Coffee is a surprisingly versatile vessel for all sorts of wild food trends. You can marinate cheese in it. It can be served blended with grass-fed butter and coconut oil. And while you’re making adventurous coffee choices, please consider sprinkling your mug with mushrooms. That’s right, mushroom coffee is a thing.
On its nose, mushroom coffee sounds problematic. The most premium coffees on the market purposefully advertise their low-mycotoxin content – fungal microbes are something usually kept out of coffee grinds on purpose. Mushroom coffee breaks with tradition by mixing plain black coffee grinds with powdered medicinal mushrooms. Medicinal is the key word here. Not just any old fungus will do.
Mushrooms are the new kale” – Tero Isokauppila 🌿One of the latest superfood health trends is adaptogens. Used for centuries in alternative medicine, adaptogens protect the body of toxins from stress and improve your overall immune system, boost energy and balance mood. This is a quick generalization, and I am no expert in this area, but have found myself fascinated with benefits and overall well-being that adaptogens boast. They come in a variety of herbs, plants and mushrooms, such as maca root, turmeric, ashwagandha, reishi, shiitake and chaga. And in case you are already overwhelmed with the millions of different supplements/herbs you can/should be taking🙋🏼♀️, there are products out there that combine a few different adaptogens for easy consumption. This mushroom “coffee” made out of cacao, maca and chaga to name a few, is a delicious place to start if you are interested in incorporating adaptogens in your diet and a great alternative to coffee. I’ve also been taking a 7 mushroom blend in capsule form if you aren’t into drinking them. Again, I am no doctor or expert in this field, I just wanted to shed some insight incase you have been seeing these sorts of curious drinks and supplements pop up around you and are wondering what the heck they are (I know I was🙋🏼♀️). 🌱There’s a super informative podcast on @richroll where he interviews @iamtero a Finnish expert on healing mushrooms, owner of @foursigmatic. Two of my fave foodie bloggers @alison__wu & @leefromamerica post about adaptogens and include them in their recipes. ☕️This morning’s adaptogen mushroom latte: mushroom “coffee” blend (@harmonic_arts) + hot water + unrefined coconut oil + vanilla ripple milk (@ripplefoods) (or try your fave nut milk + pure vanilla extract) . 📷thanks for being my hand model @n8heddle . . . #mushrooms #mushroomcoffee #adaptogens #healingmushrooms #superfoods #superfood #mushroomlatte #healingfoods #supplements #supplement #healing #healthyliving #healthylifestyle #healthylife #healthymom #energy #chaga #maca #nourishing #wellbeing #latte #immunebooster
The various health benefits of much of the mushroom spectrum have been known to food scientists for quite some time now. Cordyceps species provide energy boosts and anti-aging properties. Chaga mushrooms are rich in antioxidants. Lion’s Mane ‘shrooms reduce inflammation and are anti-carcinogenic. Maitake varieties support the human immune system, and may help stave off sickness. Some combination of these four types are what you will mainly find in mushroom powders from brands like Four Sigmatic and Laird.
Cordyceps mushrooms in particular are well documented for their ability to enhance athletic performance. When three female runners broke five world records during China’s 1993 National Games in Beijing, critics initially suspected the women of doping. When the women passed tests ruling out anabolic steroid use, their coach suggested that their boosted performance was actually due to cordyceps ingestion. A UCLA clinical study on the effect of the mushrooms on athletes found that consumption before competition “allowed athletes greater anaerobic physical performance” and joked that they are called magic mushrooms for a reason.
Mushroom coffee supplement powders can be bought individually if you’re on the fence about committing to a week’s worth of beans, or pre-mixed with coffee grinds for those trying to keep things as efficient as possible. Heck, you can even buy solo Keurig-style coffee pods from some brands. If you’ve got the money to spend, you certainly have plenty of options when it comes to trying out this trend.
But even if the benefits of mushroom powder on the human body are well-documented, why has coffee of all things become the preferred mixer for their consumption? Well, for all of coffee’s positives – energy boosts, sharper focus and mental clarity, prevention of diabetes and Parkinson’s disease – daily drinking can also bring with it some less savory effects like increased anxiety, higher production of stress hormones, and trouble sleeping.
Mushroom powder reportedly is successful in staving off some of these unwelcome side effects by balancing adrenal production and regulating energy. An 8oz cup of most pre-mixed mushroom coffee brands provides the same energy lift with only half the amount of caffeine. Less caffeine makes for a more even buzz, and a smoother landing. Mushroom coffee essentially does more of what you want from a pot of coffee with less, with the added halo of a host of other benefits.
Finally, to answer the most important question for those considering giving mushroom coffee a go: No, you can’t taste the mushrooms at all!