There is no single way to make Chaga, so here are some guidelines and advice from Line Efraidsen.
- Foraging: Make sure you have found Chaga, and that it´s not something else. Look at the inside – its colour should be golden. Don´t chop off the whole piece, leave some for the tree so it maintains its health. If the Chaga is still very small, be patient and think long-term. Make note of where you found it and come back after some years, giving it time to build itself up.
- Drying: Bring your Chaga inside to dry. You can dry it in one whole piece or chop it in to smaller pieces to dry. With one large piece you need longer time to steep. You can use a piece of Chaga many times and my experience is that its easier to dry after use when you have divided it in to smaller pieces.
- Steeping: Use an iron pot or any other pot of good quality, not aluminium. The Chaga should not be boiled. Bring the water to boil and then turn it off and put the Chaga in the water, leaving it to steep. Normally I like to have plenty of time before a Chaga ceremony, so it can mature in the warm water for a day/day and a half. The longer it sits the more cork-like the taste becomes. If you have access to a bonfire or an open fire-place, thats the best place to let the Chaga steep.
- Strain and drink: Strain the bits of Chaga, close your eyes and drink. Bringing attention to how the layers of taste and how it makes you feel.
- Drying and re-using: Lay out the pieces of Chaga on a tray next to the fire-place or in a dry and heated room. Make sure it it totally dry before you re-use it. You can also lay it on paper towels so the last of moisture is taken out.