If you’re reading this, chances are you already know about chaga tea and the innumerable health benefits it provides. Chaga tea is an all-natural drink that contains vital nutrients and minerals, aiding heart, liver, and immune system health, among other things.
However, not all chaga tea is the same. Much like any other industry, there are many scammers and unscrupulous individuals who sell substandard product. How can you find a chaga supplier that will provide you with the best possible tea?
There are a number of considerations when it comes to where to buy chaga tea, so here’s a handy guide that will show you what to look for and what to avoid when you’re seeking out this wonderful product.
How is Chaga Tea Made?
When it comes to buying chaga tea, you need to understand the chain of production that is involved in creating it. While chaga is all-natural, there are many companies and businesses that will try to cheap out, offering inferior tea so they can make more money. Here’s a brief overview of the chaga tea production cycle.
The first step in the process is acquiring chaga mushrooms, which grow on birch trees. While chaga can be found across a wide area in North America and Eurasia, warmer climates destroy the nutritional value of the chaga that grows in them. Only chaga harvested from an exceptionally cold area such as Alaska can be used to make chaga tea. Any chaga tea that does not use chaga picked in Alaska or another similarly frigid locale is a bad product that should be avoided.
When it comes to picking chaga, there are a number of best practices. Generally, the best chaga is found in rural or hard-to-reach areas, due to the fact that they are away from civilization and thus the chaga that grows within them is purer. Many chaga wholesalers acquire their chaga from freelancers who pick it for their own personal use and sell anything they don’t need. Because these pickers want the best for themselves, they will only collect the highest-quality chaga they can find.
In contrast, there are many pickers who deliberately harvest chaga as quickly as they can so they can make a profit. Chaga pickers with this mentality tend to be lazier and will pick chaga closer to cities, meaning their chaga is more likely to be contaminated with pollutants that negate its positive effects. These kinds of pickers also care little for quality since they won’t be using any of the chaga themselves, so they will indiscriminately harvest any chaga they come across, no matter how poor it is.
Additionally, while chaga is a renewable resource, completely scraping trees clean of it is a bad idea because it takes a long time to grow back. Responsible chaga pickers will leave small amounts of chaga on the trees that they harvest it from, allowing it to grow back faster and turning the tree into a renewable source of the mushroom. Irresponsible pickers will completely strip trees of their chaga, thus requiring pickers in the area to travel further and further distances every time they want to go out picking.
To make matters worse, a number of chaga pickers will resort to sleazy and unscrupulous ways to maximize the profit from their picking. For example, they will soak their chaga hauls in water in order to increase the weight and make it seem like they have more chaga than they actually have. They will often use standing water they find in nature to do this, risking bacterial contamination of their chaga stashes. Another common method they’ll use is rolling chaga pieces in dirt or sand, which makes them somewhat heavier by attaching random particles to them. Some pickers will also add pieces of bark collected from birch trees to their chaga, which spoils it and can be dangerous for anyone who consumes tea made from it.
Finally, there are a number of so-called chaga “pickers” who will sell counterfeit chaga to wholesalers. Counterfeit chaga is generally composed of powder combined with tinder cork, the latter of which can often be found on dead birch trees. When dried, this bogus product is outwardly similar to chaga in appearance. Consuming tea made from this fake “chaga” is extremely risky for your health.
For these reasons, you’ll want to buy chaga tea only from suppliers that purchase their chaga from honest, dedicated freelancers. Chaga tea distributors should obtain their chaga from forthright pickers who make the effort to journey to out-of-the-way places and only pick the cleanest, best chaga mushrooms they can find.
As the old saying goes, “buy cheap, pay twice”: if you want to buy chaga tea, you can’t afford to skimp when it comes to quality. By only purchasing pure, clean, and conscientiously-picked chaga, you can be assured that you’re getting a product of the highest quality.
Chaga Wholesale Sellers
This is the second step in the chaga production process. Wholesale buyers acquire chaga from pickers and then sell it to companies, who then produce chaga tea products for public purchase and consumption. Much like with pickers, there are a number of best practices when it comes to chaga wholesale buying, as well as practices to be avoided.
Conscientious chaga wholesalers will only purchase chaga from pickers who demonstrate a commitment to quality. This means carefully vetting their partners and only doing business with those whose product and work ethic shows consistent high quality. They also typically work directly with pickers and have a personal relationship with them. Oftentimes, these wholesalers will send samples of their chaga to labs for testing, which allows them to quantify the purity and content of the chaga that they sell.
Because these wholesalers can’t buy chaga in bulk, their prices will be higher, with the tradeoff that any chaga they buy or sell will be of the highest quality. Additionally, these sellers typically don’t advertise their products on Amazon or other major websites/venues, instead preferring to work on a smaller scale from their own websites. Because they’re focused on quality over quantity, they don’t need to constantly push their product.
In contrast to this, other chaga wholesalers will focus on quantity, buying and selling in bulk. They ignore the quality of the chaga they acquire, focusing on pure numbers for profit. Because of this, their prices tend to be lower, with the tradeoff that their product is of lower quality as well. Indeed, these wholesalers generally don’t bother testing the quality of their chaga, meaning that batches from them can vary wildly from extremely pure to garbage to anywhere in between.
Because bulk chaga suppliers don’t test the quality of their chaga, they can’t provide specific information about it. Instead, their webpages and Amazon listings will make grandiose, general claims, reading more like sales copy than an actual product description. If a chaga wholesaler can’t provide specific, detailed information about the contents of their chaga, it’s an indicator that their product cannot be trusted. Quality chaga wholesalers always list as much information about their chaga as possible, from where it came from to its quality.
