Apart from being great-tasting and providing the body with the caffeine, it needs to function optimally, coffee is long recognized as having different health benefits if you consume it at a reasonable paste. Still, there are some people who cannot comfortably drink coffee largely because of its hard taste and other drawbacks. Four Sigmatic, a Finnish Company, now claims to offer coffee lovers the same kick they have come to expect from caffeine, but without the dreaded taste.
Mushroom coffee is basically standard regular black coffee that has been paired with powdered medicinal mushrooms. Although made with fungus, mushroom coffee doesn’t have the typical mushroomy taste. Instead, fungus species used in the coffee powder have a more earthly and muted flavor.
Origins Of Mushroom Coffee
For thousands of years, mushrooms have been used by the Chinese and Japanese in traditional medicine. In fact, for about 2,000 years, mushrooms have remained a mainstay of ancient traditional Chinese medicine. However, it’s only recently that coffee lovers have joined the mushroom bandwagon.
During World War II, it’s reported that serious coffee rations forced people throughout the Scandinavian region to turn to other food traditions like brewing tea and coffee using Chaga mushroom. When brewed, even Chaga tea tastes more like coffee, but with more beneficial antioxidant properties.
Is Mushroom Coffee Different From Regular Coffee?
While coffee is praised very much for its diverse health benefits that don’t mean it’s entirely without several downsides. Certainly, it won’t make you blind or a terrible student or any other such serious side-effects. However, in some people, coffee can greatly impact the body in terms of sleep patterns, digestion, acidity, and several other health-related factors.
Mushroom coffee is capable of bringing balanced body stimulation while using much less caffeine than typically found in standard coffee. This also means that you can enjoy the energy boost without having to experience the kind of sleep disturbances normally associated with drinking regular coffee.
Coffee is loaded with antioxidants and when you incorporate mushroom, you are effectively adding, even more, thus providing your immune system with a super-boost.
There is an endless list of edible mushrooms across the world. However, for coffee, there are specific mushrooms that are recommended. These are typically not your average culinary mushrooms. Mushroom varieties such as Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, and Cordyceps are the ones most commonly used in brews.
If you want a drink that will help you focus on that taxing ‘to-do list’ then go for Lion’s Mane as this is your brain’s BFF. Those seeking a pre-workout coffee, Cordyceps mushroom will take you to the next level.
Chaga, a Finnish favorite comes with powerful antioxidant properties that are useful in terms of supporting your immune function. Reishi mushrooms are believed to relieve stress, boost the immune function, and help you sleep.
Incorporating mushrooms into your daily cup of Joe eases the potential strains that coffee places on your body while enhancing the benefits of coffee. It also adds several additional health benefits.
The benefits will vary depending on the fungi used in making the mushroom coffee powder.
Coffee contains natural acids. These might cause stomach upsets and heartburn in the coffee drinker. The earthy flavor of mushrooms complements the bold, strong roasted coffee beans to provide a smoother flavor.
It also offers high levels of antioxidants as well as other compounds that enhance your thinking capabilities and mental focus. Studies have also suggested that antioxidants are good for supporting your adrenal glands and lowering anxiety.
Lower Caffeine Content
Generally, the caffeine content you get in mushroom coffee is much lower than found in traditional coffee. Depending on the coffee brand, it ranges between 9 milligrams to 75 milligrams while a similar sized serving of regular coffee normally has between 150 and 200 milligrams of caffeine.
Vitamins And Minerals
Mushrooms are a rich source of minerals and vitamins such as copper, selenium, and potassium. In addition, they contain calcium that is good for preventing joint complications and maintaining healthy bones.
Mushrooms are a great dietary source of some unique sulfur-containing antioxidants such as Glutathione and Ergothioneine. They also contain Geranium which enables your body to use oxygen in a more efficient way while at the same time reducing damage brought about by free radicals.
Because mushroom coffee has no fat or cholesterol, it’s popular among body weight watchers. Besides being part of a healthy alkaline diet that naturally helps you in shedding unwanted pounds, drinking mushroom coffee further helps in boosting your body’s metabolism.
Buying And Using Mushroom Coffee
Four Sigmatic, the major mushroom coffee producer uses a dual-extraction process that effectively removes both the fat-soluble and water-soluble active compounds from the mushrooms. The process entails liquefying followed by drying the mushrooms to get a powder extract which is then mixed with your regular coffee.
Because people often don’t generally like the taste of mushrooms this producer pairs them with other bitter-tasting drinks such as coffee for the perfect smooth-tasting brew. Besides coffee, Four Sigmatic also blends different medicinal mushrooms with tea, cocoa, and/or various herbal products to produce beverages that are supposed to boost your immunity, beauty, productivity, and energy.
How Do You Make Mushroom Coffee?
If you are unable to get mushroom powder blended coffee, technically you can brew your favorite coffee bean and then manually add the mushroom powder. After that, you can add milk and sweetener.
When mixing the ingredients, however, take extra care to avoid clumps by ensuring you mix them thoroughly. Alternatively, pop the ingredients into the blender if you want for a uniform, frothy consistency.
Who Should Avoid Mushroom Coffee Blends
If you are on any type of prescription drugs, consult your physician before using mushroom coffee. Some of the supplements could have harmful interactions or trigger unexpected side effects.
It’s also worth noting that Chagas mushrooms have a blood thinning effect and should therefore not be consumed if you have scheduled surgery.
We have had standard coffee for centuries, and then came the embellishments. Butter-filled bullet coffees came first, then we were told that cold brews were the healthiest way of enjoying the ritualistic a cup of Joe. Today, mushroom coffee is being hailed as the Holy Grail. If you haven’t already heard about this new health trend, very soon you will.
While mushroom coffee might not sound all that appealing or appetizing, be assured that it not only tastes smoother but also comes with fewer side-effects and a ton of health benefits.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.