Just Tea: The Easiest a Mushroom Recipe Gets!

Updated: Sep 29

Hey there! Now that you've gotten your hands on some fresh herbal mushroom, wouldn't it be great to have a quick and simple recipe right about now?

Being herbs with rich medicinal and culinary histories in every tradition, mushroom recipes are abundant and diverse, but certainly the simplest one of all would be plain and simple tea!

In this article, you will learn:

  • about the health benefits of mushroom teas;

  • why mushroom tea preparation is a good place to begin with; and

  • how to prepare mushroom tea and key tips of preparation.

​Quick Links For This Article:

1. What's In A Mushroom Tea?

2. Why Start With Tea? Here's Why.

3. So How To Make Mushroom Tea?

4. Tea Preparation Recipe

3.1. Ingredients & Equipment

3.2. First Use

3.3. Subsequent Uses

3.4. Storing Tea And Herbs Overnight

3.5. Adapting The Basic Recipe For Your Needs

4. Creatively Expanding Cuisine

5. Double-Extract Tinctures And Herbalism

6. Final Thoughts

What's In A Mushroom Tea?

To start with, medicinal mushrooms are full of proteins, minerals, and antioxidants, the bread and butter of anyone looking to get themselves and their loved ones healthy.

On top of that, they are also a source of beneficial compounds like beta-glucan polysaccharides and triterpenes that impart a wide range of immune, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging benefits. Virtually every mushroom species has also been shown to possess their own unique quirks, ranging from anti-tumour action to nervous system-support.

To round off the whole package, traditions the world over have for millenia recognised and integrated mushrooms into their diet and medicine, meaning that there is no shortage of recipes to fear!

Why Start With Tea? Here's Why.

Now, as far as any serious herb use goes, successfully grasping the gist of tea preparation also comes with learning the fundamentals of extracting the nutrients and bioactive compounds found in herbal mushrooms, effectively laying the groundwork for every other culinary and brewing recipe involving herbal mushrooms.

Mushroom tea preparation also boasts the simplest procedure and requires the least attention and kitchenware, making it easy to add to your routine.

For herbalists, the fundamentals of extraction apply to both simple tea preparation and the more complex double-extracted tincture, thus introducing the rookie herbalist to the water extraction step used in tincture production.

For cooks, having a quick and easy recipe for exploring the taste profiles of unfamiliar herbs helps the cook tremendously in harmonising the eventual taste of dishes that use herbal mushrooms.

So How Do You Make Mushroom Tea?

Regular teas brewed with tea leaves involve extracting the contents of tea leaves by using hot water. The heat from the hot water purges air from dried tea leaves so that the hot water can replace it, penetrating deep into the leaves and drawing its contents out.

Likewise, extraction of bioactive compounds from herbal mushrooms involves pulling out their contents from their cells.

However, mushroom cells are structurally supported cell walls that are made of chitin that have to be broken down in order for the cells' contents to be released.

This is where the use of hot water comes in as a means of breaking down the tough chitin of cell walls.In fact, many medicinal mushrooms that we consider highly potent and beneficial are also woody, tough, and unpleasant to eat due to their chitin. This is where proper application of heat is especially important for deriving the benefits of even the woodiest mushrooms.

Tea Preparation Recipe

Before we begin, do note that while we will be using the woody and non-edible LingZhi mushroom in this recipe, this recipe will work just as well with other mushrooms and herbs by making the right adjustments.

Ingredients & Equipment

  • 15 g of LingZhi mushroom

  • 1 Brewing pot

First Use

1. Place 15 g of LingZhi into a ceramic pot.

2. Add 1,500 mL of water and bring to a boil.

3. Simmer it over low heat for another 30 minutes.

4. Pour out and serve your tea!

Chinese-style brewing pot for brewing herbal mushroom teas
I prefer using a chinese-style brewing pot for the ergonomic design and for easy storage.

Subsequent Uses

Repeat the boiling process (Steps 2 and 3) of the first use to brew subsequent servings of tea.

Because the cell walls of LingZhi and other mushrooms also contain polysaccharides, it is in fact a waste not to reboil mushrooms as the extended boiling will continue to break down those cell walls and release more and more cell contents and cell wall polysaccharides into your tea.

