Mushroom coffee is very popular. A recent study stated that there’s been a huge increase in both public and scientific interest in the powers of mushrooms. Despite this, there’s still some confusion about what it is, and why people drink it. We’ve put together this handy guide to give you the low-down.
What Is Mushroom Coffee?
Superfoods have exploded in recent years, none more so than in 2020. The pandemic has made us all scrutinise the way we live our lives and even encouraged some of us to incorporate foods into our diets that offer natural health and immunity benefits. As superfoods are said to contain a high vitamin and mineral count, it comes as no surprise that they are being used in a variety of food and drink products, including coffee.
One superfood, in particular, has found its way into the popular beverage, and that's mushrooms.
Mushroom coffee is pretty much what it says on the label: coffee that’s been infused with mushrooms. In other words, it still contains regular coffee, rather than being made solely with another ingredient, as with dandelion or chicory coffee. The addition of mushrooms gives it super(food) powers. However, it’s not made with any old mushrooms.
It is made with what is commonly called ‘functional mushrooms’. All edible mushrooms are nutritional and generally very good for you, but the term ‘functional’ is used for mushrooms that are especially prized for their health-supporting properties. Some of the most popular ones are Chaga, lion's mane, and reishi.
Versus Normal Coffee
Regular coffee is great. We all love the aroma, the ritual of making it, the deep, roasted flavour and the caffeine hit. And mushroom coffee is very similar. It is made with regular coffee – in our case, the very best we can find – but the addition of functional mushrooms gives it added benefits and makes for a smoother blend.
Another difference between the two is that the addition of mushrooms doesn’t make you feel unpleasantly wired as regular coffee does. Instead, it helps bring mental clarity and focus, giving you the added benefit of extra nutrients, as well as a calmer vibe.
The Production Process
One of the main benefits of adding mushrooms to coffee is that the heat of brewing helps to release the nutrients in the mushrooms. So when you reach for your much-needed cup of coffee, you are also benefiting your body with a nutritional boost.
Mushroom coffee is made by a multi-step, exacting process that ensures the chosen mushroom is thoroughly and correctly blended with coffee beans. The desired mushroom, whether it be lion’s mane mushroom, reishi mushroom or Chaga mushroom, must have its unique elements dried, ground and extracted before it meets the beans. Each of these steps ensures the ground coffee beans get the maximum benefit from the mushroom. Whilst also guaranteeing the right balance of flavour. For our range, we like to use the fruiting body to create our delicious blends.
It’s worth mentioning that you won’t get an unsettling mushroom taste with these coffees – just a smooth, rounded brew. With our mushroom coffee range, we also add MCT coconut oil, another superfood that gives you an energy boost, making the results even more uplifting.
A Low-Caffeine Coffee Fix
This superfood coffee still contains caffeine, but the addition of mushrooms calms things down a bit, reducing the overall caffeine content. It will still help you focus, but it won’t make you feel antsy or jittery.
As coffee beans are mixed and blended with the chosen mushroom, the caffeine content is diluted. Mushrooms have no caffeine content so, consequently, cut the coffee’s normal caffeine content by half. The mushrooms bring a feeling of calm, but also clarity, so you get the benefits of a regular coffee without the drawbacks. On top of that, you’re getting extra nutrients too. It’s a convenient way to give yourself a treat and a boost.
If coffee makes it hard for you to sleep, mushroom coffee could be just what you’ve been looking for. With a reduced dose of caffeine, you can enjoy a cup of coffee without suffering a sleepless night.
Mushroom coffee is also prized for a whole host of benefits, from improved energy to a greater sense of well-being. When the mushroom’s nutrients are released during the brewing process, your body benefits from the additional vitamins and minerals, helping to support a balanced diet. Work is still being done to understand the full picture of why these mushrooms are so good for us – but go forth and google, and you’ll find much food for thought.
So, Is It Healthy?
Mushrooms themselves have been used in medicine to prevent and treat illnesses for centuries. Adding them to coffee is a great way to benefit from all their nutrients. For example, our blends consisting of Chaga Mushroom and Lion's Mane are nutrient-dense and packed with goodness.
The Chaga mushroom has its roots in ancient wellness traditions and is still used for its medicinal purposes in the Eastern parts of the world. Chaga mushrooms are said to boost immunity and overall health and well-being. Similarly, lion's mane mushrooms were traditionally used in Chinese medicine for centuries to support the healthy workings of the five primary internal organs: the heart, spleen, kidneys, lungs and liver. It was also used to maintain good digestion and improve focus. It was suggested that these mushrooms were able to provide powerful proteins (NGF and BDNF) that helped protect brain and nerve cells.
The additional boost these mushrooms provide helps to enhance a balanced diet. With an improved intake of vitamins and minerals, the body is able to function better and be healthier. A balanced diet helps to stand the body in better stead for fighting infections, recovering and generally maintaining healthy organs.
Things To Be Aware Of When Buying Yours
Mushroom coffee is only as good as its raw ingredients. We prize quality, so we’ve sourced the best Colombian, Arabica, Rainforest-Alliance-certified coffee beans for our mushroom-infused coffee blends. Our aim was to have full confidence in our supply chain and to deliver an exceptional product, and we think we’ve succeeded on both counts. The same attention to detail goes into sourcing the functional mushrooms we use in our brews. When choosing yours, you don’t want to sacrifice taste or ethics to get the benefits of the mushrooms, so look for a blend that ticks all the boxes – like these.
What is mushroom coffee good for?
If you want a great-tasting brew that gives you a lift without the coffee jitters - and throws in some extra health-supporting ingredients too, then it’s for you.
What are the side effects?
If you’re allergic to mushrooms or don’t get on with coffee, mushroom coffee isn’t a good idea. Other than that, you can expect a coffee boost without the jitters, and added nutritional value.
Does it taste like coffee?
Yes, just a bit more mellow. If you didn’t know it contains mushrooms, you wouldn’t be aware they were in there.
What is the difference from regular coffee?
Regular coffee will give you a stronger caffeine hit and doesn’t offer the added benefits of functional mushrooms. Mushroom coffee is gentler, but still gives you focus – and it has a smooth, rounded taste.
What is a Reishi mushroom good for?
Known as the ‘king of mushrooms,’ the reishi mushroom is an adaptogen that has long been prized as a support for health, immunity, relaxation and focus.
What is a Chaga mushroom good for?
Known as ‘the queen of mushrooms,’ the Chaga mushroom is another adaptogen that is prized as a support for general health and as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
What is a lion’s mane mushroom good for?
Lion’s mane is an adaptogenic mushroom that is believed to support the mind and physical health. Its benefits include skin-enhancing qualities, as it is believed to help fight the signs of ageing.