To choose a chaga wholesaler, you should also research any company you come across to see how long they’ve been in business and what their track record. Quality wholesalers will typically have a strong pedigree, with good reviews and long-lasting business relationships with their pickers and the people they sell chaga too. A little bit of research will go a long way when it comes to buying chaga.
Chaga Tea Sellers
This is the final step in the production chain: individual retailers acquire chaga and sell chaga tea products to the general public. Chaga tea is often sold by health and organic food stores, but it can also be found online from businesses that specialize in it.
Much like in the previous step, you’ll want to research any chaga tea or health food shop to find out where they acquire their chaga. Are they purchasing their supplies from honest wholesalers or are they buying in bulk so they can put out a cheap but low-quality product? This information should be easy to find and is vital when it comes to your decision on where to buy chaga tea.
Chaga Tea Quality
In the previous section, we talked a lot about suppliers, pickers, and shops that purchase only high-quality chaga mushrooms, but we didn’t really define what high-quality chaga looks like. Here’s how you can identify chaga and determine whether it is worth your money.
How Pure is the Chaga?
This is the most important quality of chaga tea. The best-quality chaga is pure, without any added ingredients or preservatives. Chaga tea is nutritious and healthy on its own, and any artificial additives will contaminate the product and ruin its natural qualities. The easiest way to determine the purity of chaga is to find out where it was harvested. Given the nature of air and water pollution created by civilization, this is the fastest way to figure out the quality of a given batch of chaga.
As mentioned earlier, only chaga harvested from exceptionally cold, northern locales such as Alaska is usable, because while chaga can be found in warmer areas of North America and Eurasia, warmer climates spoil the chaga and ruin its nutrient content. As a result, any chaga that doesn’t come from Alaska or other places with similar climates is a bad product that should be avoided.
Additionally, quality chaga generally comes from rural areas that have been unspoiled by human settlement. The more rural the area, the better. This is because cities tend to belch a lot of pollutants into the air—from factories, cars etc.—and these pollutants find their way into the surrounding nature. This includes chaga. Chaga mushrooms harvested near cities are of lower quality because they suck in these pollutants from the surrounding air. Because of this, you should only use chaga that has been harvested in secluded areas free of human interference.
How Much Does the Chaga Tea Cost?
Price is one of the main factors many people who want to buy chaga tea will consider, but it’s actually one of the things you should give less importance to. This is for two reasons: quality and practicality.
As discussed above, purchasing poor-quality products—whether it’s chaga or something else—in order to save money will cost you down the road, whether in the form of more money or other negative side effects. In the case of chaga tea, purchasing low-quality chaga means that you risk, at minimum, not being able to benefit from any of chaga’s positive health effects. At worst—if your chaga is contaminated and/or counterfeit—you risk bacterial infection and other forms of illness. These problems are not worth saving a few bucks, so you’ll want to purchase the best chaga tea that you can find, even if it costs more than competing brands.
Additionally, due to the way chaga tea works, you won’t be buying it very often. For example, chaga tea packages from Alaska Chaga can last you for months, particularly given chaga’s long shelf life. Because of this, you’ll only be buying chaga tea once every few months or even less often. Viewed in this light, you might as well get the best chaga tea you can find, irrespective of its price.
When it comes to chaga tea, price is barely relevant. You’re better off paying a high price for high quality than skimping and buying a contaminated or counterfeit product.
Does the Seller Have a Good Reputation?
Finally, you need to factor in the reputation of the company you are buying chaga tea from. As with any other kind of business, good sellers will acquire good reputations, while bad ones will acquire bad reputations (and often go out of business).
Before you purchase any chaga tea product, you’ll want to carefully examine where you’re buying it from. Don’t just read the information and testimonials on their website: do a Google search and delve into their history. How long have they been around? What are people saying about them? Who owns the company? Do they have positive reviews on Amazon and other sites where they sell? The answers to these questions and more will allow you to make a final purchasing decision.
Many lower-quality chaga tea sellers will try to short-circuit this process by appealing to your emotions. As mentioned earlier, they may make grandiose claims about their chaga in order to keep you from noticing bad reviews or a lack of specific information on their chaga’s quality. Their intent is to get you to make a quick decision based on how you feel, before you have time to rationally appraise the quality of their product.
Don’t fall for the hype. Before you purchase any chaga tea product, carefully investigate the company that is selling it. Don’t allow your emotions to guide your purchasing decisions, but always go in with a clear head and a sense of rationality. This will ensure that you are able to get the best product possible while insulating you from the predations of unscrupulous business owners.
Where to Buy Chaga Tea?
The general principles listed above will enable you to identify the best chaga tea sellers, from the quality of their actual product to their business practices. There are a large number of chaga tea outlets both online and in the real world, each offering different products of varying purity. Many shops will specialize in one or two products and not all shops stock all types of chaga products, so you will need to search around in order to find a shop that is right for you.
A cursory search on Google for “chaga tea” will lead you to many shops. You can also find chaga tea on larger marketplaces such as Amazon. Finally, if you have a health or organic food or supplement shop in your area, you may be able to buy chaga tea from them. Remember to keep the aforementioned principles in mind no matter where you go, though.
Chaga tea is a wonderful product that will provide numerous benefits to your health, on top of being delicious. However, not all chaga is equal, with many wholesalers and shops offering shoddy, substandard products solely to make money. A bad batch of chaga can have ramifications for your health beyond the money you spend on it.
In order to ensure you get the best chaga possible, it behooves you to learn where to buy chaga tea. Look for sellers, pickers, and wholesalers that offer pure chaga mushrooms, untainted by human pollutants and undiluted with water, sand, dirt, or other contaminants. Not only that, look at the reputations of the businesses themselves to ensure they can be trusted. By doing your research before you buy, you can ensure that every sip of chaga tea is one you will cherish and enjoy.
Have fun and enjoy your chaga!