The simplest thing we can say about chaga (Inonotus obliquus | чага in Russian) is that it's our favourite mushroom, and we drink it because the rich, dark brew is delicious.
Popular among 'superfood' and 'elixir' enthusiasts, a Google search will reveal a wide variety of literature about chaga's health benefits. Though many of those articles don't seem to be based on solid data, a decent number are peer-reviewed articles from very credible sources.
Origin & History:
We source our chaga from some good friends in Quebec, Canada.
Chaga grows mostly on birch, in Circumboreal forests. A chaga 'tea' (or extraction) is a traditional drink in Siberia and some parts of Scandinavia.
- Hot Tea
- Simmer 10g chaga in 1 litre of water over low heat for 2 hours.
If you don't have that much time, a low rolling boil can do the trick in about 20 minutes. The brew will be dark and rich, like coffee.
- The best part about chaga is that the same chunks of tea can be used to brew tea another 3-4 times. If you're hanging around the house all day, we recommend topping up the water in your simmering pot occasionally and keeping it going all day long.
- Double Extraction (for medicinal purposes)
- Add 15g of chaga to your favourite spirit (80 Proof or above) and extract for 3 months. For the sake of this example, we will use a 750ml bottle of spirit.
- 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'.
- Repeat the previous step.
- 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.