So What's The Deal With Bamboo Charcoal Everything These Days?

From ice cream to toothpaste, face masks and water purifiers!

Cover image via Expat Woman

Have you noticed jet black food and drinks taking over your social media feeds?

Yup, bamboo charcoal EVERYTHING is the latest trend to hit Malaysia. Tbh the stunning black hues are such a welcome break from all the rainbow, unicorn, and mermaid trends ;)

From cool softserve charcoal ice cream to steaming hot charcoal lattes, it looks like this popular ingredient is here to stay.

But what actually is bamboo charcoal?

Image via Duck Duck Moose

While pandas love munching on fresh bamboo, we're all about bamboo charcoal! Aside from being super #aesthetic, bamboo charcoal is a premium ingredient that actually comes with a lot of benefits for both humans and nature.

Harvested after at least five years, and burned in ovens, the long wait for this precious charcoal sets it apart from the more common coconut or wood charcoal. The resulting bamboo charcoal can be used in many different ways, whether added into food or even to generate electricity. 

Image via Amazon

One of the best things about bamboo charcoal is that it produces significantly less pollutants compared to standard charcoals, making it an eco-friendly source of renewable energy. Win!

Check out the most popular ways bamboo charcoal is being used:


Image via Buzzfeed

Activated charcoal is said to trap toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t reabsorb them.

Charcoal doesn't really have a distinct flavour, meaning whatever food it's added to will retain its rich flavour, giving you a satisfying taste every time. Given the health properties and gorgeous foodie pics, we say keep it coming! Pitch-black lattes, burger buns, ice cream, bread, noodles, waffles... We'll try them all ;)

Detox drinks

Image via When in Manila

Charcoal lemonade is super popular right now. It's a mix of water, lemon juice, sweetener, and activated charcoal. It tastes the same as regular lemonade but with the added benefits of the charcoal.

The detox drink is said to reduce intestinal gas but it's important to note that you should not drink this around the same time you take medication or eat food. The activated charcoal actually binds itself to everything in your system, meaning it will prevent you from absorbing nutrients in your food or your medication.

Skin and hair care

Image via Splinter News

According to experts, toxins on your skin and in your hair stick to the activated charcoal, making it an excellent deep cleanser and detoxifier. Plus, it's all-natural and won't add new chemicals to your skin! 

Renowned for the extensive skincare regimes, Korea has been producing tonnes of high quality charcoal products. Definitely worth the buy if you're looking to invest in your skincare!

Teeth whitening

Image via Make a Gif

OMG this one looks scary. But... one of the latest fads has been using activated charcoal as a teeth whitener. You can get them in toothpastes and other forms.

It's known to lift surface stains effectively so check out charcoal toothpastes at the supermarket if you're looking for a brighter smile. :D

So why all the fuss? Here are the top 3 benefits of bamboo charcoal:

1. It absorbs bad smells

Image via Giphy

It is an excellent air filter to absorb toxic chemical substances, or any bad smell in general. You can use it as a deodoriser in your fridge (no more durian stink!), freezer, bedroom, bathroom, gym bag, shoe cabinet, pet area, and so forth. 

2. And also gets rid of excess moisture

Image via YouTube

Bamboo charcoal is porous, meaning it has lots of tiny holes, that help absorb moisture in the atmosphere. This makes it a great tool to use as a dehumidifier in your home and car, especially in a super humid country like Malaysia! Use it in your drawers, cupboards, rice bin, and other dark storage areas where excess moisture can cause damage.

3. It purifies and mineralises water

Image via Pedestrian TV

Bamboo charcoal softens water and absorbs harmful minerals like chlorine, while simultaneously releasing natural minerals like calcium, sodium, and magnesium into the water. This is why we often use bamboo charcoal water filters at home. 

Excited to experience the benefits of bamboo charcoal yourself? These Malaysian speakeasies and bars have created unique bamboo charcoal cocktails:

12 Senses

This is a cocktail made for chocolate lovers that combines a rich taste from the chocolate along with fruity and fragrant hints of vanilla and nuts. This creative concoction is a blend of aged rum, bamboo charcoal infused chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao, pandan syrup and spiced bitters topped with stout to balance the taste.

Find out more on their Facebook page!

Image via 12 Senses

Hidden Tiki

This Black Diamond cocktail is made using Rum and infused with activated bamboo charcoal that was pressed at 1000-degrees celcius. See the connection? 1000-degrees is almost as hot as lava and possibly enough to turn charcoal into diamonds.

This pure black cocktail leaves a smooth sensation in your mouth and is as refined as it looks.

Get all the details on their Facebook page!

Image via Tiki

Platform 261
Bringing sophistication to another level by introducing bamboo charcoal to this mixture of Kenyan tea infused gin and martini with a white wine base. The dry, crisp wine complements the smooth sensation of the bamboo charcoal for the best refined experience.

Find them on their Facebook page!

Image via Platform 261

When you think about cocktails, you don’t usually think about how rich or milky it can be. Lavo is set to surprise you as their latest cocktail, the Black Diamond, is mixed with whipped cream to give it that rich and creamy texture you don’t get with cocktails.

To balance out the richness, Lavo’s Black Diamond is given a more refreshing taste to it as it is made with bamboo charcoal powder, fresh lemon juice and cherry syrup for citrusy and fruity notes in its flavour. So if you prefer a cocktail that tastes like a milkshake but will give you a nice buzz, you will “Lavo” the Black Diamond.

Check them out on Facebook.

Image via Lavo

Marini's on 57
If you’ve been to Marini’s on 57, you will no doubt agree that the main attraction of it is the fact that it feels like you’re dining and having a great time up in the skies surrounded by bright lights of the KL skyline that look like stars.

Using that scene as an inspiration, Marini’s has managed to create a cocktail that perfectly captures it. The Absolut Black Diamond actually sparkles due to the edible silver dust added into the drink and the bamboo charcoal powder turns the drink black just like the night sky. Made using Jameson Irish whiskey combined with lime wedges, this refreshing cocktail is the ideal drink for when you want to party or just chill.

Get more details here.

Image via Marini's on 57

Eco-friendly, decorative, and functional, it looks like bamboo charcoal is a trend that's staying put

And we aren't complaining!

Image via Buro247

What have you used bamboo charcoal for? Let us know in the comments below!

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