What is Chaga Tea Made From? | How to Make Chaga Tea
Simply put, Chaga tea is made with Chaga Mushrooms which are dried and ground to make a useable tea-like powder, similar to any other tea.
Different grinds of the mushroom provide different options when making chaga tea.
It can be broken up in chunks or pieces, crushed and ground into uniformly similar grains or grounds as in coffee, called tea-cut, or ground to a powder. Other terminology and forms to keep in mid are:
- fine powder
- extracted Powder
- traditional tea bag
The larger the surface area, the faster the water will extract bioactive ingredients.
The concept of extracting powders relates to a process called freeze drying. The same technology used for making instant coffee is applied for making chaga mushroom powder that is used for tea’s. There is a convenience trade-off to chaga powder extraction, as well as to chaga supplements such as chaga capsules, because a lot of health benefits are compromised in the production process. The mushrooms can be ground up to a tea or powder using a coffee mill, but be careful. Being so dense, mushrooms may chip or break blades in the grinder.
Benefits of Chaga Mushroom Tea
A study shows that chaga tea improves immune system health and can help lower blood sugar levels. The inonotus obliquus mushroom, the scientific name of chaga, promotes healthy blood cell production, which is necessary for fighting bacteria and viruses.
Chaga tea offers health benefits, helping reduce inflammation, relieving pain, and reducing oxidative stress. It also helps with managing high blood pressure and may work as a natural blood thinner.
Studies have shown that chaga tea boasts of having one of the highest antioxidant activities (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) of any plant. Chaga is high in an enzyme called superoxide dismutase, which helps in destroying tumor cells. You can learn about chaga benefits in greater detail at our Chaga Benefits page.
Can You Take Too Much Chaga? Side Effects of Chaga Tea
Taking too much every day for a long time may overwhelm your liver and kidneys because of its high mineral content. Choosing quality over quantity is the best way to manage dosage. A couple cups a day should be no problem, but drinking over a liter may be overdoing it. Although you can experiment to see what works best for your body.
What Does Chaga Tea Taste Like?
We are used to believing that if something is beneficial for us, it must be terrible, bitter, and unpleasantly tasting.
Birch Chaga tastes smooth and earthy, with a touch of sweetness like vanilla, which is quite a pleasant flavor. If you are currently consuming Chaga which tastes extremely bitter or gross, then you have to ask yourself which species of tree is it coming from, is it a live tree, and is the Chaga dried and properly prepared?
How often should you drink Chaga Tea?
It is best to think of each of the medicinal mushrooms as medicinal tonics that you can enjoy on a daily basis. A maximum of two cups per day is recommended. One cup in the morning, the second at night, or ideally earlier near lunchtime. High in birch sterols, drinking chaga tea every day provides an energetic boost.
A great reason why you should avoid drinking mushrooms too close to your bedtime, or else, it can impact your sleep.
You may also want to add an extra cup of water to the batch chaga tea if the flavor is too intense.
How Long Does Chaga Tea Last? Chaga Tea Shelf Life
Despite chaga being nearly self-preserving, mostly because it has high mineral content, the brewed chaga eventually will ferment because bacteria does its thing. This is why it is okay to keep chaga tea for up to two weeks in the fridge, but leaving your brewed chaga in the fridge for more than 14 days can put you at health risk as would any other food that spoils. It is best to freeze your prepared tea if you do not expect to consume it within a week or so.
Like most teas, dried chaga, regardless of if you have small pieces, pieces, or powder, has the potential to expire and lose its potency if it is not stored correctly. Chaga mushrooms lose potency if exposed to direct sunlight and continuous air circulation. This reduces potency in your chaga, because chaga becomes less potent when oxidized. Storing chaga is important as you can prolong a chagas shelf life nearly indefinitely when stored correctly.
Storing Unused Chaga Tea
Try not to store your chaga in paper bags, instead, store dry chaga in an airtight, glass or plastic container, stored in a dark cabinet works fine. When buying Chaga, always check for a manufactured date and best if used by date on the packaging of whatever brand of chaga you are buying.
Ideally, you will want to use your Chaga within 6 months to 1 year in order to reap the maximum benefits and get the freshest taste. Even when properly stored long-term, fresh is still best in our opinion, and it decreases the chances of spoilage or any undesirable side effects. It is best practice to reuse your Chaga tea, keeping used wet parts in your fridge in between infusions. To maximize the benefit from your chaga, it is always best to reuse the chaga multiple times.