How do you like your mushrooms? Do you prefer to use them as a pizza topping? Or to incorporate them in your favorite stir-fry recipe? Well, here’s another great way to enjoy them – in mushroom tea.
That’s right; it is possible to brew mushrooms and enjoy their delicious flavor in tea! It’s the latest health trend that’s taking over almost every café and health food store.
While this may seem like a new thing, sipping on mushroom tea is a practice that dates back centuries. The Japanese have used tea made from Reishi mushrooms for centuries, and Indigenous Siberians would regularly drink Chaga tea to give them a much-needed health boost.
It’s no coincidence that researchers found these Siberians to have some of the lowest rates of cancer in addition to extended life spans compared to the neighboring tribes.
The benefits of mushrooms aren’t just another fad. They are backed with lots of scientific data to reinforce the significant role they play in promoting good health.
Without further ado, here’s the ultimate guide on how to make mushroom tea and what you should use.
Identify the Right Kind of Mushrooms to Use
Different types of mushrooms offer specific health benefits when consumed. The ones commonly used to make tea include:
- Chaga – This variety is rich in antioxidants and is well-known for boosting the strength of the immune system
- Cordyceps – Popularly recommended for use among high-performance athletes to boost their endurance, increase their energy, and strengthen the immune system as well
- Lion’s Mane – This mushroom is thought to enhance brain function by increasing productivity, focus, and creativity
- Maitake – Also referred to as the “hen-of-the-woods” mushroom (not to be confused with “chicken-of-the-woods” mushrooms), this variety is excellent for modulating blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol, in addition to promoting the body’s overall immune health
- Reishi – This is perhaps one of the most popular mushrooms you’ll come across and is well-known for its adaptogenic properties that help your body effectively manage stress. It also works like a charm to regulate blood pressure and boost immunity
- Shiitake – This is among the most popular varieties of functional mushrooms. It is great for boosting immunity and keeping heart disease at bay
- Tremella – Consuming this mushroom variety promotes hydration from the inside out resulting in healthy glowing skin
- Turkey Tail – This nutritional powerhouse is jam-packed with nutrients and antioxidants that all play a central role in the regulation of the body’s immune response, improving gut health, and reducing inflammation in joints and body tissues
The Importance of Choosing the Right Mushrooms for Your Tea
The whole idea behind using the right kind of mushroom to brew your tea boils down to the health benefits you want to reap. You could even combine several different types of mushrooms to take advantage of the specific benefits they offer.
For instance, if you suffer from frequent brain fog, arthritis (inflammation of the joints), and hypertension, then a combination of reishi, turkey tail, and lion’s mane mushrooms in your daily cup of fungus chai will help alleviate symptoms of all three conditions.
Note that the common denominator in all the mushroom varieties listed above is that they have immune-enhancing properties. So, even if you’re not suffering from a specific illness, you may want to give your immune system a boost to ward off disease-causing agents like cell-damaging free radicals. In addition to germs, bacteria, and other microbes, a daily cup of mushroom chai will help keep them at bay.
How to Make Mushroom Tea – Step-By-Step Instructions
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving: This recipe calls for about 400 ml (13.5 oz.)
- One handful of dried chunks of your favorite mushroom varieties
- Hot water
Equipment You’ll Need
- Food processor, blender or coffee grinder
- Tea kettle
- Tea infuser
You can use a mortar and pestle if you don’t have any electrical grinding device. If you don’t have a tea infuser, simply strain the tea after steeping.
- Put about a quart of water in a kettle or pot and bring it to a boil.
- Chop a handful of the dried mushroom chunks into smaller pieces
- Grind them into a fine powder
- Use a teaspoon to transfer one or two scoops of the powder into a tea infuser. The number of scoops ultimately depends on how strong you want the tea to be
- Place the tea infuser into a mug
- Transfer the rest of the powder into an airtight glass jar for storage
- Once the water reaches a gentle boil, turn off the heat and pour the hot water into the mug that has the mushroom tea infuser
- Let it steep for at least 10 minutes to allow the beneficial compounds in the mushroom to infuse into the tea
- Take out the infuser and enjoy the delicious flavor of each sip
- For tougher mushrooms like reishi that tend to be a bit dry and woody, it may be necessary to steep them for longer. To do this, simply:
- Chop them up into medium-sized chunks
- Add them to the pot once the water reaches a boil
- Add in the mushroom chunks and reduce the heat
- Allow them to simmer gently for about 30 minutes before straining the mixture
- Depending on the variety of mushrooms you use, you might find the taste of the tea bitter. To improve the flavor, add a few crushed mint leaves, a couple of drops of peppermint oil, a squeeze of lemon, three slices of fresh ginger, and if you wish, a tablespoon of honey.
- If you want your tea strong, simply steep for longer
Prepared Mushroom Teas to Get You Started
To get you started. Here are some mushroom tea products that we like:
Gano Herb makes a good Reishi tea. The package contains 25 teabags, which is enough to see if there is any difference in your health over time.
Natura Remixa makes an excellent Chaga tea product. The package contains 20 teabags.
Four Sigmatic makes a pack of teas that includes 5 teabags from 4 different mushrooms; Reishi, Cordyceps, Chaga, and Lion’s Mane. This is a great way to get started with mushroom tea, as you can buy this one package instead of spending money on several different packages of tea.
Mushroom Extract Powders for Tea
Also, consider using mushroom extract powders for your tea. Mushroom extracts are concentrated, so you get more of the nutrients from the mushrooms in each teaspoon of mushroom extract. You can add a teaspoon of most powders directly to hot water, or to an herbal tea that you have made. You can even add a spoon of mushroom extract powder to your cup of coffee.
Real Mushrooms makes Lion’s Mane extract that I like to add to my herbal tea.
Real Mushrooms also makes an all-natural blend of 5 different mushroom extracts called Five Defenders. This blend contains reishi, chaga, shiitake, maitake, and turkey tail extract. Again, it’s excellent added to herbal tea or coffee.
Fungus Chai for Better Health
Swapping out your morning cup of Joe for some healing mushroom tea instead will undoubtedly pay off in the long term. Some mushrooms have blood-thinning effects, so consult your doctor if you’re on medication to explore any possible interactions.
While it may not be a quick fix to your health problems, you will certainly begin to reap the benefits of mushroom tea once it becomes a staple in your diet.
Check out our article about Chaga mushroom powder for some tips on making chaga tea.
You can also cook with some types of medicinal mushrooms. Take a look at our article Medicinal Mushrooms You Can Cook With.
And if you’re interested in foraging for mushrooms outdoors, check out our article Mushroom Foraging — The Ultimate Guide.
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