Siberian Magic Blog > Chaga Mushroom > How to Make Chaga Tea
How to Make Chaga Tea
Latest Tea | April 6, 2020
The chaga mushroom is a extremely nutrient-rich medicinal mushroom that have been used since the olden days. Not only have they been used as functional fungi, but inhabitants of Siberian have used them as a natural tinder to light a fire, repel mosquitoes in the forest and help them survive during northern winters. Commonly known as the King of Mushrooms and the Mushroom of Immortality, chaga is a powerful antioxidant and a very potent immune modulator. Although it is a time consuming process, harvesting chaga and brewing chaga chunks is the best, most popular, and likely the oldest method of extracting the most active bioactive compounds of the fungus.
The Anatomy of Chaga
A chaga mushroom growing on a birch tree bark has outer and interior crusts. The outer crust is the darkest color of the mushroom. Think of burnt charcoal, that's how chaga looks like! This area is most concentrated with antioxidants, polysaccharides, flavonoids, and betulin. Thus, could be seen as the richest and most important component of chaga. The softer and lighter (orangey) part of the fungus is the interior crust which contains a higher amount of lanostances, a bioactive compound that has anti-candida and antibacterial properties.
How to Make Chaga Tea from Harvest to Cup
To make a chaga tea prepare the fungi as a whole.
- Dry the mushrooms properly. Chaga mushrooms are heavily moisturized and may take days to dry the whole conk.
- Wrap chaga in a towel. Make sure there are no open ends as the pieces may get shattered and end up everywhere.
- Hammer the chaga on a hard surface – it may be on your countertop, on the floor or outdoors.
- Crack the conk pieces further by grinding them through a blender until they turn into a very fine powder. Grinding Chaga increases its surface area that the medicinal properties of the fungi are easily extracted.
- Place 80 grams of chaga mushrooms to a gallon of water. Bring to a boil then lower the heat.
- While cooking chaga mushroom for 1 hour is equally sufficient, traditional tea preparation includes simmering chaga pieces for 4 hours or until the liquid has reduced by 75%. Wait until the water turns rich and dark. The large your chunks the longer you may need to steep the chaga for.
- Once finished, strain and serve it immediately as a tea or store in a jar in a cool place. You can save the rest of the liquid for a good 3 days in the fridge or in dark place at room temperature.
Note: You can often boil the same chaga mushroom chunk for two to three times but not necessarily cooking it for the same amount of time.
Alternatively, you can use the remaining liquid as a base for soup, broth, rice, oatmeal, smoothie, etc. Make meals more exciting and flavourful.
A Gentle Reminder When Harvesting Chaga Mushrooms
Make sure to get chaga from a sustainable source or if you purchasing chaga in store or online make sure the product is being harvested responsibly, sustainably and ethically. Do not take more than what you will use. If harvesting from public lands be sure to verify local rules and regulations to make sure you are allowed to harvest. Over-harvesting depletes the whole ecosystem. It can takes years to decades for chaga mushrooms to reproduce.
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