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How to Make Chaga Tea

March 22, 2019

How to Make Chaga Tea

The Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) grows on birch trees in the very cold northern climates of the U.S., Canada, Asia, and Europe. 

Chaga has been used for centuries in eastern and folk medicine. Touted benefits include immune system support, blood pressure and cholesterol maintenance, and high levels of anti-oxidants.

Chaga tea is quickly gaining popularity in health and wellness circles as people realize the benefits of chaga’s anti-inflammatory properties, tumor fighting features and high antioxidant levels.

In order to obtain the full benefits of chaga, an extraction method must be used. The most common and well known chaga extraction method is performed by using hot water. 

By steeping or brewing chaga in hot water just below the boiling point (see below regarding boiling chaga) of water you will extract the potent benefits of chaga. 

Chaga tea is enjoyed by people all over the world and these people use chaga for various reasons. Here is a more detailed article describing the many benefits of chaga.

Chaga tea can be made by using chaga in it’s various forms:

  1. Chaga Chunks
  2. Chaga Nuggets
  3. Chaga powder in large “iced tea” style tea bags.
  4. Chaga extract in individual Chaga Tea Bags
  5. Loose chaga powder

There are differing views on how best to brew chaga tea so we will try to show as many different ways as possible. You can always experiment, personalize and fine tune your approach.

Here are our favorite ways to make Chaga Tea:

Chaga Chunks

Chaga chunks are probably the most economical way of brewing chaga tea because you can reuse the chaga chunks 3-5 times.

To preserve freshness most people store the chaga chunks in the freezer when not using them.

How to make chaga tea from chaga chunks in an instant pot:

instant pot chaga tea

Step 1) Add about 6 ounces of chaga chunks to a 6 quart instant pot pressure cooker and add water to the fill line of the instant pot liner.

Step 2) Cook Time: Set the instant to pressure cook on high for 12 minutes.

Step 3) Release: Natural pressure release (wait for the float valve to go down on its own, can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes).

Step 4) Remove the chaga chunks and save in the freezer for the next use. You can reuse the same chaga chunks 3-4 times.

Step 5) Run the chaga tea through a filter or sieve and refrigerate for up to 14 days.

- Each subsequent time you use the chaga chunks in the instant pot add 2 minutes of cooking time (ie 14 minutes the second time, 16 minutes the third time).

- This will be a strong chaga tea. You may want to dilute it 1:1 with water, depending on how strong you like it.

How to make Chaga Tea from Chaga Chunks in your Crockpot / Slow Cooker

Step 1) Add 3-5 chaga chunks per liter of water to your crock pot / slow cooker.

Step 2) Set on Low for 6 to 12 hours.

Step 3) Run the chaga tea through a filter or sieve and refrigerate for up to 14 days.

Step 4) Save the chaga chunks in your freezer. You can re-use the chaga chunks 3 to 5 times. 

How to make Chaga Tea from Chaga Chunks on your stove top

Step 1) Add 3-5 chaga chunks per liter of water to your stove pot pot.

Step 2) Set on medium for for 3-5 hours.

Step 3) Run the chaga tea through a filter or sieve and refrigerate for up to 14 days.

Step 4) Save the chaga chunks in your freezer. You can re-use the chaga chunks 3 to 5 times. 

Chaga Nuggets

Similar to chaga chunks but smaller in size, chaga nuggets are also an economical approach to making chaga tea. Brew the same way you would Chaga Chunks as described above.

Chaga Powder in Large Tea Bags

Large tea bags, also known as ice tea bags, are also an economical and efficient way to brew chaga tea.

Large chaga tea bags provide a 1-2 week supply of chaga tea in a single brew.

Brewing chaga tea with large tea bags is super easy.

You simply add 2-3 liters of water to your stove top pot, instant or slow cooker, throw in the large chaga tea bag, bring to a boil (or not, see below) then steep at approx. 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 1-5 hours. 

How to make chaga tea from large chaga tea bags in an instant pot:

Step 1) Add 2.5 liters of water to a 6 quart instant pot pressure cooker.

Step 2) Add a large chaga tea bag to the instant pot.

Step 3) Set the instant pot to Slow Cooker, Low setting for 5-7 hours.

Step 4) Release: Natural pressure release (wait for the float valve to go down on its own, can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes).

