Chaga (Inonotus obliquus | чага in Russian), is one of our favourite mushrooms. In grows mostly on birch, in Circumboreal forests. A chaga 'tea' (or extraction) is a traditional drink in Siberia and some parts of Scandinavia.
We drink chaga because we think that the rich, dark brew, is delicious.
It is also a very popular drink among 'superfood' and 'elixir' enthusiasts. A Google search will give you a wide variety of literature about chaga's health benefits; many of those articles are not based on solid data, but a decent number are peer reviewed articles from very credible sources.
Our favourite way to brew chaga: simmer (at low heat) 10g of mushroom in 1 litre of water over 2 hours. The brew will be dark and rich, like coffee. You can use the same chunks of chaga to brew tea another 3-4 times.
If you are interested in making a double extraction (for medicinal purposes):
1. Add 15g of chaga to your favourite spirit (80 Proof and above) and extract over 3 months. For the sake of this example, we will use a 750ml bottle of spirit.
2. Strain the alcohol and simmer the remaining chaga chunks in 900ml of water over 2 hours. You will likely have roughly 750ml of chaga 'tea'.
3. Repeat step 2. Once the liquid is cool, blend your two portions of 'water extractions' and the spirit portion.
This blend can be kept for several months; we keep ours in the fridge.
Origin: Quebec, Canada