While the phrase “mushroom coffee” may not make you want to rush online to buy and try it for yourself, we don’t recommend judging a book by its cover or, in this case, name. The name does leave something to be desired — visions of mushrooms floating in coffee certainly does not sound appetizing.
Good news: Mushroom coffee is not made with whole mushrooms and coffee, but with coffee grounds and ground adaptogenic mushrooms to create a robust flavor of coffee with an equally robust nutrient profile. No matter the name, the health benefits are bountiful.
While mushroom coffee is a bit newer, only really being created in the 1940s, it is made from ingredients that have been used for thousands of years for their health properties. Mushrooms and coffee have both been shown to support cognitive function and energy levels, and they're both antioxidant-rich. The benefits of adaptogenic mushrooms are extensive, including sleep support, heart health, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Let’s learn more about mushroom coffee and mushroom lattes, where it came from, how it is made, and the health benefits it provides. You'll be adding mushroom coffee to your morning routine in no time.
What Is Mushroom Coffee?
One of the newest health and coffee trends is the mushroom latte. A mushroom latte is made by blending ground coffee with ground adaptogenic mushrooms and adding in your choice of non-dairy milk. In the end, leaving you with a cup of coffee that resembles basic coffee in look and taste, but with so many added health benefits.
What Are the Origins of Mushroom Coffee?
Mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. The benefits to mushrooms are extensive. Coffee has also been around for thousands of years, and has its own health benefits. But, who put these two ancient ingredients together?
While this seems like something that would be created today since we live in an age where adding health to everyday items is flourishing (and we are loving every minute of it), this was actually first started in the 1940s. During the Second World War, coffee beans were not available, so the Finnish created coffee from mushrooms. Today, mushroom coffee has been created not out of necessity, but with health in mind.
How Do You Make Mushroom Coffee?
Mushroom coffee is made by combining ground coffee beans with ground adaptogenic mushrooms. You can make this yourself by using your favorite ground coffee beans. Brew your coffee as usual — adding cinnamon to this step adds a great flavor that brings out the savory taste of the mushrooms.
When your coffee is finished brewing, add in about a teaspoon of your organic adaptogenic mushroom blend and mix well. As you would with your normal coffee, finish with plant-based milk like oat or almond, and, if you like, add in a sugar substitute like maple syrup or lucuma.
You can also purchase pre-packaged mushroom coffee. These are usually made in a one-to-one ratio of mushroom powder to coffee. Always read the packaging to see the specific preparation recommendations for your brand, but you usually make these as you would your normal coffee.
Which Mushrooms Are Used to Make Mushroom Coffee?
Adaptogenic mushrooms are used to make mushroom coffee. Adaptogens are herbs or, in this case, mushrooms that help in counteracting the effects of stress in the body. These mushrooms have been used for thousands of years for their medicinal properties.
- Lion’s mane is used for brain health and can help support emotional balance and mood.
- Reishi helps alleviate stress and helps with sleep.
- Cordyceps are great for energy and stamina.
- Chaga reduces inflammation, supports healthy metabolic function, and bolsters joint and cartilage health.
- Turkey tail supports cellular regeneration and aids in digestion.
- Shiitake mushrooms are antioxidant-rich and support a healthy heart and liver.
One similarity in all of these different mushrooms is their immune support!
What Does Mushroom Coffee Taste Like?
With mushroom in the name, you may be nervous to try mushroom coffee, but with its nutty, earthy, slightly bitter notes, it actually tastes a lot like a specialty coffee. Coffee has such a strong flavor — it overpowers any taste of mushroom, not to mention mushrooms’ natural tendency to absorb the flavor around it. You can also add a dash of cinnamon to enhance the flavor.
Are Mushroom Coffees Safe?
While there has been very little scientific research on the combined benefits of mushrooms and coffee together in mushroom coffees, there has been much anecdotal evidence to support the safety and benefits of mushroom coffee.
There is also a lot of supporting research for the benefits of coffee and mushrooms alone. Mushroom coffee is relatively new to the market, so more robust scientific studies haven't really been popularized on it just yet.
As with anything, if you are concerned about adding it to your daily health stack because of possible medication interactions or if you’re pregnant or nursing, you should always consult your doctor with any questions you may have.
What Are the Potential Benefits of Mushroom Coffee?
The benefits of mushroom coffee are the same benefits that are provided in mushrooms and coffee individually. Each of these individual ingredients have an abundance of health benefits, and, when added together, it gives you a well-rounded, healthful drink.
Here at Kroma Wellness, we love integrating easy, nourishing superfoods into our daily routines — here’s why mushroom coffee makes the cut!
Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
One known health benefit of mushrooms is their support for heart health. Mushrooms can help support healthy cholesterol levels, and chaga specifically is known for its help in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Mushrooms are also high in antioxidants, which are great for protecting the heart against free radicals.
Helps Fight Ulcers
Ulcers are open sores in the stomach, esophagus, or upper small intestine. They can be caused by certain over-the-counter medications, a bacteria in the stomach called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), and intense stress. Mushrooms, specifically lion’s mane, can help heal ulcers. Mushrooms also help inhibit the growth of H. pylori, which is the main cause of ulcers.
