How do you make magic mushroom tea? What are the advantages of drinking ‘shrooms over eating them, and what are the other ways you could take magic mushrooms? We answer all your questions.
There’s no two ways about it: magic mushrooms taste pretty disgusting. Over the years, we’ve tried consuming them in a number of ways – chowing them down as fast as possible, cooking them up in butter, even stirring them into a risotto – but we’ve never found a way to mask the distinctive taste, which is best described as “blue cheese meets rotting wood”. Yum!
Of all the various ways to consume ‘shrooms, the least unpleasant is magic mushroom tea. Drinking ‘shroom tea tends to be easier on the stomach as well as kinder on the taste buds, and is less likely to cause the nausea that’s commonly associated with swallowing dried mushrooms. It’s also worth noting that it can also make your trip come on faster, however. Putting mushrooms in boiling water breaks them down, allowing the psilocybin to be absorbed into your body more quickly.
Is magic mushroom tea legal?
We’ve gone into the pros and cons of other ways you can consume mushrooms below – including a list of the common sense reasons why you shouldn’t smoke magic mushrooms. But before you consider any of these, check that you are not breaking any laws by possessing magic mushrooms or preparing them for human consumption. There are complicated laws around growing magic mushrooms and buying magic mushroom spores that differ from state to state – and even city to city – in the US.
At the time of writing, Seattle, Washington; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Denver, Colorado; Santa Cruz, California; Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts; the entire state of Oregon, and the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) had decriminalized the possession and use of magic mushrooms. In late 2022, Colorado joined those jurisdictions, with the passing of a ballot initiative to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms, and to create state-regulated “healing centers” where participants can experience the drug under supervision.
Magic mushrooms are completely legal in several foreign countries, including Austria, Brazil and Jamaica. Please double check before you start making mushroom tea that what you’re doing is legal where you are.
What is magic mushroom tea?
Magic mushroom tea can be as simple or as complicated as you like. At its simplest, you just add mushrooms to hot water, and perhaps throw in a tea bag. At its most complicated, you could mix ground mushrooms with your own blend of herbs and leaves, and sift it through a tea strainer.
Our preferred method sits somewhere in between. There’s an element of preparation here that we like to think adds a ceremonial aspect to your trip, but it’s not going to take you all day, and requires no specialist equipment.
How to make mushroom tea
- On a kitchen scale, weigh out the correct dose of dried mushrooms for your size, weight, age, sex and the kind of trip you want to achieve.
- Grind the dried mushrooms into powder. A coffee grinder or a weed grinder is probably best for this (although you’ll want to clean either thoroughly afterwards, unless you want your next joint or cup of coffee to have that mushroom taste).
- Chop up some fresh ginger and add it to your mushroom powder. Add the mixture to a mug.
- Juice a lemon and add two teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice to your mug. Lemon juice helps break down the chitin in the mushrooms, which can be hard for your stomach to digest.
- Boil a kettle, and pour the boiling water over your mushroom, lemon and ginger mixture.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes, add honey to taste, et voila – shroom tea!
One thing to note: If you want to achieve the full effects of your dose, it’s worth swallowing all the bits at the bottom of the cup. They might taste unpleasant, but however much you boil them, those bits of ground mushroom stalk still contain psilocybin, the active chemical in magic mushrooms.
That said, if you really don’t like the taste, you can use a tea strainer to get rid of the bits. You will get most of the ‘shroom tea benefits (the lack of nausea, the ease of consumption, the immediacy of the effects) but the effects won’t be quite as potent.
What are the other ways you can take magic mushrooms?
As mentioned, there are tons of different variations on mushroom tea that you might want to try. Some people like adding conventional, English breakfast tea bags; some prefer to add herbal tea bags (a lemon and ginger tea bag is a good quick way to achieve a similar flavour) and some people mix the dried mushrooms with other herbs. Some people even make mushroom tea out of raw mushrooms, straight after picking them.
But if drinking mushroom tea isn’t your bag (no pun intended), here are a number of other common methods of consuming magic mushrooms you can try – and one commonly-Googled method that you shouldn’t.
How to take magic mushrooms: The Lemon juice method
Also known as the Lemon Tek method, or Lemon Tekking, this relies on the fact that lemon juice breaks down the chitin in mushrooms. Chitin is the woody fibrous substance found in all fungi that makes them strong enough to push through leaves and plant matter as they grow, but it can be hard for the human stomach to digest.
The Lemon Tek method is even simpler than making mushroom tea – you simply weigh out the correct dose, grind the mushrooms up, and then mix the powder with the juice of a single lemon. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, before straining out the bits with a cheese cloth, or a fine gauze, and drinking the lemon juice.
Other citrus juices can also work, although the tarter, more acidic citrus fruits like grapefruit and limes are more effective than orange juice.
How to take magic mushrooms: Can you smoke magic mushrooms?
In a word, no. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you grinding up mushrooms into powder, add them to a joint, vaporizer, pipe or bong, but the chances are you won’t really trip. Psilocybin, the psychoactive chemical in mushrooms, tends to deteriorate rapidly when exposed to extreme heat.
Even if you did experience some hallucinogenic effects from smoking magic mushrooms, they’re likely to be far milder than you’d get if you were consuming mushrooms in a more conventional way, like making mushroom tea or eating them.
On top of this, there’s the fact that smoking is bad for you, and that inhaling mushrooms – and potentially stray spores – could wreak all kinds of havoc on your lungs.
How to take magic mushrooms: Mushroom chocolate
Magic mushroom chocolate is an increasingly popular way to consume psilocybin mushrooms. Chocolate is great at masking the mushroom taste, and commercial producers are offering an growing array of options as mushrooms become increasingly popular and acceptable.
Check out our forthcoming guide to magic mushroom chocolate for our pick of the bunch, including a kosher, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, option, made with ethically-sourced mushrooms.
How to take magic mushrooms: Eating them
The simplest way to take magic mushrooms is just to eat them. You can eat raw mushrooms, freshly picked, but unless you’re going to eat them straight away make sure you dry them first – otherwise they can start to decompose very quickly.
Once you’ve got your dry psilocybin mushrooms, there’s no special technique to eating them. You can grind them up with a coffee grinder and mix them into other food, you can cook them (although be careful about cooking them in extreme heat), or you can just munch them down.
But our preferred method for consuming psilocybin mushrooms will always be shroom tea.