A new trend is emerging in the coffee world and this mushroom coffee combination seems to not only leave individuals pondering what on earth we’re thinking, but also wondering what benefits could come out of such a weird mix of flavours.
As more and more of the world try this cooky combination, learning about where it came from can start us on our journey of understanding.
The Beginning of Mushroom Coffee
Mushrooms have been utilized in Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine for generations. Adaptogens, which are non-toxic plants, herbs and fungi used to support the body, are often added to drinks and foods in alternative medicine. Making adding mushrooms to coffee, not such a farfetched idea for some.
It seems that the trend could have come from companies like Trader Joes stocking their shelves with “mushroom coffee grounds”, or “instant mushroom coffee”, and the trend continued.
Although there haven’t been as many modern studies conducted on the benefits of mushroom coffee, there are still solid benefits in mushrooms. Depending on the mushroom you consume will depend on the type of benefits you gain.
What Is Mushroom Coffee
To be specific, mushroom coffee is literally a mushroom powder blended into your ground coffee. While some claim that the mushroom powder added does not retain a specific mushroomy taste, others claim that the strong flavour of coffee can mask any flavour the mushroom powder may have.
Generally, the species of mushrooms used in powdered mushroom do not have very intense flavour like Portobello mushroom but instead has a muted and light earthy flavour. Making it a welcomed addition for many.
The mushrooms undergo a process in which they are dried and put through an extraction process which brings all of the beneficial vitamins and minerals out. This powder is then blended with any favorite coffee ground and you are then left with mushroom coffee.
Popular mushrooms are used are turkey tail, reishi, lions mane, chaga and cordyceps.
Health Benefits of mushroom coffee
When we look at the health benefits of mushroom coffee, we can really be looking at the health benefits of mushrooms. Just like fruit and vegetables, fungi contain a high number of antioxidants.
Antioxidants work to protect the body from free radicals or oxidative stress. Free radicals can be generated in the body from pollution, sunlight, or even cigarette smoke. An excessive number of free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which damages our cells. (1) What antioxidants essentially do is become defenders to these attacks on our body.
Antioxidants can potentially decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
As specified previously, adaptogens are non-toxic plants, herbs and fungi which can aid the body in alleviating mental or physical stress. Some examples of adaptogens can be turmeric, ginger, ashwagandha and of course, fungi.
Despite adaptogens working differently depending on which one you choose, most are thought to stimulate the immune system and benefit the nervous system. (2)
The great thing about mushroom coffee is the mushrooms are used in your delicious morning beverage are considered to be adaptogens.
Mushroom Varieties Used In Mushroom Coffee
Turkey tail recieves its name from the waves of brown colouration that look like a turkey tail. This unique mushroom has the potential to help fight the common cold and the flu, aid digestion, studies in Japan show its help in combating cancer and aiding in strengthening the immune system and benefits bacteria in the gut. (3)
Nicknamed the “king of mushrooms” the reishi is known and utilized around the world for its health benefits. The reishi mushroom is able to “balance hormone levels, improves heart and liver function, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and fights allergies, asthma and infection. (4)
Lions Mane (5)
Lions mane, one of the most unique looking mushrooms around, kind of reminds you of Cousin Itt from the Adams Family. This funny looking mushroom can benefit brain function, combat inflammation, improve digestive health and can reduce the risk of heart disease, cholesterol and stroke.
One mushroom you’d rather just see in powdered form, this log looking mushroom is most commonly used in mushroom coffee. Chaga Mushrooms can improve endurance, reduce inflammation, boost the immune system and contains antiviral effects. (6)
Another one that can stay in powdered form is the caterpillar looking cordyceps mushroom. As a staple in holistic medicine for generations, it has been very much utilized in the anti-ageing as well as its health benefits. Cordyceps can boost immune function, improve exercise and athletic performance, protect the heart, slow down signs of ageing and even enhance libido. (8)
How To Drink Mushroom Coffee
While you can find options available in stores or online, it's often hard to find a brand you can truly trust. This is due to the amounts of ingredients in packaged goods. For instance, a mushroom coffee blend may have Chaga mushroom powder included, but the amount added may not be enough to utilize any of the benefits.
Here at Grateful Earth Coffee (9), we have produced a unique blend of adaptogen based, super brain blend of instant coffee.
Our blend (10) includes coffee made of speciality beans from the worlds best-growing regions, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper (11), L-theanine, coconut creamer, brown sugar and two different mushroom powders: Lions Mane and Chaga.
Our single-serve packs are perfect for any on the go lifestyle and can easily be drank. With natural, non-dairy creamer and sweetness added, all you have to do is add hot water and drink.
Whether you are a coffee connoisseur or just a beginner, jumping on the mushroom coffee trend may offer you more benefits than you may realize. A drink that will wake you up, be sensitive on your stomach and boast potential health benefits can only be good. An unusual combination may turn out to be a great change for you.