necessarily mean that my schedule will suddenly allow me a retreat. So, I return to the teachings of life’s mentors and find moments for respite.
For me and my current routine, these moments have to be found in the 5am, so fuel is nonnegotiable. I really cannot think of a more delicious fuel than one of these almond chai lattes.
It all begins with chai. Grated ginger, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and bold, black tea are simmered into the most delicious, drinkable potpourri.
Considering the depth of flavor, it is truly amazing how quickly chai comes together. After about twenty five minutes you’ll be ready to pour.
Our homemade chai tea is topped off with frothy almond milk for the ultimate morning wake-up call.
Here’s to finding moments to breathe, and to the yummy drinks that make those moments even more indulgent.
ALMOND CHAI LATTES
makes four // chai recipe adapted from Bon Appetite
Cook’s Note: While this recipe makes four, you can certainly adapt it for individual servings. Just store your chai tea in a jar and refrigerate. Then, when it is time to serve, warm it up in a small saucepan or in the microwave. Make the almond milk mixture by the serving, working with 3/4 cup almond milk and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Warm and froth the mixture just as instructed. Enjoy!
3 1/2 cups filtered water
1, 1½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely grated
1 3-inch cinnamon stick, lightly crushed with the flat side of a knife
14 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed, or ¾ teaspoon cardamom seeds, lightly crushed
6 black tea bags
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
ground cinnamon, optional
Combine filtered water, grated ginger, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pods in a 3-quart saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a heavy simmer, then reduce heat and simmer steadily for twenty minutes; until the mixture has reduced by one third.
Drop in tea bags and allow to steep for five minutes.
In the meantime, pour the almond milk into a glass jar or measuring cup and microwave for 3 minutes, or until steaming. Stir in almond extract and froth with an electric frother.
Strain the tea into a small tea pot and stir in granulated sugar until dissolved.
Divide the tea amongst four mugs (if you are using 6-ounce mugs this should be halfway) and fill to the top with frothed almond milk. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and serve immediately. Enjoy!