Craftsmanship – Raw Material
White Charcoal is made from just what you think it might be; wood, and yet is unlike regular charcoal in just about every other way. As tradition dictates, the best quality branches are individually selected from slow growing, hard wood trees in the mountain forests of Japan and Korea. These forests are maintained by craftsmen who harvest from them in such a way that new branches are encouraged to grow. These new branches adsorb higher levels of CO2 than their predecessors, giving greater benefit to the surrounding environment and providing a plentiful harvest for the craftsmen. Binchotan is made from hard Japanese Holm oak. The natural minerals that the trees adsorb as they grow are trapped inside the White Charcoal when it is made and later released into drinking water, the skin or wherever the White Charcoal is used.
Our White Charcoal is made using the same techniques and processes that have been used for centuries. In this ancient Japanese method pieces of wood are baked in handbuilt clay kilns, slowly at first and then at extremely high temperatures with restricted oxygen. This allows carbon to be captured in the wood, a process called pyrolysis. Perfecting the difficult ritual of burning requires patience and dedication so its fitting that the people who make White Charcoal are artisans and often come from a long line of charcoal makers. Their knowledge and expertise is handed down from generation to generation; the craftsmen know exactly which wood to cut and from where, how to build and control the fire and when to stop the baking process. They use their senses to navigate, observing the smell of the steam and the color of the fire. Although many Asian countries produce Binchotan, Kishu Binchotan is superior due to the potent combination of the best quality Japanese Oak and the generations old craftsmanship used to turn it into White Charcoal. It’s from the last step of this process that ‘White Charcoal’ gets its name. To quickly stop the burning and trap the carbon the craftsmen roll the charcoal in a soft white ash thereby turning the charcoal, albeit temporarily, white.