Dirty Golden Milk

Recently coffee hasn't been as satisfying as one would hope. Rather than giving me that awake and ready feeling we all hope to achieve with a good brew, it's wearing me down and causing more anxiety than pleasure. Often after a cup, I find myself yawning in between unconsciously clenching my teeth and shifting my day between fatigue and caffeine induced anxiety. 

To remedy this, I gave up coffee altogether, replacing it with roasted dandelion tea, adding a bit of milk to it as I would coffee. It worked for a while, however after years of working as a barista, I found myself slowly inching toward my beloved Joe once again, but this time in the form of decaf. It's helped a bit, but I discovered that if I incorporate herbal remedies into my morning "half caf", coffee is much easier to stomach. 

Golden milk - or turmeric tea - has been used for centuries in the Aryuvedic tradition as a vessel for anti-inflammatory and other healing herbs. Traditionally made with coconut milk, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper and raw honey, golden milk is a tasty way to get your daily dose of anti-inflammatory and adaptogenic herbs. This recipe is a little different than the traditional drink, but I find it a powerful way to incorporate other herbal allies into my diet. 


2 ounces espresso or strongly brewed coffee

1 1/2 cups milk (I'm using almond milk but coconut, hemp or goat/cows milk also work) 

I teaspoon turmeric powder 

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder 

1/2 teaspoon shatavari powder 

4 cardamom pods, slightly crushed 

Pinch black pepper

2 slices reishi

Local honey or agave to taste 

Pour the milk into a pot and add all herbs except for the honey and coffee, which will be added at the end. Stir frequently while bringing mixture to a light boil. Remove from heat, pick out any unwanted cardamom pods with a spoon and add honey. Find your favorite mug and add the coffee into your newly golden milk. Serve hot or chill and pour over ice. 

Serves two

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