Chaga tea has a subtle, distinct flavor that is quite unique. It is earthy and somewhat bitter like the forest, but not unpleasant. It tastes warm even when consumed cold and almost feels colorful. It does not taste like a typical mushroom purchased from the grocery store.
Some of the major factors influencing chaga’s taste include: harvest and processing techniques, additives, freshness, and water extraction technique.
All of our chaga is harvested from the wild near Fairbanks, Alaska. We harvest only from paper birch trees so chaga found on other species around the world may have a different flavor. We have found no noticeable flavor differences based on location for the chaga harvested in this region.
Our office spans miles of wilderness near Fairbanks, Alaska. The extreme habitat where we find chaga is home to many plants, animals, and geographical features that are unique to our northern latitude. In this article we will paint a picture of this amazing wild environment where we are lucky to “work”.
The chaga fungus grows on birch trees found in the northern hemisphere. Wild Alaska Chaga harvests chaga from the Interior Alaskan boreal forests near Fairbanks. These subarctic forests are home to a diverse assortment of plants and animals. Around Fairbanks the forest consists of birch, white and black spruce, alder, willow, and cottonwood trees. These trees grow following wildfires with willow and alder filling in recently burned areas, succeeded by cottonwood, birch, and finally large white spruce. In swampy terrain or areas with permafrost (a permanent layer of ice which persists underground year round) the forest is predominantly made up of stubby black spruce surrounded by moss and lichen. As we harvest chaga we navigate through all these different forest microbiomes. Smaller plants that grow in the area include wild rosebushes, high-bush cranberries, equisetum ferns, tall grasses and fireweed. Larger features include glacial fed rivers, mountain ranges to the north and south, the Aurora, and many hills leading to countless valleys that must be traversed.
Wild Alaska Chaga was founded nearly 3 years ago. As our company has grown, we have gained considerable experience with chaga as a pioneering natural products and company in Alaska. Our unique understanding of the landscapes, ecosystems, wildlife, processing, sales, education, community, and chaga product use and development has grown to a point where it is now time to share our findings in our new Chaga Blog.
Our chaga blog has several major purposes. We want to share information, experiences, pictures, and videos that will help inform our customers and enrich their lives and experience with chaga. We are not interested overstating the benefits or function of chaga nor are we fond of over-marketing our products to people who will not fully appreciate them because there is a limited supply of this precious resource. Finally, we want to share our own unique experiences, how-to information, and work on painting a picture of the awesome, extreme northern landscape where Wild Alaska Chaga originates.