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This cozy mushroom chai tea not only tastes delicious, but may also have immune boosting properties and other health benefits.
The word “chai” simply means “tea” in Hindi, so I’m acknowledging right away that the title of this recipe is a little redundant (mushroom tea tea!)
What Westerns commonly refer to as chai is actually a derivative of masala chai (“spiced tea”), a popular beverage throughout South Asia. Masala chai uses black tea as a base, and is brewed with spices such as ginger, clove and cardamom.
In our mushroom chai tea recipe, we are inspired by the warming spices of marsala chai, but swap out the black tea for a mushroom decoction (sometimes referred to as a mushroom tea.)
The mushrooms we use for our tea, chaga and reishi, are used in traditional medicine across the world, mainly to boost immunity and overall health.
This decoction makes a perfect, un-caffeinated base for our mushroom chai tea. However, if you like, you can brew the mushroom tea with Darjeeling or other black tea for a caffeinated and more traditional chai.
This post is a recipe for mushroom chai tea.Jump to Recipe
Hello, I’m Leslie
My name is Leslie, and I’m the founder of PunkMed! On my blog, I and my team share my info and recommendations in the area of sustainability, urban homesteading, and the occasional recipe. Our goal is to slow down and savor the small joys in life through sustainable practices.
In today’s post, I’m sharing my favorite mushroom chai tea recipe. I pretty much drink this every day throughout the fall and winter here in New England for a tasty and cozy immunity boost!
Let’s get into it!
This post was all about mushroom chai tea.
Mushroom Chai Tea Ingredients
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a type of fungus that grows on the bark of trees in colder climates. Chaga doesn’t look like what we traditionally picture when we think of a mushroom–rather, it looks more like clump of burnt charcoal. That is because chaga is not a fruiting mushroom body, but rather the root-like structure of fungus that grows beneath the surface.
When brewed in water slowly over several hours, chaga mushroom creates a deep-brown coffee-like liquid that has flavor reminiscent of vanilla and birch beer. (Fitting perhaps, as chaga is often found growing on birch trees!)
I have been able to forage my own chaga near my home in New England. However, if you can’t find your own chaga it is fairly easy to buy online.
Finally, you will often see chaga sold as a powder. Because this is a slow cooker recipe that requires a long decoction time, be sure to buy chunks of chaga, not chaga powder.
The reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) is a fungus that grows in various locations in Asia. It’s used in Chinese medicine and other traditional Asian medicinal practices as a health-building and immunity-boosting tea.
There is a version of reishi that grows here in New England (Ganoderma tsugae), AKA hemlock varnish shelf or the hemlock reishi, as it is commonly found on hemlocks. I have been able to forage this mushroom myself.
On its own, reishi tastes pretty bitter and medicinal. I would not recommend adding more reishi than called for in this recipe.
Finally, you will often see reishi sold as a powder. Because this is a slow cooker recipe that requires a long decoction time, be sure to buy slices of reishi, not reishi powder.
You can also buy reishi mushroom from a trusted seller like Mountain Rose Herbs.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to help readers identify mushrooms. Do not attempt to forage for/consume mushrooms you do not feel confident identifying.
Ginger is a flowering plant originating in Southeast Asia. However, the part we use in the kitchen is actually the rhizome, or the underground part of the plant. Ginger is known for its health benefits, especially as an aid for nausea and digestive upset.
This recipe calls for fresh ginger, which you can find at most grocery stores in the produce aisle. There is no need to peel the outer skin off the ginger for this recipe, but make sure you slice it fairly thinly to maximize the extraction of its flavors into the tea.
Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the bark of trees. It is a powerful antioxidant, and some research suggest it may help with regulating blood glucose.
There are two main types of cinnamon used in home cooking: Ceylon and Cassia. Ceylon is known as “true cinnamon” but Cassia cinnamon is more available in most grocery stores. Cassia cinnamon is often what people mean when they refer to cinnamon. Either type of cinnamon can be used in this recipe.
Mushroom Chai Tea Recipe
Mushroom Chai Tea Slow Cooker Recipe
- 1 Slow cooker I have a 6-quart slow cooker, but adjust the recipe based the volume in quarts of your own slow cooker.
- 1-3 chaga chunks (about 1") per quart of water
- 1 dried reishi, sliced per quart water
- 3 inches fresh ginger, sliced per quart of water
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- 2-3 star anise pods
- 1 whole vanilla bean pod
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp peppercorn
- Determine how many quarts your slow cooker can hold and adjust the recipe based on the amount of water you will be adding.
- Combine ingredients in the slow cooker.
- Cover with water to fill line, or to the desired amount of water. A small amount of water will be lost to evaporation.
- Turn the slow cooker to highest setting and heat for at least two hours, but up to 24 hours. I often simmer the tea on high for a couple hours, and then reduce to warm for the day, and portion out tea with a soup ladle throughout the day.
- Add sweetener and milk as desired. I especially like maple syrup in my chai mushroom tea.
- To store, turn off the slow cooker and allow to cool. Strain out ingredients and store mushroom chai tea in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
How to Make Mushroom Chai Tea – Step by Step Photos
Step #1 – Determine how many quarts your slow cooker can hold and adjust the recipe based on the amount of water you will be adding. My slow cooker can hold six quarts, so I am adding at least six chunks of chaga (but up to 18 chunks), six one-inch slices of reishi, and three inches of sliced ginger.
Step #2 – Combine ingredients in the slow cooker.
Step #3 – Cover with water to fill line, or to the desired amount of water. A small amount of water will be lost to evaporation.
Step #4 – Turn the slow cooker to highest setting and heat for at least two hours, but up to 24 hours. I often simmer the tea on high for a couple hours, and then reduce to warm for the day, and portion out tea with a soup ladle throughout the day.
Step #5 – Add sweetener and milk as desired. I especially like maple syrup in my chai mushroom tea.
Step #6 – To store, turn off the slow cooker and allow to cool. Strain out ingredients and store mushroom chai tea in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Read these recipes next:
Looking for more homesteading-friendly recipes? Below, I’ve shared a number of recipe posts and how-to guides:
- Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Recipe for Cozy Mornings
- Everything You Need to Start Making Sourdough Bread: A Beginner’s Guide
- How to Pickle Anything
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