What is “mushroom coffee”, and why on Earth would anyone want to drink (what basically amounts to) fungus juice?
The answers might surprise you!
If you can get behind brewing kombucha (fermented tea) as a soda replacement, you’ll be excited to learn about chaga mushroom “coffee”.
Maybe you want to cut back on caffeine consumption, or maybe you’ve noticed that coffee just doesn’t do good things to your body. Either way, the wellness and immune-boosting benefits of mushrooms are finally starting to be recognized by science.
Chaga and reishi mushrooms, particularly, are full of antioxidants. Their health and longevity benefits have made these mushrooms revered as super-foods in Asia for thousands of years.
So how do you make tea and coffee out of mushrooms?
Short answer–there’s several ways. First, you can simply buy mushroom coffee online, here. It’s a blend of coffee, powdered chaga, and other mushrooms like Lion’s mane, reishi, and cordyceps. You brew it just like herbal tea, and you can add milk or cream, honey, maple syrup, or even spice it up like chai.
However, my favorite way to make chaga tea and/or coffee is in a crock pot, so you can have a continuous brew.
First, you’ll need a crock pot that can be used for several weeks at a time without being missed in your cooking rotation. I use a 4-quart size.
Get some chaga mushroom in chunks, ideally wild-harvested from a trusted vendor like this one. Powdered chaga works too, but then you’ll need to strain it.
Put several chunks or pieces of chaga in the bottom of your crock pot, fill it up with water, and set it to Low. The water will gradually turn dark over several hours (or overnight), and voila! Now you have chaga tea.
I use a wooden ladle that attaches to the handle of my crock pot, and I just ladle out what I want, cup by cup, over several weeks.
Chaga mushrooms are naturally antimicrobial, so you don’t really have to worry about the brew going bad. Also, since you’ll be brewing with the same pieces of chaga for a long time, you’re really able to extract the most from each one. Very cost-effective!
As the level of liquid in the crock pot gets low, you’ll need to replenish the crock pot by adding more. Make sure to do this right after you take out some chaga tea, and not before–so that you’re not watering it down right before you drink some!
Once the brew starts to take more than a few hours to return to a rich, dark color after adding more water (usually 2-3 weeks), I will add another piece or two of fresh chaga. The old ones can be removed and composted, or left in the pot to break down further.
To make TEA–you can ladle out a cup and drink it straight, or add in a bit of honey and/or cream. Chaga tea looks like it’ll taste strong and bitter, but it’s actually very mild on its own.
To make COFFEE–simply add one-fourth to one-half of a cup of cold or hot coffee to a cup of chaga. A little bit of coffee carries its flavor a long way, so it’ll just taste like you’re drinking regular coffee.
You can even make HOT CHOCOLATE by replacing the water in your favorite cocoa recipe or mix with continuous-brew chaga!
If you need to stay away from coffee completely, you can also experiment with Teeccino, which is also delicious and amazing either mixed with chaga or alone. Teeccino is made from roasted grains and chicory. It’s caffeine-free, with a very convincing coffee flavor.
Get Organic Chaga Mushroom Chunks, Wild Harvested in Western Maine. Reuse Chunks for 120+ cups! on Amazon!
For more chaga recipes, check out this article from Wild Chaga Alaska.
Take advantage of mushrooms’ healing properties without giving up your morning brew, and make chaga mushroom coffee your new favorite thing.
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Do you just leave the crockpot on the whole time?
Yes! I leave mine on warm always, and top it off with pure water every few days. Even if you’re not drinking chaga every day, still check the crockpot–because it may need to be refilled due to evaporation.
How many ounces of chaga do you think you use in your initial brew? We are just getting into making our own and definitely want to keep the cost down.
PLEASE HELP: I may be wrong but I’ve read that water should be kept between 140 F and 160 F, which is under boiling, and that using or pouring boiling water on chaga can destroy its antioxidants and should be avoided.
MY PROBLEM: I’ve read in this article and elsewhere that a crock pot can be used on low to brew Chaga
but isn’t the water temperature on the low setting on a crock pot 200 degrees?
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