Padma Lakshmi Has a Daily 12-Cup-of-Tea Habit

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi doesn’t fool around when it comes to her daily cuppa. In her case, the former model admits to ingesting twelve full cups of tea daily.

Find out which tea she enjoys most and how exactly she drinks it all!

Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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Lakshmi’s favorite kind of tea

The Indian-born Lakshmi told Harper’s Bazaar in June 2020 about her love of tea. It’s such a deep love that it involves multiple servings of it a day. Her favorite?

“So somewhere around 6:00 or 6:30, I usually have my first cup of tea,” she said.” It’s a Masala Chai called Bakri tea. And then I have that with whole milk and honey. Ten to fifteen minutes later, I will have my second cup of tea, same tea.”

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Masala chai is a tea blend of green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger, and black peppercorn with black tea leaves. Keeping in mind that, while black tea does not have as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, it is still a caffeinated beverage, as anyone who drinks it in great quantities should keep in mind.

In Lakshmi’s case, with the food writer’s busy filming schedule and commitments, a cup of tea is just what’s called for to keep her going throughout the day.

Padma Lakshmi’s new Hulu show

Lakshmi’s new food and travel program, Taste the Nation, premiered on Hulu on June 19 and goes way beyond simply recipes and food preferences. In the series, as Hulu’s website notes, “. . . Padma breaks bread with Americans across the nation to uncover the roots and relationship between our food, our humanity and our history – ultimately revealing stories that challenge notions of identity, belonging, and what it means to be American.”

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From Hawaii to Las Vegas to Arizona to Los Angeles and beyond, the Love, Loss, and What We Ate author takes viewers from state to state exploring the cuisines of America and how food, like nothing else, can unite people.

“It’s a project I’ve spent years developing,” she said in an Instagram post. “We traveled across the country visiting indigenous and immigrant communities to find out what American food is today. The process was incredibly emotional and rewarding, a journey I will never forget.” ⁣

How she downs 12 cups of tea every day

As noted, Lakshmi has her first cup of tea as soon as she wakes up. In her video for Harper’s Bazaar, the actress explains she has a second cup “ten to fifteen minutes later usually with a big bowl of vanilla yogurt with cinnamon and sliced banana.”

Cup No. 3 comes along when she has her second breakfast, which is more savory, along the lines of a piece of sourdough bread pan-fried with an egg in the middle.

By the time Lakshmi has her fourth cup, she is typically having her hair and make-up done for filming of Top Chef.

When she gets to the show’s set, she has her fifth cup of tea, and she may have yet another cup during contestant interviews during judging on the show.

“I’ve usually had another cup of tea on either side of that interview portion and if it’s Judges’ Table [on Top Chef], then I’ve usually had a cup of tea for every contestant that we call up there,” she said, laughing.

Once she’s home, the television personality has, what else, another cup of tea, before dinner, and then “after dinner, I’ll have my last cup of tea, so I think we’re at, like, twelve, now, right?”

Clearly, Lakshmi chugs tea the way others might try to get in their daily water intake. It’s most definitely a flavorful way to do it!

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