I am a big fan of coffee so when a friend mentioned mushroom coffee, I decided to do my research and give it a shot.
Origins Of Mushroom Coffee
Coffee Dorks – Gave me a history lesson on 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”
Mushroom Coffee vs. Regular Coffee
Health and wellness celebrity Dr. Josh Axe compared mushroom coffee vs regular coffee in a recent article. “The biggest difference between regular coffee and mushroom coffee is that the mushroom coffee contains mushrooms while regular coffee does not. When you drink mushroom coffee, you get all of the benefits of drinking coffee plus the benefits of mushrooms.”
He continues, “While regular coffee can attribute to anxiety and insomnia thanks to all that caffeine, the addition of mushroom is said to result in a more balanced cup of joe. So, while a regular cup of coffee can leave some people feeling on edge and wide awake when they want to be counting sheep, makers and drinkers of mushroom coffee say it’s not as likely to make health concerns like anxiety and insomnia worse. Prepackaged or instant mushroom coffee is also said to be lower in caffeine and less acidic than regular coffee, which makes sense because most mushroom coffee mixtures are equal parts mushroom and coffee. So a cup of mushroom coffee typically has half of the caffeine of a regular cup.”
Registered dietitian Ryanne Lachman describes the taste “having an earthy flavor, combined with the taste of instant granules. You could definitely tell that it hadn’t been brewed. As the coffee cooled a bit it became a bit more palatable, and there really wasn’t an overwhelming mushroom flavour.
- Reducing inflammation – According to Lachman a big benefit is its ability to reduce inflammation. Mushrooms also contain antioxidants, which can help support the immune system.”
- Mushroom coffee also has less caffeine – an 8-ounce cup of mushroom coffee has around 50 milligrams of caffeine, about half that found in regular coffee. This can help people feel less anxious and sleep better.
- Improve cognition – Dietitian Carrie Gabriel says consuming mushrooms can result in increased focus without jitters.
- Liver function – According to Dr. Axe, mushroom coffee could boost liver health. He says, “You can find variations in what types of mushrooms are included in a mushroom coffee. One type you’re likely to see included is the reishi mushroom. The reishi mushroom is rich in adaptogens that may help improve liver function and prevent liver disease by encouraging waste and toxins to be flushed from the body more efficiently.”
- First Hand Experience – Joanna Townsend, in an article for Fastcompany.com, said this about mushroom coffee: “I feel energized and alert without feeling anxious, restless, or experiencing an accelerated heart rate. I feel grounded, too, and even find myself sleeping quite well, even on days when I have a cup of coffee at 3 or 4 pm, which usually would have sabotaged my 10 pm bedtime and delayed my ability to fall asleep until well after midnight.
Critics Of Mushroom Coffee
Jessica Ivey, R.D.N., said she was unable to locate any controlled trials in humans that support any of mushroom coffee’s bold claims. One bonus, she notes, is that because mushroom coffee is less acidic than regular coffee, those with sensitive stomachs might be able to better tolerate it.
Dietitian Carrie Gabriel, stated in a USA today article “I’ve had a tough time wanting to shout on the cliffs that adaptogens (like mushrooms) are great,” because aside from some studies on chaga’s anti-cancer properties, there still isn’t much evidence-backed research on the stuff.
Ariel Teplitsky wrote in a Toronto Star article, “Would I drink it again? If you crave a slightly bitter, medicinal instant coffee of unproven health benefits, you know where to go. But my morning cup will stay fungus-free.”
More reviews about Mushroom Coffee
Ariel Teplitsky of Toronto Star had more to say about mushroom coffee, noting: I would actually prefer if it had an earthy, fungus flavour, but the first ingredient is instant coffee powder, and that’s the predominant taste, something you’d sip mindlessly from a Styrofoam cup while waiting for your oil change and thumbing a worn copy of Auto Trader.”
- Four Sigmatic Mushroom Ground Coffee
- Solo Chaga Mushroom Coffee
- Four Sigmatic Instant Coffee Mix
- Sayan Mushroom Coffee Blend
Have you tried mushroom coffee? Do you like it? Let us know in the comments!