While browsing through your social media feed, you might have come across people drinking a so-called mushroom cup and swear by its taste and health benefits, but what is mushroom coffee? Some believe it’s just a cup of coffee with mushrooms on top of it, and some think it’s coffee-soaked overnight with the mushroom.
We are glad to tell you that you don’t have to worry about those crazy rumors, since mushroom coffee is a normal drink and offers much more than that. One thing it is definitely not is magic mushrooms, you won’t be going on a “trip” when drinking this coffee.
Mushroom coffee might seem very intimidating, but it actually tastes much the same as regular coffee. In this article, we will cover what is mushroom coffee, the health benefits, and debunk myths about it.
What Is Mushroom Coffee?
Mushroom coffee is a regular coffee infused with powdered medicinal mushroom extracts. Although the coffee drink is blended with fungus, it does not have the usual mushroom flavor. It generally provides a smooth blend of coffee that mixes with powdered mushroom to create a smooth, nutty, and dark cup.
Although bad news for some, mushroom coffee actually contains less caffeine than regular coffee. The coffee contains half the amount of caffeine compared to a regular cup, but despite the lower levels of caffeine, it provides better energy-boosting components and other benefits.
If you didn’t know already, mushrooms are extremely versatile and are used for many food and drink preparations. You will also find them being used in popular Chinese medicines. That’s why it’s no surprise that this combination exists, as strange as it sounds when saying it out loud. Just don’t go asking for it in Starbucks yet!
This isn’t a new trend either, in fact, it has been used as a coffee alternative back in Finland during World War II. When coffee became the first casualty of war, the Finnish people had to find better coffee substitutes and mushroom coffee, specifically Chaga the mushroom, was one of them.
How Do You Make Mushroom Coffee?
When it comes to making mushroom coffee, you have to remember that you can’t just use any kind of mushroom-like the ones used for cooking. There are specific mushroom types that you can use and these are the medicinal ones.
What happens is that wild mushrooms growing in specific areas are picked, dried, and then grounded up until they reach a powder consistency. The most commonly used fungi include lion’s mane, Chaga, turkey’s tail, cordyceps, and reishi. Some mushroom powder is a mix between two or more fungi species and is blended with regular coffee.
You can make a number of mushroom coffees including black coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, and more. The taste would maybe differ between each coffee, so if you don’t like one, try different variations until you find one you like.
The Benefits of Mushroom Coffee
There are a number of health benefits that mushroom coffee offers, this is why you’ll notice that a lot of traditional Chinese medicines infuse mushrooms in the mix. Mushrooms are known to have high levels of antioxidants that promote better health.
Some well-known benefits of drinking mushroom coffee include a decrease in stress, improved sleep, higher energy levels, reduction in inflammation, and reduced anxiety. Overall, mushrooms have several benefits to a person, and when infused in the coffee drink, adds the extra benefits that coffee does.
These should be taken with a pinch of salt, though. There haven’t been enough concrete studies and research materials posted that back up the claims of mushroom coffee. Some of these benefits could be the result of a placebo, some could be real, and some might not affect people because everyone’s body works differently.
According to Healthline, one of the main substances found in mushrooms is called adaptogens. This has been linked to a reduction in stress through some studies. This is loosely connected to the mushroom coffee, but could not result in any connection at all. However, we do recommend that you try mushroom coffee and see if it does have any effect on you.
Medicinal Mushroom Extracts
These extracts are some of the most popular mushrooms that are used when making a mushroom coffee blend. Each one has a different purpose and alleged benefit.
Chaga is undoubtedly one of the most popular options for a coffee mushroom coffee blend. It aids in digestion and can also help to minimize coffee jitter effects on the body. There has also been some sources that state it is known to have tumor-suppressant properties. Of course, it is also rich in antioxidants.
2. Lion’s Mane
The Lion’s mane is said to be best for people who need a boost of concentration and focus. It also promotes brain health and improves productivity. Other research has also said that neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s can also be prevented when infusing lion’s mane to your mushroom coffee.
3. Turkey’s Tail
Turkey’s tail is another popular choice, and it grows on dead and fallen trees, tree stumps, and branches. You might be wondering why it is called Turkey’s Tail, that’s due to its colorful stripes as it resembles a turkey’s tail. The health benefits of Turkey’s Tail fungus are the ability to treat common colds, strengthening the immune system, cancer-fighting properties, improving digestion, and may also help patients with HIV or aids.
Cordyceps sinesis is said to produce a natural energy boost. This one has been used in traditional Chinese medicines for years. There are 6 benefits of cordyceps including energy-boosting properties, anti-aging components, anti-tumor effects, heart health improvements, and helping to manage type 2 diabetes. There could be more benefits, but these are the main ones.
Reishi is another type of fungus used in making mushroom coffee. Reishi fungus has cancer prevention properties, depression-fighting abilities, aids in managing sugar levels, and boosts the immune system.
These benefits are based on a number of different research documents, articles, and data going back through traditional medicinal treatments. They might not have any benefits to you as an individual. Be sure to do your research before being convinced!
Best Mushroom Coffee to Buy
These are currently 5 of the most popular mushroom coffee products you can purchase online. They are not expensive and come in a range of different options to suit your preferences.
- Ground Mushroom Coffee With Lion’s Mane
- Ground Mushroom Coffee with Probiotics
- Ground Adaptogen Coffee
- Instant Mushroom Coffee With Lion’s Mane
- Mushroom Coffee Latte With Lion’s Mane
The Downsides of Drinking Mushroom Coffee
Is there really a downside to drinking mushroom coffee? Well, it all depends on who is drinking it. As you know from reading this article, it can offer a lot of health benefits, but to some people, it’s a different experience.
Some people complain about experiencing digestive problems, especially those that already have kidney issues. Chaga mushroom is one type of mushroom that increases kidney stones due to the high levels of oxalate in the mushroom.
As the research is not well-known or conclusive, there could be downsides of mushroom coffee that haven’t been discovered yet. If you are worried about any strange symptoms after drinking it, consult your local health professional.
Mushrooms are rumored to become one of the best health and wellness trends this year. If you are a coffee lover and health enthusiast, then you’d probably fall in love with drinking this type of coffee.
Mushrooms are already known to have a lot of health benefits, this is why it’s a very popular ingredient for traditional Chinese medicines. Then with the added health and wellness trends, more people are drinking mushroom coffee because not only does it taste good, it also promotes several health benefits. These benefits include:
- Reduced stress.
- Boost energy and immune system.
- Promotes better concentration and productivity.
- Helps prevent cancer.
- Manages sugar levels and type 2 diabetes.
- Possesses anti-aging properties.
- Helps in combating depression.
So don’t be concerned, give mushroom coffee a try and you might have found a healthy alternative to your regular coffee drink.