Teas and warm drinks are comforting in the dark days of winter and curling up with a turmeric golden milk latte or a turmeric golden chai tea is a great way to experience the Danish lifestyle known as “hygge”.
The closest adjective describing hygge in the US would be the word cozy, and there is nothing more cozy to me than a warm cup of tea and a good book. You might need some candles to round out your hygge evening however!
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What is “Hygge”?
The Danish lifestyle referred to as “hygge” has become very popular world-wide, particularly in those areas that have cold winters.
Hygge is loosely defined as cozy and intimate and it brings up visions of fireplaces, board games, candles and, of course, warm food and drink.
Turmeric tea or golden milk latte is a blend of warm spices that is often used to promote health. It always contains turmeric, but the additional spices used in the blend varies.
Typically it will include ginger and cardamom, and the spices associated with chai tea. There is quite a range of blends however.
If you use the blend with hot water as a tea it is referred to as turmeric tea. If you opt for steamed milk instead of hot water, it is referred to as golden milk latte. Sugar is optional, with honey being the most common sweetener.
I drink a lot of this wonderful elixir in the winter evenings in Minnesota and have put together a blend of a turmeric golden chai tea.
I do love coffee, but I also love sleep so I try to cut off all caffeine by 2 pm and replace it with turmeric tea.
Sometimes a shot of brandy enhances the hygge experience even more, as the family board games ensue!
Other Hygge Lifestyle Ideas
It can be a life-enhancing experience to celebrate the darkness that comes with late Fall and Winter.
Here are some ideas taken from the Danes to celebrate and embrace this season:
- Light some candles – have meals by candlelight, watch Netflix by candlelight, knit/read/draw by candlelight
- Add warm spicy scents to the home – you can do this with either scented candles, potpourri or heated essential oils.
- Warm drinks – this might be a turmeric tea, hot chocolate, or a brandy-infused drink. Whatever your pleasure, there is something wonderful about sipping warm drinks in the Winter.
- Engage with friends or family in small ways – board games have made a comeback, as have jigsaw puzzles and activities you can enjoy with family members in a casual non-divisive way
- Bundle up and watch the sunrise or sunset – a walk at dawn or dusk when the world is in between night and day can be a powerful mood-enhancer. If you are lucky enough to have an outdoor hot tub, that is another place to watch the sunrise or sunset for a soothing peace (I don’t have one but I have fond memories of staying at a Winter resort that did)
What Makes Golden Milk Latte (Turmeric Tea) Healthy?
I’m a big fan of the study done by National Geographic on the world’s “Blue Zones”. A National Geographic team studied the regions of the world that had the highest number of people that reached an old age (beyond 80 years) in good health.
They came up with 5 regions in the world they considered blue zones, with Okinawa, Japan being one of them.
On the Japanese island of Okinawa, turmeric tea is a way of life. The population drinks this traditional favorite daily, and numerous studies have linked turmeric with wide-ranging anti-inflammatory effects.
While a number of different criteria were applied to understand the “why” of each Blue Zone region, the people of Okinawa were shown to have one of the world’s longest average life spans: 81.2 years. A daily dose of Golden Milk Tea may play into the overall reason.
Key Ingredients in Golden Milk Tea (Turmeric Tea)
Turmeric is the ingredient thought to be most beneficial to health. Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, chile peppers with capsaicin, black pepper and honey all purport various types of healing, but turmeric is the star of this “tea”.
Inflammation is running wild in our bodies these days, leading to all kinds of seemingly disconnected symptoms, from joint pain to food allergies to digestive troubles.
Turmeric’s active ingredient is curcumin, which is a well-documented powerful anti-inflammatory herb. Turmeric contains up to 3% curcumin by weight.
Consuming turmeric (whether in tea or in curries, soups, sauces, or other cooking) is an ancient healing spice, and this tea maximizes the natural antioxidant power of turmeric because it is a) hot and b) combined with other beneficial spices and a little bit of fat.
If hot chocolate drinks are more enticing to you, try this spicy, rich, spicy Mexican hot chocolate.
My husband adds a bit of Peppermint Schnapps to his Mexican hot chocolate, but the kids just add a little sugar. It’s all good, as they say.
This category of homemade tea drinks will give you plenty of ideas for hygge-type drinks during the cold Winter days or during the holidays.
Now, go get cozy!