Fad or Fab? All You Need to Know About Mushroom Coffee
July 29, 2021
IN THIS ARTICLE
From skinny latte to buttered coffee and cold-brewed cups, there are always exciting new trends in coffee for all those bean lovers out there. Coffee is a whole world. From technique to taste and pods to place, there is so much to explore. Now there's a new kid on the scene and everyone seems to be going wild for the idea of mushroom coffee. Considered to be jam-packed with health benefits and utterly delicious, we take a closer look at the latest cup of coffee trend and answer all your burning questions about medicinal mushrooms in coffee.
What Exactly is Mushroom Coffee?
OK so, we know it sounds weird but mushroom coffee is exactly what it says on the tin - mushroom powder mixed up with ground coffee. If this is giving you shuddering flashbacks of those experimental college years sharing magic mushroom brews around the festival fire, worry not - this is not that experience.
Despite the name, mushroom coffee doesn't have a mega mushroom taste and the flavor notes are said to be sweet and nutty and pretty delicate thanks to the different types of mushrooms used.
Instead of using portobello or button mushrooms which can have a strong taste, mushroom coffee calls on medicinal mushrooms like Chaga and Cordyceps, Lions Mane and Turkey Tail, and Reishi. These shrooms are more medicinal or functional rather than here to flavor your cooking, and some of the believed benefits of sipping a typical cup include taking the edge off anxiety and boosting your immune system too, along with being adaptogenic.
When something is adaptogenic, it is said to be able to help our bodies adapt easier to stressful or challenging situations. In fact, there are lots of herbal teas out there that are also considered to be adaptogens.
How is it Made?
If your imagination is running wild at the image of mushrooms floating around in a regular cup of coffee, you will be glad to hear this isn't how mushroom coffee is made. It's made in a similar style to regular instant coffee.
The mushrooms are dual extracted and dehydrated and ground down into a powder before being mixed with ground regular coffee beans.
You can buy mushroom coffee in coffee pods, instant coffee packs, or as a mushroom coffee blend.
There's no special way to brew up your mushroom coffee, you simply follow the rules of regular coffee making. You can make your mushroom coffee into a latte, cappuccino, cold brew, mocha, or simple black coffee and add in your sugar and milk to taste.
The Mushroom Coffee Trend
There's a whole host of mushroom species out there, but there are several powdered medicinal mushrooms that are the go-to choice when it comes to a mushroom coffee trend that tastes good. These four mushroom coffee types are the most popular kinds that you can expect to slurp for a morning pick-me-up.
Chaga coffee is made from the Chaga mushroom - the woody burnt looking mushroom that seems to burst out of tree bark. Chaga mushrooms are often found in traditional medicine and healing whether being consumed as mushroom tea, being smoked, or being used as a poultice for the skin. Chalga coffee is packed to the hilt with vitamins and minerals and is antioxidant-rich and is even believed to have tumor suppressant properties. The taste of Chalga coffee is said to be earthy and slightly bitter.
- Known benefits: Full of antioxidants, promotes good gut health, may help suppress cancer progression
- Recommended brands: Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mix, Rasa Herbal Coffee Alternative, RaHygee
- Relevant research: Research on mice has shown that Chaga can be beneficial in suppressing cancer progression.
Lion's Mane Coffee
Lion's Mane coffee comes from the organic Lion’s Mane mushroom. It looks like a shaggy clump when on a tree and has long spines that cluster together. In its original form, it is said to have a seafood like taste which is why it works best in coffee as lion's mane extract. Lions Mane coffee is believed to help reduce anxiety and depression, along with helping to sharpen those memory skills. When ground down and added to ground coffee beans it has a smooth taste that works beautifully with your favorite kind of warm milk alternative.
- Known benefits: Encouraging mental wellness, memory, and focus.
- Recommended brands: Sun Alchemy Mushroom Coffee,
- Relevant research: Studies have shown that Lion's Mane Coffee can help reduce symptoms of anxiety in mice.
Reishi Mushroom Coffee
Reishi mushrooms are said to be one of the best medicinal mushroom choices for those who are craving better sleep. These shrooms have a long history of healing and have been a popular fungi in eastern medicine for over two thousand years. They are believed to enhance the immune system and actively help the body fend off disease, along with helping the respiratory system. Reishi mushrooms can taste a little bitter which is why they are best added to coffee in powdered mushroom form.
- Known benefits: Stress reduction, better sleep, and immune boosting.
- Recommended brands: Ganoherb Rishi Mushroom Coffee, La Republica,
- Relevant research: Studies have shown that Reishi mushrooms (also known as Ganoderma lucidum) can boost your immune system.
Cordyceps coffee is made with the Cordyceps mushroom which is a species of mushroom with more than four hundred different types of fungi. They look like thin tubes bursting through the ground and tend to like humid sultry climates. As they can be quite rare, they are often more expensive when purchasing the wild variety, although you can get lab-grown for a lesser price. These mushrooms are popular in Chinese medicine and have been used for many years to help with everything from kidney disease to diabetes, fatigue, and even boosting sex drive. These shrooms are also said to be good supplements for athletes who want to up their game.
- Known benefits: Higher energy and upping physical performance levels
- Recommended brands: Laird Superfood Mushroom Coffee,
- Relevant research: Cordyceps mushrooms have been studied and it seems like they may be able to improve the way your body uses oxygen, boosting exercise performance as a result.
What You Really Want to Know About Mushroom Coffee
Now you know that experimenting with the world of mushroom coffee won't cause you to gag on a floating root, we have the answers to some of those brewing questions that can help you decide if drinking edible mushrooms ground into your coffee is the right choice for you.
Are there any mushroom coffee benefits?
One of the main reasons why people are drawn to the idea of this kind of coffee is down to the health benefits. As we know, medicinal mushrooms are big news in ancient healing, and this is especially true of adaptogenic mushrooms. While there still needs to be a ton of human research done, the following are said to be the benefits of kickstarting your day with a shroomy sip of coffee
- Improved immunity
- Reducing cholesterol
- Good gut health
- Antihistamine effect
- Supportive therapies for cancer
- Improved cognitive function