The internet is full of factual websites, but you have to be cautious and not believe everything you read.
So let’s start with the facts…Black+Blum have been importing and selling genuine Binchotan charcoal for over eight years. We are not a new ‘start up’ company who has just jumped on the recent trend for charcoal – a trend that we helped create. The established major retail chains all over the world that we supply have strict supplier regulations that we adhere to and surpass. We rigorously research the products we sell, the suppliers we buy from and can back up the information we publish.
When we first started looking for a charcoal supplier for our water filter bottles, we opted for one that had been in the business for many years and had great experience of supplying the already established Japanese market with its strict standards. After the Furoshima nuclear accident, there were concerns about radiation contaminating Japanese made Binchotan charcoal production and many producers exported their expertise to Laos. This is the source of our Binchotan charcoal and the production of it strictly follows the Japanese production method that was perfected over hundreds of years.
The process to make our Binchotan charcoal is as follows :- sustainably harvested wood is placed in a kiln and charred at a relatively low temperature for some time, then, near the end of the process, the kiln temperature is raised to about 1000 degree Celsius to make the wood red-hot. The charcoal is then removed and quickly covered with a special powder made from earth, sand and ash, and this gives the charcoal surface a whitish hue (explaining the name ‘white charcoal’). The rapid rise in temperature, followed by a rapid cooling, incinerates the bark and leaves a smooth, hard surface.
We need to be clear that the word ‘Binchotan’ does not refer to an area that it comes from or type of tree used to make it. Binchotan simply refers to charcoal that retains the shape of the wood that was used to make it and the process used to create it.
We have recently been made aware of an online company who claim that our charcoal is not genuine Binchotan ‘white’ charcoal. This is not true. They make further false claims.
They say that if charcoal floats in water, then it is not genuine Binchotan. This again is not true. Binchotan charcoal is made from natural wood that often has knots and sometimes this can cause air to get trapped which causes it to float in water. Although we boil our charcoal so that it is ready for immediate use, sometime air is still trapped and further boiling is required to remedy this. Simply boiling the charcoal in water for 15 minutes will fix the issue. See our video which explains this.
To verify that all our charcoal is genuine Binchotan, there are some simple tests you can do.
- Binchotan charcoal should make a metallic sound when hitting 2 charcoal sticks together (this is why Binchotan charcoal is sometimes used to make windchimes).
- Binchotan charcoal in its natural form is extremely hard. Standard charcoal that is commonly used on a barbecue is generally brittle.
- Binchotan charcoal ignites at high temperatures only and burns very slowly when ignited
This company also claim that any Binchotan charcoal sold must have the below certificate to show that it is genuine.
This again is not true. This certificate only confirms the area of Japan that their charcoal comes from and that it is safe for air freight. Our charcoal is sourced responsibly from Laos, but is still made in the traditional method to qualify it to be called Binchotan.
At Black+Blum, we take our customers’ wellbeing (and the law) very seriously and invest in our own independent lab tests on the Binchotan charcoal we sell. We can share this report with anyone who is interested in seeing it. Unlike some charcoal sellers we do not make false claims that charcoal can remove heavy metals. All too often, online resellers will just randomly appropriate or point to studies made by third parties to prove the virtues of active charcoal. What they fail to mention, is that these studies usually refer to crushed or powdered active charcoal, often used in combination with other filtration methods such as EGDMA-HEMA microbeads for heavy metal adsorption, reverse osmosis, UV light…etc. Ideally, you would also want to see a test certificate commissioned by the company you are buying from.
We hope this article will give confidence to anyone who has read any of these false claims by other Binchotan charcoal sellers.
Beware of false promises made by other charcoal brands and please contact us if you want know more.