Brewing Wellness: How to Make Mushroom Tea at Home
Mushroom tea is a flavorful, soothing beverage made by steeping edible mushrooms in hot water. Different varieties of mushrooms can be used to create rich, savory mushroom tea. While some find it an acquired taste, many have grown fond of sipping this umami-filled tea for its potential health benefits and uniquely earthy flavor. Read on to learn about the mushrooms best suited for tea, preparation methods, and how to make mushroom tea correctly to enjoy its perks safely.
How to Make Mushroom Tea (Best Mushrooms)
Not all mushrooms are ideal tea candidates. These types make the tastiest, most nutrient-dense options:
- Chaga – A charismatic black mushroom with impressive antioxidant levels. Imparts a hint of vanilla.
- Cordyceps – Said to boost energy and exercise performance. Adds a mild sweetness.
- Lion’s Mane – Contains nerve growth compounds. Has a seafood-like flavor.
- Reishi – Used for reducing inflammation and stress. Earthy taste.
- Shiitake – Provides immune support. Savory with subtle smokiness when dried.
- Turkey Tail – This may help with digestive issues. Woodsy, bitter notes.
- Oyster – Delivers protein and vitamins. Cooked oyster flavor.
Other edible mushrooms like maitake, morel, chanterelle, and others can also be brewed into tea blends, though may not dissolve as easily. Combining a few varieties creates depth.
How to Make Mushroom Tea (Basic)
Here is an easy beginner recipe for mushroom tea:
- 1/2 oz dried mushrooms of choice
- 2 cups water
- Lemon wedge (optional)
- Honey or maple syrup to taste (optional)
- Clean mushrooms to remove debris. Roughly chop into small pieces if very large.
- Boil water in a small pot or kettle. Pour hot water into a teapot or heatproof bowl with chopped mushrooms.
- Steep mushrooms for at least 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or coffee filter to remove solids.
- Squeeze lemon wedge into tea if desired. Stir in a drizzle of honey or maple syrup to balance earthiness.
- Enjoy hot, chilled, or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
This basic mushroom tea preparation allows you to experience each mushroom’s unique flavor and potential benefits. However various methods can further develop complexity.
How to make Mushroom Tea (Advanced Brewing Methods)
To fully extract flavors and biological compounds from mushrooms, try these techniques:
- Simmer chopped mushrooms in water for 20+ minutes before straining as tea.
- Place mushrooms in a Mason jar, add hot (not boiling) water, seal the lid, and infuse overnight.
- Blend mushrooms into powder and whisk into hot water for fast infusion. Strain out sediment.
- Rehydrate dried mushrooms in hot water first before steeping another 20 minutes.
- Add emulsifiers like butter, oil, or milk to help break down mushrooms’ cell walls for better extraction.
Don’t boil mushrooms to avoid destroying sensitive compounds. Aim for water temps around 160°F to 190°F. Play with grind size, temperature, and steeping time to customize flavor and potency.
Mushroom Tea Blending Tips
Besides water and mushrooms, try blending these ingredients into teas:
- Fresh ginger or lemon – Adds zing to balance earthiness
- Honey, maple syrup, brown sugar – For subtle sweetness
- Milk, nut milk, coconut milk – Creamy emulsifiers
- Mint, lavender, cinnamon – Complimentary aromatics
- Black tea, green tea – Contrasting flavors
- Peppermint, chamomile – Settle stomach if strong reaction
Start with small amounts of extras and adjust to preference. Crisp, acidic, and sweet additions balance mushroom flavors nicely.
Storing and Enjoying Mushroom Tea
- Store refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 4-5 days.
- Freeze leftover tea in ice cube trays for easy use in smoothies or other drinks later.
- Drink mushroom tea warm, chilled, or at room temperature.
- Add ice for an earthy iced tea. Combine with juice or carbonated water for a mushroom-spiked refreshment.
- Reduce leftover mushroom tea on the stove into a rich concentrate. Add to sauces, gravies, and dressings.
Savor the experience when drinking mushroom tea. Note any shifts in focus, energy, or other subtle effects from this medicinal beverage.
How to make mushroom tea (FAQS):
Here are some common questions about how to make mushroom tea:
Q1. What is the best way to strain mushroom tea?
Answer: Use a very fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, nut milk bag, cold brew bag, or unbleached coffee filter to remove all sediment. Coffee filters work best for a totally clear final product.
Q2. Is it safe to eat the mushrooms after steeping?
Answer: While you can eat rehydrated mushrooms, they likely absorb little remaining nutrients after the long hot water extraction process. Best to discard post-brewing.
Q3. How do I know my mushrooms are safe to consume?
Answer: Always purchase dried mushrooms from a reputable supplier that specializes in edible medicinal mushrooms. Verify the Latin species names for safety.
Q4. Can I use fresh mushrooms instead of dried ones?
Answer: You can, but the flavor and potency will be much lower using equal weight. Aim for at least triple the amount of fresh mushrooms compared to dried ones.
Q5. Is it better to make tea with hot or cold water?
Answer: Always use hot – not boiling – water between 160°F and 190°F. This helps properly break down cell walls and extract beneficial compounds without destroying them.
How to Make Mushroom Tea (Conclusion):
Mushroom tea offers a soothing, meditative ritual with potential wellness benefits. Follow proper preparation methods to derive the best flavor, texture, and effects from your chosen mushrooms. Hone your perfect tea recipe through strategic blending, steeping adjustments, and straining techniques. Soon you’ll be a mushroom tea mixology maestro!