If you're a heavy coffee drinker, consider trading it for tea instead. Tea can provide a huge array of health benefits and, if it's the caffeine you must have, may be a more "mild" substitute.
Iced Chai Latte Recipe
Here's a recipe for a favorite of mine, a vegan-friendly, iced chai latte I enjoy having instead of coffee. It's delicious, try it!
Ingredient 1: Pu-Erh Tea
Pu-Erh tea is a Chinese tea and its use dates back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 CE). Pu-Erh tea production is highly regulated to ensure quality and authenticity, only tea from Yunnan province may be called Pu-Erh tea. There are a number of estates that produce Pu-Erh and each has its own types of leaves from plants and trees that grow wild, some of which may be over 1,000 years old.
After harvesting, each manufacturer blends the leaves to their own specifications. Producing black Pu-Erh tea involves a fermentation process where the natural enzymatic breakdown creates heat and “cooks” the leaves. This adds complexity, depth, and smoothness to the tea.
Pu-Erh Tea is thought to support healthy blood sugar levels and have an anti obesity effect, and, like other teas, Pu-Erh is high in antioxidants.[2, 3, 4] When evaluated for antioxidant potential, Pu-Erh tea was found to have higher antioxidant activity than green tea, oolong tea, and black tea. In traditional Chinese medicine, Pu-Erh tea is believed to:
- Support digestion
- Support the immune system and heart health
- Provide high levels of absorbable vitamin C
Ingredient 2: Chai Spice Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is a South American tea and one of the world's most popular beverages. Yerba mate is believed to provide a number of health benefits because of its vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, polyphenol, and amino acid content. What are the health benefits of yerba mate?
- Supports Weight Loss
- Supports Heart Health
- Boosts Energy
- Enhances Digestive Function
- Contains Antioxidants[9, 10]
Ingredient 3: Raw Almond Milk
Raw almond milk is a fantastic substitute for dairy milk. In addition to coconut and hemp milk, raw almond milk is the only vegetable-based milk product I personally use or recommend; soy milk is best avoided.
Iced Chai Latte Directions
- Steep 1 bag of Pu-erh tea and 1 bag of Chai Spice Mate in a cup of hot water for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pour over ice (optional).
- Add raw almond milk to taste!
- Hou CW, Jeng KC, Chen YS. Enhancement of fermentation process in Pu-erh tea by tea-leaf extract. J Food Sci. 2010 Jan-Feb;75(1):H44-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01441.x.
- Zhang HM, Wang CF, Shen SM, Wang GL, Liu P, Liu ZM, Wang YY, Du SS, Liu ZL, Deng ZW. Antioxidant phenolic compounds from Pu-erh tea. Molecules. 2012 Nov 27;17(12):14037-45. doi: 10.3390/molecules171214037.
- Du WH, Peng SM, Liu ZH, Shi L, Tan LF, Zou XQ. Hypoglycemic Effect of the Water Extract of Pu-erh Tea. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Oct 1.
- Oi Y, Hou IC, Fujita H, Yazawa K. Antiobesity effects of Chinese black tea (Pu-erh tea) extract and gallic acid. Phytother Res. 2012 Apr;26(4):475-81. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3602.
- Duh PD, Yen GC, Yen WJ, Wang BS, Chang LW. Effects of pu-erh tea on oxidative damage and nitric oxide scavenging. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Dec 29;52(26):8169-76.
- Hussein GM, Matsuda H, Nakamura S, Hamao M, Akiyama T, Tamura K, Yoshikawa M. Mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) promotes satiety and body weight lowering in mice: involvement of glucagon-like peptide-1. Biol Pharm Bull. 2011;34(12):1849-55.
- Gao H, Liu Z, Wan W, Qu X, Chen M. Aqueous Extract of Yerba Mate Tea Lowers Atherosclerotic Risk Factors in a Rat Hyperlipidemia Model. Phytother Res. 2012 Oct 10. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4856.
- Gorzalczany S, Filip R, Alonso MR, Miño J, Ferraro GE, Acevedo C. Choleretic effect and intestinal propulsion of 'mate' (Ilex paraguariensis) and its substitutes or adulterants. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 May;75(2-3):291-4.
- Heck CI, de Mejia EG. Yerba Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis): a comprehensive review on chemistry, health implications, and technological considerations. J Food Sci. 2007 Nov;72(9):R138-51. Review.
- Lunceford N, Gugliucci A. Ilex paraguariensis extracts inhibit AGE formation more efficiently than green tea. Fitoterapia. 2005 Jul;76(5):419-27.
- Jolinda Hackett. Raw Almond Milk Recipe. About.com Guide.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.