Mushroom coffee – what is it and is it beneficial?

Yes, you read that right. Mushroom and coffee!

mushroom coffee

by Srushti Telang |

Of all the things we thought we could have with our coffee; mushrooms were not one of them. Coffee-flavoured Coca-Cola had us pretty shook, tbf, but mushroom coffee may just have topped that.

When we saw mushroom coffee on our TikTok FYP, we almost spat our regular coffee back in our cup. What in the witchcraft (?!)

Turns out, it’s a whole different world of goodness. Mushroom coffee is a good alternative to regular coffee as it gives us energy but without the crash. Case closed; we’re sold at that.

We might just convert ourselves to average mushroom coffee enjoyers.

But is mushroom coffee actually good for you?

What is mushroom coffee?

Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room. No, it isn’t a regular cup of coffee with mushrooms as a garnish, and it does not taste like fungi. Thank God. Mushroom coffee is simply a blend of coffee and ground mushroom extract for a dark, smooth, and nutty coffee. Very normal.

The beverage tastes exactly like coffee, as coffee has a strong flavour that takes up most of the drink. Mushroom coffee is rather quick and easy to make, unlike what we would imagine, and is sold in instant ready-to-mix packets.

Although you have only been seeing it on your TikTok timelines recently, the concept is far from new. Mushroom was used as a substitute by people in Finland during World War II when there was a severe shortage of coffee beans all over the world. Mushroom coffee was revived in 2017, thanks to Four Sigmatic, a mushroom coffee company based in Finland. Since then, the mushroom coffee market was joined by other businesses due to the health benefits derived from mushrooms. More on that later.

Is mushroom coffee healthy?

Yes. Adding mushrooms to your diet for its health benefits is not a concept that is new to us. Medicinal mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicines for centuries.

What are the benefits of mushroom coffee?

What are NOT the benefits of mushroom coffee, would be a more appropriate question. Apart from the fact that it has way less caffeine than your regular latte (say goodbye to coffee jitters), mushroom coffee has a lot of medicinal benefits.

Some of the benefits of mushrooms as a health incentive include:

  • It improves immunity.

  • It helps with brain functions.

  • It can potentially be used for cancer prevention.

  • It can also potentially prevent heart diseases by regulating blood sugar levels.

  • Some mushrooms are a natural remedy for ulcers and reduce inflammation.

  • It fights immune cells responsible for allergic responses to some foods.

  • Mushroom coffee may lower stress levels and give you energy.

  • It boosts your memory.

  • Mushroom coffee helps for better sleep.

What mushrooms are used in mushroom coffee?

As you may imagine, buying regular mushrooms from Asda and tossing it in your coffee would be, honestly, kinda unappealing. Thankfully, mushroom coffee requires special kinds of mushroom for the blend *sighs in relief*.

The most common mushrooms found in coffee blends typically include:

  • Lion’s mane – Lion’s mane mushrooms have Hericenones and Erinacines which stimulate brain cell growth and gives you focus. It can, therefore, be consumed to help with brain functions and also treat ulcers.

  • Chaga – Chaga mushrooms are known for stimulating antibody growth and increase in White Blood Cells.

  • Reishi – Reishi mushrooms may lower stress and reduce blood pressure. It can also help with cancer prevention.

  • Cordyceps – The Cordyceps fungus is meant to regulate blood sugar levels and give you energy—not the jittery, caffeine energy.

  • Turkey’s tail – These mushrooms are known to boost your immune system and some suggest it could even help treat breast cancer.

Are there side effects from drinking mushroom coffee?

Side effects of mushroom coffee are very uncommon unless you drink so much of it that you experience the side effects of all that caffeine. We know too much of something is bad.

However, those with kidney diseases may want to check with their doctor before consuming mushroom coffee with chaga mushrooms, as they are high in oxalates which may cause kidney stones for people with kidney problems. Or you could simply have a look at the ingredients and buy mushroom coffee which doesn’t have chaga mushrooms just to be safe.

Not a side effect, but mushroom coffee is also slightly more expensive than regular coffee. But since we love treating ourselves to overpriced iced latte, mushroom coffee could definitely be worth a shot for our very own magic potion.

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