Step 5) Remove the large chaga tea bag and put in your food compost bin.

Step 6) Store the chaga tea in your fridge for up to 14 days.

 


To boil chaga or to not boil chaga, that is the question.

Now there IS debate among the chaga tea  crowd over whether or not you should raise the temperature to boiling when brewing chaga tea. 

The “anti-chaga-boiling” crowd claims that the high heat created when boiling chaga destroys chaga’s antioxidants. 

Conversely the “pro-chaga-boiling” crowd’s argument is that the chaga tea is too weak if it’s not boiled.

After much experimentation we tend to fall somewhere in the middle.

We like to bring the large chaga tea bags to a boil, then immediately turn down the heat to just under boiling (approx. 185 to 200 degree Fahrenheit) and steep for 1-5 hours.

Chaga Extract in Individual Chaga Tea Bags

Individual chaga tea bags are a super convenient way to get your daily dose of chaga but, and this is a big but, you want to be SURE that you are using a chaga extract powder. 

The reason that you want to use a chaga extract powder for your individual chaga tea bags is that you normally only steep an individual tea bag in hot water for a few minutes before drinking it.

This is normally not enough time to extract the nutrients from the chaga powder.

By using chaga extract the beneficial nutrients have already been extracted. 

By the way chaga extract is also great to mix in with your coffee and smoothies.

Loose chaga powder

Using loose chaga powder is another easy way to make chaga tea.

Simply add 1 tablespoon of loose chaga powder per liter of water.

As noted above (to boil or not to boil) you can choose your preferred method of heating.

Once your loose chaga powder tea has brewed you will want to pour the tea through a sieve or filter to remove the chaga sediment.

After you have filtered out the loose chaga powder sediment you can store your chaga tea in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

How to make chaga tea from large chaga tea bags in an instant pot:

Step 1) Add 2.5 liters of water to a 6 quart instant pot pressure cooker.

Step 2) Add 2 tablespoons of loose chaga powder to the instant pot.

Step 3) Set the instant pot to the Slow Cooker, Low setting for 5-7 hours.

Step 4) Release: Natural pressure release (wait for the float valve to go down on its own, can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes).

Step 5) Run the tea through a filter or sieve

Step 6) Store the chaga tea in your fridge for up to 14 days.

How to make Chaga Tea from Chaga Chunks in your Crockpot / Slow Cooker

Step 1) Add 2.5 liters of water to your crockpot/slow cooker.

Step 2) Add 2 tablespoons of loose chaga powder to your crockpot/slow cooker.

Step 3) Set on Low for 6 to 12 hours.

Step 3) Run the chaga tea through a filter or sieve and refrigerate for up to 14 days.

Adding other teas to your chaga tea brew

Chaga has a mellow, slightly earthy taste and can be complemented adding other ingredients and herbal teas while brewing.

One our favorites is to add chai tea bags to our chaga tea brew.

Chai contains wonderfully tasting nutrients such as ginger and cardamom.

How to make a Chaga Chai Latte

How to make a Chaga Chai Latte on the stove top

Step 1) Tea: Heat up 4 oz of Chaga Chai Tea that you previously made.
Step 2) Milk: In a separate pot, heat 4 oz of milk, 1/8 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1/4 tsp of maple sugar powder.
Step 3) Combine the tea and the milk in a cup.
Step 4: Enjoy!

Adding sweeteners to your chaga tea brew

One of my favorite natural sweeteners is maple syrup.

I add 1-2 tablespoons right in the water when I start the chaga tea brewing process.

The flavor lid blend and mellow during the steeping process producing a deliciously sweet chaga tea.

Here are some other natural sweetener options for your Chaga Tea:

Stevia: Stevia has been shown to improve cellular insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of type II diabetes and high blood pressure. To avoid the aftertaste sometimes associated with Stevia, try using pure stevia (without any alcohols or additives) or try adding just a pinch of sea salt.

Monk Fruit: Also known as Lo Han Extract, monk fruit has a low sugar content and is low on the glycemic index. As with stevia, try to avoid brands that add other sweeteners (in this case erythitol).

Yacon Syrup: Yacon syrup can be used as a low glycemic alternative to maple syrup. The Yacon plant is native to South America, where it has a long history as a medicinal food.

Coconut Nectar: Very low on the glycemic index (35), coconut nectar/sugar has very low levels of fructose.