Mushroom Coffee: Everything You Need to Know
Coffee: Everyone’s favorite morning pick-me-up.
You can’t go wrong with a little caffeine and antioxidants to get you moving in the morning or during that afternoon slump.
That’s why 64% of Americans drink coffee every day. (1)
But have you ever heard of Mushroom Coffee?
No, it’s not coffee made from mushrooms…
And it doesn’t taste like mushrooms either.
However, it does include medicinal mushroom extract with plenty of adaptogens, extra antioxidants, and nutrients to help you power through the day.
What is Mushroom Coffee?
Mushroom coffee starts with high-quality Arabica coffee — the same coffee you know and love.
However, it also includes medicinal mushroom extracts.
These aren’t your standard white button mushrooms and they aren’t the magic kind either.
No, medicinal mushrooms include different varieties like chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane, turkey tail, and other varieties that you normally wouldn’t want to eat.
They’re edible, but they may not have the best texture or flavor.
In powdered extract form, however, these medicinal mushroom extracts blend perfectly with the already bitter flavor of the coffee.
Mushrooms and coffee go together like tomato sauce and mozzarella.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to do anything special to enjoy mushroom-powered coffee. You can find coffee available with mushroom powder already added to the bag.
You can also purchase instant coffee and medicinal mushroom powder separately and mix them together yourself.
Think mixing mushrooms into coffee blends is a new hipster phenomenon? Think again!
During WWII, the coffee-starved people of Finland would sip on Chaga coffee after they ran through their rations. Finnish people said chaga mushroom mimicked the same coffee taste too.
The Secret Weapon Behind Mushroom Coffee: Adaptogens
Eastern cultures have researched the benefits of adaptogens for centuries. Traditional Chinese medicine, Indian Ayurvedic, and the USSR have deep roots studying adaptogens for their health benefits. (2)
What are adaptogens? Adaptogens are herbs and plants that reportedly help the body and mind resist and adapt to both physical and mental stress.
Ginseng, holy basil, and turmeric are some of the most well-known and well-studied adaptogens.
Adaptogens are thought to target the central nervous system and immune system. (3)
Keep in mind that each adaptogen works differently. Some might boost energy while others might promote relaxation. Some will stimulate the immune system function while others will balance it. (4)
Most adaptogenic herbs and plants contain high levels of special antioxidants that aren’t found in other substances.
Many medicinal mushrooms are also classified as adaptogens — true superfoods in every sense — thanks to their intense antioxidant potential and impact on immune function.
- Lion’s Mane
- Turkey Tail
Interestingly, each medicinal mushroom powder impacts the immune system in different ways due to their unique beta-glucan profiles.
The added adaptogens in mushroom coffee might help you feel calmer with fewer jitters than you’d normally feel from your regular coffee.
Plus, although there’s less caffeine, the adaptogens can help keep you energized without the need to drink latte after latte.
What are the Potential Health Benefits of Mushroom Coffee?
In most cases, the specific health benefits depend on the type of mushroom powder extract you’re drinking in your cup of coffee.
Here are a few general potential benefits coffee drinkers may be able to take advantage of.
Mushroom Coffee Might Improve Digestion
Many people would love to drink more coffee, but it upsets their stomach too badly.
Coffee made with medicinal mushroom powder might provide a better alternative.
Research shows that medicinal mushrooms like chaga and reishi function as prebiotics and might have a positive influence on gut microbiota. (5)
It May Support the Immune System
Extensive research shows that medicinal mushrooms may have a positive impact on the immune system. (6)
All adaptogens are known for their immune system potential and medicinal mushrooms are some of the best.
Turkey tail (among others) is approved to either complement or derive cancer treatments in Japan, for example.
While certain substances either stimulate or depress the immune system, mushrooms like turkey tail and lion’s mane mushroom appear to balance it.
Most of the immune-boosting benefits of mushroom extracts come from their polysaccharides and beta-glucans.
It Might Reduce Stress
Reishi is one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms for regulating sleep cycle and reducing stress. (7)
Adding medicinal mushroom powder to your regular coffee may help reduce any jitters you normally experience from a large amount of caffeine.
Plus, it might help prevent insomnia from that afternoon cup of Joe you just couldn’t turn down.
Which Mushrooms are Typically Used for Coffee?
Medicinal mushroom coffee mix tends to include unique mushrooms you won’t find on your grocery store shelves.
They’re 100% edible and safe without any known dangerous side effects. However, they don’t taste that great in pasta or soups.
Medicinal mushroom extracts used in these coffee blends tend to contain much higher concentrations of antioxidants and potent nutrients.
The most common medicinal mushroom extracts found in coffee blends include:
- Reishi: Known for its positive impact on well-being and relaxation. (8)
- Turkey tail mushroom: Known for its powerful impact on the immune system.
- Lion’s mane mushroom: Commonly considered a nootropic because it might stimulate nerve growth factor, support memory, and improve cognitive function. (9)
- Chaga mushroom: Typically used for anti-aging elixirs due to its potential impact on cellular DNA. (10)
- Cordyceps: The athlete’s favorite mushroom. Cordyceps may boost oxygen uptake and ATP for energy production. (11)
How to Make Your Own Mushroom Coffee at Home
Forget Starbucks. You can buy coffee and mushroom mix online but you can also make it yourself at home.
Start with your favorite ground coffee like fair-trade Arabica. Once brewed with hot water, take your cup of black coffee and stir in some medicinal mushroom extract of your choosing. (We recommend using a mini emulsifier to break up the clumps.)
Experiment by making your own tasty elixirs! Add some unsweetened cacao powder or your favorite plant-based milk for a latte.
Mix up a coffee-flavored mushroom powder smoothie.
As a bonus, our medicinal mushroom powders are keto-friendly, so they won’t throw you out of ketosis.