Turmeric Chai Coffee
As I sit here, the remnants of Winter Storm Stella are whirling around outside, although the major storm is blessedly moving on, leaving mostly flurries and wind behind. At our house we have a little over a foot of snow, which I spent the morning shoveling while I carried on a strongly-worded internal dialogue regarding the snow’s lack of cooperation. “I’ll do the driveway, you shovel the walks,” Ray said. It seemed like a pretty good deal given that we have a long driveway. Except I didn’t take into account that this snow is ridiculously wet, which means that upon scooping it up, the blasted snow immediately packs down, sticking together and to the bottom of the shovel. It never really slides out of the shovel, no matter how hard you attempt to heave it in your intended direction. So you scoop some, deposit about a quarter of it where you wanted, then bang the shovel on the ground to unpack it, then scoop it up again. And repeat. I consider it a great personal achievement that I finished both the front and back walks, twice, without actually launching the shovel into the woods. Or at Ray.
Now I’m inside, cozy and dry, with a cup of my new favorite coffee warming me up, so all is right in the world. Or, at least for the next few minutes, until I have to deal with Bert and the Lego dump that is covering an entire corner of our living room. Avoiding conflict is a strength of mine, so lets get back to that coffee, shall we? Turmeric Chai Coffee, to be specific.
Chai coffee might sound a little weird, but I promise it’s not. Maybe it’s a tad different, but not so outrageous that you should be afraid to try it. I’ve been thinking about turmeric which is THE thing to be eating right now. Did you know? If not, get on board! Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties galore. It is a component of curry powder, so you could just eat lots of curry; that would work and be delicious. But it’s cold and damp out there and hot beverages are where it’s at for me, so here we are. Turmeric is a vibrant shade of yellow. The photo above looks like I edited it so that the colors are almost over-saturated, but I didn’t make any adjustments to the color. It’s naturally that bright. Isn’t it amazing?
Interestingly, the bioavailability of turmeric is increased by 2000 percent if you consume it with black pepper and some kind of oil, such as coconut oil. 2000 PERCENT!! Holy moly! As soon as I read that, I thought about chai because chai has black pepper in it. It turns out that turmeric + chai spices = great idea!
This coffee starts with a chai paste that you can mix up in just a few minutes. You add about 1 teaspoon (more or less) of paste to your hot coffee. I also add some coconut milk to make it a little creamy because that’s how I like my coffee. You could definitely use strong black tea instead, but I really like the junxtaposition of coffee and the chai paste.
Sometimes, if I’m feeling like a treat, I’ll whip up some coconut cream and then dollop that on top. As the whipped cream starts to melt into the hot coffee, it will form a nice foamy layer on top. On your average weekday morning, I don’t have time for such luxuries, so I enjoy my chai coffee sans coconut whip, but it’s a nice treat on the weekend.
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 T. coconut oil
- 1/4 cup turmeric
- 1 tsp. cardamom
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- pinch of salt
- 3 T. honey
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 T. pure maple syrup or honey
- 1. Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan on medium heat. Stir in water and honey. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to medium low.
- 2. Add all spices and pinch of salt. Mix well with a small whisk. Continue stirring over low heat until paste thickens, which will happen pretty quickly.
- 3. Remove paste from heat and pour into a heatproof glass jar. Allow to cool and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight so that flavors can come together.
- 4. To make coffee, combine approximately 1 heaping teaspoon of paste with hot coffee (6-8 oz.) and warmed coconut milk (2-4 oz.), stirring until combined. Top with coconut whipped cream if desired.
- Refrigerate can of coconut milk for at least 4 hours so that the cream separates from the coconut water. Pour coconut water out of the can of coconut milk. Scoop the cream that is left behind into a mixing bowl. Add syrup and vanilla. Beat with the mixer until it has the consistency of whipped cream. Dollop cream on top of hot coffee and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Turmeric paste will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.