Health & Wellness

The Beginner’s Guide to Mushroom Coffee [A Fungus Among Us]

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Tired of matcha tea lattes? Over the whole kombucha thing? Don’t worry – there’s another drink trend that, like the others, claims to have a ton of health benefits.

That’s right – we’re talking about mushroom coffee.

Never heard of it? Leery to try it because of the name? If you’re looking for your new favorite health-boosting beverage, keep reading.

Here’s our beginner’s guide to mushroom coffee:

What Is Mushroom Coffee?

So what exactly is mushroom coffee? Mushroom coffee is actual coffee blended with medicinal mushrooms – not the trippy ones that make you hallucinate. There are a variety of different types on the market blended from different varieties of fungi, but there is one constant among each type:

They are all mixed with regular coffee.

Most mushroom coffee blends are made from a powdered mix of mushrooms, such as chaga, lion’s mane, reishi and Cordyceps, containing adaptogens. Mushroom coffee is not made from the portobellos, shitakes and creminis that you put in a stir fry.

Since it is coffee, it does have caffeine, but mushroom coffee has about half the caffeine of a regular cup. And that is just one reason why so many people are hooked on the mushie-coffee trend.

Related: 4 Reasons Why Your Office Needs A Cold Brew Keg

How Do You Make Mushroom Coffee?

Man pouring hot water into coffee

There are a variety of different companies that sell ground mushroom coffee by packet, pod or pound. Many even offer instant coffee mixes. This is the easiest way to make it, as the mushroom mix is already inside. With already ground mushroom coffee, you can make a cup just like you would make any other coffee blend. Otherwise, you can DIY it by combining the two main ingredients yourself.

If you want to make it yourself, you can – don’t get the crazy idea of chopping up shiitakes and dumping them in your coffee. That’s not what mushroom coffee is.

Instead, you’ll need to buy pre-ground mushroom powder or mushroom extract and add that to your favorite ground coffee blend. Then make it just like you would any regular cup. You can enjoy it with milk, sweetener, as a latte, or however, you like.

Once it’s brewed, it’s just like any other type of coffee. 

What Does Mushroom Coffee Taste Like?

As much as you may love eating mushrooms, the thought of drinking them probably doesn’t sound that appealing. Don’t worry – mushroom coffee doesn’t taste the way you might expect.

Regardless of what you think of the taste, we can say this with confidence: it tastes nothing like the mushrooms you eat on your dinner plate.

The nicest way to describe it is earthy. Some people think it has a nutty flavor. Full disclosure: we’ve also heard people claim that it tastes like dirt.

The fact is, it all depends on the type of mushrooms used and the coffee beans they’re blended with. Four Sigmatic, one of the most popular sources of mushroom coffee, offers a variety of different mushroom blends. They use a variety of different mushroom powders, giving each one a unique taste and flavor.

What you think of mushroom coffee depends on your palate, your preferences, and what you think coffee should taste like. The only way to really know is to try it for yourself.   

Does Mushroom Coffee Have Health Benefits?

mushrooms growing by a tree

Mushrooms definitely have health benefits. In fact, mushrooms have been used in Eastern medicine for centuries to treat a wide variety of health issues and concerns. 

This may be at the root of why people are adding mushroom powder to coffee. But the question is, are there any real health benefits in doing so?

The brands that make mushroom coffee (and mushie tea and hot chocolate), claim that it has a variety of health benefits. Some say it can help support immune function. Some claim it provides more focused energy and boosts energy levels. Others argue that it can reduce stress.

Related: Our 8 Favorite Meditation Apps [To Get Your Zen On]

The bottom line is this: it totally depends on what types of mushrooms are mixed with your coffee beans.

Maitake mushrooms help to regulate blood sugars. Chaga mushrooms are known to counteract the acid from coffee that, in some people, upsets the stomach. Reishi mushrooms are known to support the immune system and help with preventing and treating infections.

Other types of fungi are natural energy boosters and full of antioxidants and minerals that can be beneficial to the body in a variety of ways. The benefits you may feel from mushroom coffee vary depending on the types of mushrooms used in the blend.

But perhaps the biggest health benefit is this:

Mushroom coffee has about half the caffeine of a regular cup of coffee. And for that reason alone, many people say that mushroom coffee makes them experience less jitters than regular coffee. They also claim that it still gives them the energy boost they rely on regular coffee for.

If regular coffee makes you feel jittery, this alone is a pretty compelling reason to try it.

Are There Side Effects to Drinking Mushroom Coffee?

Some types of fungi should not be consumed when taking certain types of medications or supplements. If you are on any medication or take daily supplements, consult with your physician before drinking mushroom coffee.

People who are currently pregnant or nursing should also consult their doctor before trying mushroom coffee. Certain types of fungi could be harmful to the health of your fetus or newborn.

As with anything considered herbal or medicinal, it’s always best to do your research before trying it. You should always consult with a medical expert before ingesting something that could cause side effects.

Is Mushroom Coffee Good For You?

Woman drinking mushroom coffee

There is no scientific evidence to prove that mushroom coffee is good for you, but there is scientific evidence that mushrooms are. So it stands to reason that there may be some truth to the mushroom coffee myths.

Just keep this in mind before you switch your morning cup: 

The people that usually claim mushroom coffee has a ton of health benefits are generally the manufacturers themselves. So, as with all products, take the manufacturers’ claims with a big ol’ grain of pink Himalayan salt (which also has little scientific evidence to back up its claims) and shroom on.

You might also enjoy: 6 Tasty Thai Coffee Recipes [Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice]

Jessica Heston

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