chaga tea in a cup

How to make Chaga extract or Chaga tea in a slow cooker

A couple of months ago we shared our perfect extraction method to make chaga tea using hot water extraction.

The method uses a sous vide machine. That’s what we do in the brewery when we need to make small amounts of chaga extracts for testing purposes. 

We are huge fans of these machines because they keep water at a very precise temperature for a long time. If you’re after consistency, there is nothing that can beat them. Sous vide machines can be purchased for less than $200 these days. We think they are a worthy investment.

Having said that, we totally get that not everybody wants to drop that kind of money on a small kitchen appliance – but you still want to make the perfect chaga tea.

Testing chaga tea in a slow cooker

So to make things easier, and more affordable, we tested if we could make chaga tea in a slow cooker. Slow cookers heat to about 190º (Fahrenheit) on the low setting. The best way to find out how hot yours get is by using a thermometer, but it should be between 170 and 190º. This is slightly higher than our preferred temperature of 160º that we use with the sous vide – but after a number of test batches, we were happy with the resulting chaga extracts.

By reducing the extraction time from 10 hours at 160º in the sous vide to 6 hours at 190º in a slow cooker we managed to achieve comparable results.

There are two ways to make chaga in a slow cooker. You can either just add your chaga chunks (read why you should always buy chunks here) to the slow cooker and fill with water at a ratio of 25g/0.9oz chaga to 1 litre/4 cups of water. That’s perfectly fine and works if your slow cooker is wide and shallow, but filtering might be a little difficult.

Using a mason jar

If you have a tall and deep slow cooker, deep enough to hold a 1-litre mason jar, then we prefer to put our chaga into mason jars. We then fill the jars with hot, but not boiling, water and use the slow cooker as a hot water bath for the mason jar.

This makes filtering out the chaga super easy – and remember, it can and should be reused up to four times. Just put it in a freezer bag or box and keep it in the freezer until the next time you want to make chaga tea.

Of course, the easiest way to get your regular chaga fix is by visiting our store and purchasing our Lively Chaga Black botanical tonic.

The perfect chaga tea in a slow cooker

Make the perfect chaga tea using a slow cooker
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Course: Drinks

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker
  • Fine mesh colander
  • Mason jar

Ingredients

  • 25 g Chaga Chunks
  • 1 Litre Filtered Water

Instructions

  • Put your chaga into the slow cooker, or mason jar.
  • Add hot, but not boiling water.
  • Leave to extract for 6-8 hours – either in the slow cooker alone, or the mason jar in the slow cooker.
  • If you are using mason jar, put the desired amount of hot water into the mason jar, then put the mason jar into the slow cooker and fill the slow cooker with hot water.
  • Using a fine mesh colander, filter out the Chaga and freeze until you will use it again.
  • Keep the chaga extract/tea in the fridge for up to five days, consume as desired.

Three drinks to enhance your life

The energetic​ one

What's in it?

Sustainably foraged adaptogenic and energizing chaga from Northern Canada, distilled spruce tips and blueberries.  

What does it taste like?

Refreshingly herbaceous, hints of fruit and gently carbonated. If you like coffee spritzers or Italian bitters you’ll love this drink. 

When to drink it?

Anytime you need to energize but don’t want jitters. For brunch, it makes a sensational coffee spritzer, on its own with a dash of lemon it makes for a fantastic alternative to artificial energy drinks. 

The focused one

What's in it?

We brew this tonic with real nootropic focusing lion’s mane, confident juniper berries and and vibrant Canadian sumac. 

What does it taste like?

This is Mike’s favourite, citrus-forward, confidently herbal and resolutely upbeat. If you like a G&T, you’ll be a fan.

When to drink it?

In the days when we could still meet friends in bars, (they will return) this was our go-to after midnight drink, on the rocks or as a mixer. Now we use it to help us keep focused in Zoom meetings. 

The relaxed one

What's in it?

The perfect partner for unwinding and relaxing, brewed with adaptogenic reishi, elderberries and gentle birch. 

What does it taste like?

We call this our summer romance, complex and balanced, with subtle berry flavours. A dry rose on a sunny dock,  with bubbles. 

When to drink it?

From movie nights at home to relaxing on a dock on Lake Muskoka on a hot summer’s day, this gorgeously rose botanical tonic delivers all the chill that only reishi and elderberry can bring to the party. 

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