Looking for US source for (whole) olive pit charcoal.
October 27, 2008 12:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for US (or international) source for (whole) olive pit charcoal (not an extruded product made out of pressed olive). Fruit stone charcoal (especially apricot pit) might also work. I am not looking for large quantities - maybe 1-3 kg at most. I know some Chinese sources, but right now, the shipping regulations are making it difficult to bring into the country. Ideally, these would be Chinese or Japanese olives, but Mediterranean olives could be Ok too.

I believe this type of charcoal is made in Jordan and Spain as well as in Asia, but I can't find much online.
posted by PandaMcBoof to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds like a fascinating product--what are you going to use it for?
posted by Lycaste at 1:16 PM on October 27, 2008

Spanish site (in Spanish): www.huesodeaceituna.com

Another one: Isolari

Probably not what you're looking for, but interesting: Charcolive

I'm also getting a lot of classifieds adds in the search - probably that's how most people get it, since it's not a major energy source. If you don't speak Spanish, though... this will be tough.
posted by neblina_matinal at 1:29 PM on October 27, 2008

Actually, now that I read your question a second time, maybe that Charcolive really is what you're looking for..?
posted by neblina_matinal at 1:30 PM on October 27, 2008

Response by poster: I'm looking to use it for heating water to make tea. In China, especially in Chaozhou, olive pit charcoal (Chinese olives are a little different than Mediterranean ones, though I don't know how much of a difference there is by the time they're turned into charcoal) is traditionally used to heat water for tea. The olive pit charcoal is smokeless and doesn't produce much fragrance, but the light fragrance it does produce is said to improve the flavor of the water. Hookah charcoal doesn't work too badly, and I imagine coconut charcoal or some of the Japanese lump charcoals might work, but I'd really prefer olive pit if at all possible.

My friend sometimes has it at her shop, however the price is not cheap, and it's hard to get the charcoal into the US right now -- Chinese customs restrictions have gotten stricter since the Olympics -- so she hasn't had stock in a while.

Obviously a lot more work than using an electric kettle, so it's not something you'd want to use every day, but the combination of a porous clay pot, olive pit charcoal, and small kettle with a rapid boil produces very nice water for tea.

I've heard it can also be used for grilling, and you could probably use it like bamboo charcoal to remove odors or improve the taste of water.

The Charcolive site looks kind of promising - if they ship to the US, I will see if I can try some.
posted by PandaMcBoof at 2:09 PM on October 27, 2008

I know someone in the US who made their own charcoal from wood. It doesn't seem like a terribly hard process to scale down if you can find a source of olive pits.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:40 PM on October 27, 2008

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