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September 25, 2021 — 0:23 AM
Let me be clear: I appreciate a rich, bold, no-fuss cup of coffee as much as anyone around. That said, as health editor at mindbodygreen, I’m always on the lookout for ways to infuse my daily well-being routine with extra perks.
So when I began seeing more and more mushroom coffee products emerging, I was certainly intrigued—after all, plenty of nutritionists and functional medicine doctors recommend taking adaptogenic mushrooms for their scope of potential benefits.
To get a better sense of this mushroom moment, I chatted with experts, and gave these products a try for myself.
Let’s back up for a second: Mushroom coffee is a mounting trend in the modern health food world—however it certainly isn’t a novel beverage. Mushrooms have been used in traditional medicinal practices and functional medicine approaches for centuries, says Ella Davar, R.D., C.D.N.
More recently, according to information from Four Sigmatic, mushrooms were used as a coffee substitute in Finland (where their founders are from), during WWII when coffee beans weren’t available.
Now, there are more and more packaged mushroom coffee products hitting the shelves, in a variety of forms. Some contain a balanced blend of beans and mushrooms, and others include additional functional components. A few opt for tea or other energizing ingredients, in lieu of actual coffee. The common denominator? They all contain some form of ground medicinal mushrooms or extracts to contribute a host of potential health benefits.
Mushroom coffee benefits.
As mentioned, certain mushrooms have been a part of traditional medicinal practices, such as Traditional Chinese medicine, for many years.
“There are thousands of species of mushrooms, and their purported benefits range from supporting liver and heart health to enhancing energy and more,” allergist and immunologist Heather Moday, M.D., previously told mindbodygreen.
While the benefits of mushrooms differ based on type—and research is still emerging—here are a few promising benefits to consider, from Moday and Davar:
Nix bloating & transform your gut health.*
What’s more, opting for mushroom coffee may help balance out some of the unwanted side effects of caffeine, or even help cut back on coffee, if that’s one of your goals. (You can also read more about specific mushroom varieties and potential benefits here.)
As an integrative dietitian, Davar says she uses medicinal mushrooms quite often. “One of my favorite ways to have mushrooms is in a mushroom latte, mixed with plant based milk.” In other words: mushroom coffee.
Best mushroom coffee brands.
If you’re interested in giving mushroom coffee a try, I’ve roundup up some great brands and products—I can personally vouch for all of these, plus Moday and Davar back up a number of these recs, too.
Imagine your favorite chai latte…with the added benefit of medicinal mushrooms. That’s exactly what you get with this delicious blend, which packs in organic chaga, reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps. The founder of Mud/Wtr created this functional beverage to help reduce his coffee dependence, while promoting calm and focus—so rather than coffee, it features organic black tea powder. For taste, there’s also an spice blend of cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, black pepper nutmeg, and cloves. Davar is a fan of this brand, in particular!
To drink: Blend a tablespoon of the powder with hot water or your favorite non-dairy beverage.
Mud/Wtr Starter Kit, Mud/Wtr ($40)
Four Sigmatic Mushroom Ground Coffee
Four Sigmatic has a number of different mushroom coffee offerings (among other great products), but our personal pick is the ground coffee with lion’s mane. Why? As Moday puts it: “I am a big fan of using lion’s mane in particular, because of its far reaching effect on the brain.” The combo of organic, Fair Trade, single-origin Arabica coffee beans and lion’s mane (plus chaga mushrooms) is meant to help support energy levels and alertness, without a caffeine crash.
To drink: Brew this blend like you would standard ground coffee!
Mushroom Ground Coffee With Lion’s Mane, Four Sigmatic ($16)
Deme Medicinal Mushroom + Cacao
Deme tastes like a delicious mocha coffee, but it’s actually filled with strategically-sourced functional ingredients—including a variety of medicinal mushrooms. This particular blend features reishi, lion’s mane, maitake, shitake, and turkey tail. It also has Fair Trade coffee, cinnamon, cacao, cayenne, and coconut milk powder.
To drink: Blend a packet of Deme with 5 ounces of hot water, stir, and enjoy!
Deme Medicinal Mushroom + Cacao, Deme ($9)
Earth & Star Black Black Cold Brew Coffee with Adaptogens
If canned cold brew is more your speed, this mushroom coffee from Earth & Star is a fantastic option. It features lion’s mane, cordyceps, reishi, and chaga. According to the brand, they use this combination because they work well together to elevate the benefits. This brew also features L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, which has stress-relieving properties.
To drink: Grab a can and go!
Earth & Star Black Black Cold Brew Coffee With Adaptogens, Earth & Star $4.99/can
Daily Harvest Chaga + Chocolate Latte
I love these little ready-to-make latte pods from Daily Harvest. This option has a mix of organic cacao, chaga mushrooms, reishi mushrooms, coconut, vanilla, and a touch of natural sweetness from maple syrup. Plus, their new latte packaging is now made from 100% home compostable + recyclable material, made from plant-based renewable fiber.
To drink: Pop the latte pod them out of its container, blend with one cup of your favorite milk, and serve hot or cold.
DH Chaga + Chocolate Latte, Daily Harvest ($5.99/2 lattes)
Taika Black Coffee
Using a patented blend of five adaptogenic ingredients—theanine, ashwagandha, lion’s mane, cordyceps, and reishi—Taika aims to offer an easy-to-grab morning beverage with more benefits than traditional coffee. Plus, I can attest the canned coffee is pretty delicious, too.
To drink: Grab and sip!
Taika Black Coffee, Taika ($59 case of 12)
Califia Mushroom Coffee
Califia may be known for its wide variety of non-dairy milk, but they also have a lovely selection of packaged coffee. I’m a fan of this mushroom cold brew coffee they added to the lineup this year, with cordyceps & lion’s mane extract.
To drink: Pour and sip!
Califia Unsweetened Mushroom Coffee With Cordyceps & Lion’s Mane, Califia ($32/6-pack)
As with any type of nutrition supplement, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider before adding mushroom coffee to your regimen—particularly if you’re on any medications or have a pre-existing health condition.
If you do experience any side effects after drinking mushroom coffee, be sure to consult with your doctor.
What’s more, while none of the products on this list contain added sugars or artificial ingredients, some options on the market do—so we recommend eyeing the label before buying any pre-made mushroom coffee.
Mushroom coffee is a beverage made from adaptogenic mushrooms, either in powdered form or via an extract. Sometimes the drink contains cold brew or ground coffee, while other times this beverage can simply feature mushrooms and other functional ingredients. This can be a great option if you’re looking to get more benefits out of your morning cup of coffee, or even cut back on caffeine. Just be sure to speak to your healthcare provider if you’re on any medications or have an existing health condition, before giving these earthy beverages a try.