Kripalu Recipe: Hot Chocolate Chai

Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, star anise, and black peppercorns make our take on hot chocolate nourishing, flavorful, soothing, and stimulating all at once.

2 tablespoons whole cardamom pods
2 teaspoons whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 whole stars of anise
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh ginger
2 cups milk, any type
2 cups water
4 black tea bags
1 to 3 tablespoons rapadura, dark brown sugar, or sweetener of choice
4 ounces dark chocolate

Cover the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, anise, and peppercorns with cheesecloth or parchment paper on a sturdy work surface. Use a rolling pin or a cast-iron skillet to gently crush the spices and help release their aromas. Wrap the crushed spices and the fresh ginger in the cheesecloth or put them in a large tea ball.

Put the milk, water, and spice bundle or tea ball in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Return the mixture to a boil over high heat, then turn off the heat and immediately add the tea bags. Let steep for 5 minutes, then strain.

Place back on the stove and bring to simmer. Turn off flame and add your sweetener of choice. Add the chocolate and stir to dissolve. Serve warm.