Adaptogens are herbs or mushrooms that reduce the negative effects of stress on the body. Mushrooms are known adaptogens that have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Specifically, the reishi mushroom has been known to increase the overall state of well-being because of the whole-body support it can provide.
Lion’s mane has also been shown to reduce anxiety and depression by supporting the hippocampus. The hippocampus, also called the emotional brain, is a structure in the brain that supports learning and memory.
Supports Immune Health
Both coffee and mushrooms are high in antioxidants, which help battle free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules with a missing electron that can cause oxidative stress. Free radicals are caused by natural functions in the body, one being the immune system. While your body is perfectly designed to counterbalance itself, sometimes everyday stressors or the food we eat can cause added free radicals. When your body is unable to balance the free radicals, it can cause damage to cells in the body.
By supporting your body with mushroom coffee, which has antioxidants, you can help it regulate these functions. Reducing the free radicals in your body also reduces inflammation. Now the immune system doesn't have extra work to do.
Mushrooms are also full of nutrients like zinc and folate. Zinc helps in the creation of new immune cells, and folate helps to balance the immune system.
Mushroom coffee has less caffeine than traditional coffee because it is made with a one-to-one ratio of mushroom to coffee. While mushrooms have no caffeine, the coffee is cut in half, therefore the caffeine is cut in half as well.
This is a better option for people who are more sensitive to caffeine. However, there is still caffeine, so if caffeine is an issue, you can opt for decaffeinated mushroom coffee.
With the reduction of stress and all-around brain support of adaptogenic mushrooms, your sleep will also benefit. While there have not been many studies on the effects of mushrooms and sleep, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support this claim.
While inflammation is an important part of the immune response, too much inflammation for too long can wreak havoc on the body. By supporting your body with anti-inflammatory mushroom coffee, you can reduce unnecessary or even chronic inflammation, leaving your immune system to focus on real threats.
Inflammation also causes free radicals, which can create more inflammation. Your body can find itself in a vicious cycle of chronic inflammation and high oxidative stress, which can lead to a negative impact on your health. Supporting your body with anti-inflammatory mushroom coffee can help your body balance out any unnecessary inflammation.
Boosts Energy Levels
The caffeine in coffee can help boost your energy levels, although sometimes coffee alone can cause an energy crash after the initial spike. Consuming cordyceps mushrooms has been shown to increase energy and stamina. Cordyceps, and their energy- and stamina-boosting properties, have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years.
While you may get that first jolt of caffeine, adding cordyceps will help you maintain energy levels throughout the day, leaving you ready for any task that comes your way!
Mushrooms can support overall brain health and function. Lion’s mane is the most researched mushroom in this area and is specifically shown to support memory, including memory loss from age.
Caffeine is also known to support memory. Adding mushroom coffee to your day, specifically during times of needed focus and memory, may be beneficial to you.
How Do I Know If Mushroom Coffee Is Right for Me?
There are a lot of advantages to mushroom coffee. This coffee option has a smaller caffeine level, so it is beneficial for people who are sensitive to caffeine or don't like feeling jittery after coffee. Mushrooms can add many health benefits, so adding them to something you already consume on a daily basis is an easy way to get an added health boost.
At the end of the day, you may just not like the taste of coffee. If you are in this group, we have other options for you. There are matcha lattes, chai teas, and hot chocolates that add the superfood power of mushrooms, and there are also a variety of superfood and adaptogen lattes.
While mushroom coffee hasn't been around for as long as other products that promote health benefits, its ingredients sure have. The positive health effects of coffee, with the added superfood power of mushrooms, gives you a drink with a ton of health benefits. Mushroom coffee can give you energy, increase cognitive function, prevent and reduce ulcers, and support brain and immune health.
Now that you know mushroom coffee is simply ground coffee beans and ground adaptogenic mushrooms, perhaps you will go out and buy your own to try. Adding mushroom powder to your coffee is an easy way to get added benefits. With all the health benefits working innately without you even knowing, it will leave you feeling energized and ready to take on the day.
At Kroma Wellness, we are all about simplicity; simple ways to get the healthiest, functional, superfood nutrition into your everyday lives.
We offer a 5-Day Lifestyle Reset that brings you easy, non-perishable whole food broths, lattes, smoothies, and more so you can succeed in your health goals.
We loved the idea of adding mushrooms to our morning beverage, so there are adaptogen matcha lattes for every morning. Once your 5 Day Reset is over, you can also order our adaptogen lattes individually to enjoy anytime and keep your wellness journey going!
Mushroom Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: A Systematic Review | PubMed (nih.gov)
In vitro anti-Helicobacter pylori effects of medicinal mushroom extracts, with special emphasis on the Lion's Mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (higher Basidiomycetes) | PubMed (nih.gov)
Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi) - Herbal Medicine - NCBI Bookshelf | nih.gov
Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain | PubMed (nih.gov)
Traditional uses and medicinal potential of Cordyceps sinensis of Sikkim | nih.gov
Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help? | nih.gov
Caffeine Has Positive Effect on Memory | Johns Hopkins Medicine