A Simple Way to Elevate your Morning Beverage
In times of uncertainty, it's essential that we cultivate small practices throughout our day that provide some sense of stability and normalcy. A reminder to ground ourselves and take in a peaceful moment, regardless of what's happening externally. This could be anything from a walk free from ear buds to an epsom salt bath to a couple deep breaths before mealtime. One of my favorites is a slightly obsessive morning coffee ritual that I genuinely look forward to the night before. I'll elaborate in a future post how I've perfected my technique and simplified it with the most essential tools.
In today's reality where most cafes are open for to-go service only, why not teach ourselves how to replicate these same experiences at home and relish in our small culinary victories? Plus, you will be able to enjoy a specialty beverage without the high price tag, disposable cup or face mask that's now part of such an outing.
Back to my own home... My wife Daniela has always preferred black tea in the morning, yet her version with added rice milk has never provided that same fulfilling sensory experience that I felt with my coffee. We agreed that it was time to elevate her beverage and create a decadent, creamy "latte" that even she could think about at bed time.
Multiple experiments with cashews, dates, and black tea varieties yielded a version which perfectly suits her palette. Your ratios may look different. The key here is the simplicity of the ingredients and the meditative preparation and enjoyment that sets the tone for the day. Daniela now truly looks forward to this drink alongside her morning coloring ritual. I also derive joy from parsing out the date/cashew mixes into little mason jars for each day of the week while she (mostly) enjoys measuring out and hand-grinding my coffee beans each night. These nurturing gestures set us each up for our own practice in the morning.
Create Your Own
Use a favorite mug to prepare your tea as usual (in this case, an organic Earl Gray tea bag* with 12 oz of hot water). As it steeps for 3-5 minutes, take out your blender (a Vitamix always wins here) and add 8 raw cashews and either 4 small deglet dates or 1.5 medjool dates. A teaspoon of coconut oil is optional. Pour the brewed tea into the blender and blend on high for about a minute until creamy. Back into the warm mug it goes, ready for ultimate sipping pleasure.
*For a non-caffeinated variation, try chamomile or roasted dandelion.
This is a delicious, plant-powered treat that will bring cafe culture right to your own home! And you can use the same technique to spice up your coffee. I've even subbed brazil nuts for the cashews so really, no limits with customization. For an extra special experience, try layering salted butter between two oat crackers and dipping that into your creamy beverage.
Happy, mindful sipping!