Delicious and nutritious fungi have been used in food, beverages, and medicine since nearly the dawn of humanity. And their inclusion in the realm of hot morning drinks isn’t new, either. Many countries have a rich tradition of mushroom tea including Korea, Finland, China, and India.
So, it’s no wonder that mushrooms have made it into another of the world’s favorite drinks. Let’s be clear, mushroom coffee does actually have coffee in it — no tricksy chicory “coffee” situation here.
The pairing of radical health benefits from mushrooms and the focus and warmth of coffee is a potent one. And though the taste is rather different, many coffee drinkers appreciate the mushroom’s earthy compliment to the dark bitterness of their favorite beans.
Top 3 Mushroom Coffee Health Benefits:
1. Mushrooms are Good for Your Digestion
Mushrooms contain bacteria that can help your digestion run smoother, and perhaps reduce some of the stress to your tummy from coffee.
Prebiotics and polysaccharides in mushrooms have been found to contribute to the production of healthy gut flora and bacteria.
2. Mushrooms May Help You Manage Stress
Many mushrooms are also adaptogenic and used for physical and mental health purposes. Adaptogens support your adrenal glands and can reduce stress. Some report that these stress-reducing properties can also mitigate the coffee jitters.
3. Mushroom Coffee Contains Less Caffeine
Mushroom coffee can help you enjoy the mental kickstart without disturbing your sleep patterns. One cup of mushroom coffee generally has less than half the caffeine of black coffee.
Which Mushroom to Try in Your Coffee
1. Chaga Mushrooms
Chaga mushrooms and coffee are a favorite of Finland, the number one coffee consuming country in the world. These shrooms have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and can also support your immune system.
This fabulous fungus has a subtle, warm, earthy, and pleasantly bitter taste.
2. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Folks looking for that extra focus and brainpower may want to try Lion’s Mane. Studies show that this fungus has anti-inflammatory properties, can improve cognitive functioning, and even promotes the growth and health of your nervous system.
And for all those who love coffee but hate the upset stomach that sometimes comes with it – lion’s mane mushrooms can help your digestive system too! It can inhibit ulcers and reduce inflammation.
Lion’s mane has a unique, sweetly savory flavor.
3. Cordyceps Mushrooms
And for those who want a pick me up before their morning jog, cordyceps mushrooms in your coffee can give you a little extra go. Cordyceps mushrooms can improve your endurance, and help you push through that morning sleepiness to a better workout.
These mushrooms have a taste that resembles unsweetened cocoa powder and are earthy, nutty, and slightly savory.
4. Reishi Mushrooms
To fight that early morning brain fog, try a reishi mushroom coffee to start your day off right. These amazing mushrooms may be able to reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue, and inflammation.
They are mild, earthy, and only a little bit bitter.
Disadvantages of Mushroom Coffee
These fantastic fungi have all kinds of possible health benefits. But they also have a distinctive flavor. Some folks love it, some hate it. It’s mostly a matter of preference and what you’re used to.
If you find the flavor of mushroom tea unpleasant, try preparing your coffee a different way. Do you usually add cream and sugar? Try your next cup of mushroom coffee black, and slowly add one variable at a time to see if you can create a beverage to your liking.
The second most referenced downside of mushroom coffee is the cost relative to conventional coffee. It is often considerably pricier, but some don’t mind the price for the convenience.
If you’re not stoked about paying more but are still interested to try it, why not take a foraging class, pick up a mushroom identification guide, or purchase a mushroom starter log? Learn a new skill, cut out the middleman, and save some moolah.
Final Thoughts on Mushroom Coffee
Seeking a morning brew that can help you focus, but is less caffeinated than regular coffee? Mushroom coffee might be the perfect thing. Try adding a whole range of delicious mushrooms to your coffee and see what you think!
Whether you’re a fungus freak, a coffee connoisseur, or just an adventurous individual in need of caffeine, there’s a mushroom coffee blend out there for you.
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Featured image credit: Alp Aksoy, Shutterstock
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