What is Chaga Tea?

Chaga is a popular, natural product to use for maintaining health and wellness. Many people talk about using Chaga tea as a regular part of their diet, but Chaga tea is different than most traditional teas you encounter. So what is Chaga tea and what makes it different and special?

Traditional Teas

There are several types of teas. Regular black tea is steeped, using dried tea leaves. Many teas incorporate other herbs, spices or oils to create a specific flavor. For example, Earl Gray is made with tea leaves and bergamot oil. Green tea is made with a specific type of tea leaf and doesn’t undergo the same withering and oxidation process as black tea. There are also herbal teas such as peppermint that use the leaves of herbs for their flavoring. All teas are steeped in hot water to infuse the water with the flavor of the leaves. Teas made with tea leaves are typically caffeinated, while herbal teas usually are not.

What is Chaga Tea?

Chaga is different than tea because you do not steep a Chaga leaf to make Chaga tea. Chaga is made with a type of fungus. The fungus grows on birch trees in northern regions of the united states. It is large and hard, resembling a chunk of wood. There are a few methods for making tea from the Chaga fungus.

How To Make Chaga Tea

Chaga Chunks

Chaga chunks used for making tea.

Chunks can be harvested, divided into smaller chunks, and then dried. The dried chunks can be steeped to make tea in large batches. Or, the chunks can be ground into a powder. The powder can then be steeped in a bag, similar to how you would steep regular loose leaf tea. Alternatively, Chaga tea can be made by dissolving powerful Chaga extract into hot water.

Tea Alternatives

If you would rather not have a hot drink, Chaga extract can be added to smoothies or dissolved into juice drinks. Chaga chunks can also be simmered for a long period over low heat in a slow cooker to make a concentrate. This concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week. Reheat the concentrate for a quick cup of tea, add almond milk, honey and spices for a chai style drink, or blend it with ice and almond milk for a refreshing summer drink.

Chaga tea has a slightly bitter and earthy taste, but often with a hint of vanilla flavor. It is an excellent caffeine free alternative to black tea or coffee. A cup of Chaga tea can boost energy without causing jitters or headaches, the way coffee or black tea often does.

Your Daily Health

Ultimately, Chaga tea is a warm and cozy hot drink full of antioxidants, nutrients, betulinic acid and vitamins that are good for your body. According to Feng Shui London Chaga has the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity or ORAC score “ever recorded in any natural food.”  This means it has more antioxidants than long touted superfoods such as blueberries and pomegranates. Consider incorporating Chaga tea into your daily routine so that you can enjoy optimum health and wellness.

Sources

“Green Tea” Wikipedia

Photo: “Chaga” by naturluvr01

Photo: Jasmine Tea Leaves by “aemilianius