It is up to you how many times you would like to boil and reboil your LingZhi or other mushrooms this way, but the diminishing bitter taste will tell you when it has run out of triterpenoids, one of the main health goodies in LingZhi and other mushrooms.

Another rough measure of how many times you might want to reuse your mushrooms would be to note the colour of your tea as you pour it out, which will also diminish as you reboil and serve.

Storing Tea And Herbs Overnight

Mushrooms that have been used in tea-brewing can be refrigerated overnight for use the following day without any effects on the taste and quality of tea produced.

Store your LingZhi or other already-boiled mushrooms inside the fridge in a covered bowl or pot to prevent contamination. I prefer to place the brewing pot itself into my refrigerator after having poured out my last serving for the day.

Mushroom teas can also be stored overnight in the fridge just like the mushroom! Simply warm the tea by adding hot water when you are ready to consume it.

Adapting The Basic Recipe For Your Needs

Once you have understood all the fundamentals of tea preparation a.k.a. water extraction, put it into practice and prepare your own teas with various other mushrooms.

Learning to tweak the various aspects of the recipe is paramount for integrating mushroom tea drinking into your routine and deriving the experience and health benefits you desire.

Here is some food for thought when it comes to adjusting the basic recipe:

  • Adding more herbal material gives a stronger brew, but usually comes with stronger-tasting teas. Nevertheless, ensure your herbs are completely submerged before and during the boiling step to maximise extraction and avoid charring of your herbs, adding more water as necessary;

  • Mushrooms that are woodier and considered inedible can be given more time to sit and simmer. It is usually better to select a duration according to the tougher mushrooms, either by boiling more servings or boiling for longer each time;

  • If you are unused to drinking bitter teas, try diluting the teas with additional hot/warm water or mix the earlier servings of tea with later ones before drinking.

  • You might choose to eat the mushrooms that are edible after they have been sufficiently cooked rather than continue to make tea with them.

Creatively Expanding Cuisine

When it comes to cuisine, needless to say, taste and flavour usually far outweigh the health benefits of the ingredients when forced to choose. Thus it is very important that we are able to formulate dishes that continue to appeal to tastebuds as we incorporate beneficial herbal ingredients.

A tea as a decoction of a herb, also carries the taste profile of the herb used in addition to the herb's bioactive components. Tea preparation thus becomes a form of trial run in discovering things such as how to harmonise its taste in a dish, how long to cook it and over how much heat, and so on.

A neat trick for certain edible mushrooms with strong tastes is to decoct them so that they become more bland for use in dishes such as with meat substitution and drinking the tea separately.

Conversely, a tough and inedible mushroom can be decocted first to form a stock for use as a soup base, gravy, and so on.

Creative exploration is key in any culinary journey!

Double-Extract Tinctures And Herbalism

The goal of herbalism is to reap the benefits of various herbs by extracting their bioactive components. This is done by developing various techniques to increase potency, reduce hassle, ensuring quality, and so on.

Here are a few brief points about how mushroom tea preparation can be used to refine our herbal technique, using double-extract tincture as an example:

  • Mushroom teas, being a form of water extraction, make up one of two components of mushroom tinctures, the other being an extraction performed with alchohol.

  • As with cuisine, it is important to know how much heat to apply and for how long when performing a water extraction.

  • A technique to increase the availability of bioactive compounds during the alcohol extraction phase is to perform water extraction first as applying heat breaks down chitin in cell walls.

Alcohol extraction and tincturing requires further knowledge of formulation and meticulous daily care, but is very much an upgrade in potency and nutritional content compared to mushroom tea alone and forms the basis of most herbalists' practice.

Final Thoughts

We have covered the basic tea preparation recipe for herbal mushrooms and herbs in general as well as possible adjustments that can be made when using different herbs with different preparation needs.

Hopefully this article has helped you get your head around the fundamentals of water extraction and how to be creative in using it to further you herbal and culinary craft.

Disclaimer: While we resolve to ensure that each and every one of our articles is well and sufficiently researched, providing accurate and detailed information regarding herbal and pharmacological research, we do not claim to distribute any form of medical or medical-related advice on our site and blog. Medical advice should only be administered by your qualified medical practitioner(s) . The statements, findings and opinions mentioned are solely those of the respective individuals and entities quoted to have had expressed them.

34 views0 comments