You may have noticed the trend of mushroom coffee while scrolling through the pages of your favourite social media platform. But is mushroom coffee actually any good, or is it just a passing fad?
Believe it or not, mushroom coffee could have loads of health benefits. These include reduced stress levels, better sleep, more non-caffeine-dependent energy, and a supercharged immune system. Depending on the type of mushrooms used, it could even help to support cognitive function and improve your memory!
Some mushroom coffees taste incredibly similar to the real thing, too. Chaga has the closest coffee-flavour match, which is why it’s one of the most popular. But there are lots of different types of mushroom coffees available. Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Cordyceps are the most common.
Each of these mushrooms brings its unique benefits. For instance, Reishi is perfect for helping manage anxiety and keeping your stress levels in check. While Lion’s Mane is ideal for improving memory and concentration.
Another reason why mushroom coffee is so popular is that it may take the edge of the caffeine crash that you get from traditional coffee.
For all of these reasons, it is widely agreed that, yes, mushroom coffee is very good for you!
What Is Mushroom Coffee?
Mushroom coffee is coffee mixed with medicinal mushrooms. This is usually done by mixing mushroom powder together with instant coffee powder to create an easy-to-make drink. However, you can also make mushroom coffee by mixing a spoonful of mushroom powder into a cup of freshly brewed coffee, or by dissolving it in boiling water and using that to brew your coffee.
Unless you use decaffeinated coffee, mushroom coffee will still give you the caffeine boost you need to get going in the morning. However, it contains much less caffeine than regular coffee.
Four types of mushrooms typically make mushroom coffee; Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, and Cordyceps. Each of these mushrooms is believed to have multiple health benefits including immune system-boosting power, the ability to reduce stress and anxiety, and improving memory and concentration.
To make mushroom coffee, mushrooms are dried before being cooked in water, dried again, and ground into a fine powder. This mushroom powder is then added to coffee.
Depending on the type of mushrooms used to make the mushroom coffee, there can be a slight taste difference. However, since mushroom coffee also contains coffee beans, you never lose that distinctive coffee flavour. Instead, it’s slightly altered by the mushrooms but never overpowered.
Mushroom coffee shouldn’t be confused with mushroom tea. This is created by steeping mushrooms in boiling water and usually contains no other ingredients.
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Can You Put Mushroom Powder In Coffee?
Yes, you can put mushroom powder in coffee. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to take this superfood supplement. It’s easy to do as well, and there are a few methods you can use to add mushroom powder to coffee.
The first and easiest way is to simply mix a teaspoon of mushroom powder into a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Your second option is to dissolve the mushroom powder in a pan of boiling water, then use that water to make your coffee. This is best for instant or French-press coffee, but a little trickier if you’re using an espresso machine.
Another way of adding mushroom powder to your coffee is to make an iced latte. Brew half a cup of cold-pressed coffee, mix in your mushroom powder and add a quarter of a cup of your choice of milk.
If you’re after ultimate convenience, however, you might want to consider purchasing some ready-made mushroom coffee. This is a premixed combination of mushroom powder and instant coffee that simply needs to be mixed with hot water.
Does Mushroom Coffee Help You Lose Weight?
Since mushroom coffee doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol, it’s becoming a popular choice for anybody trying to lose weight. However, there is another reason why mushroom coffee may help you lose weight.
Certain types of mushroom powders may help boost your body’s metabolism. The faster your metabolism is, the more calories you burn throughout your day. Chaga is potentially the best mushroom coffee for weight loss, as a study conducted in 2018 found that it could help to promote lipid (fat) metabolism.
However, it’s important to note here that, if you are looking to lose weight, you shouldn’t rely on mushroom coffee alone. Use it as part of a health and fitness routine that includes eating healthier foods and becoming more active. Drinking mushroom coffee and not changing anything else won’t give you the results you’re aiming for.
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Does Mushroom Coffee Taste Good?
When you hear the term “mushroom coffee”, it’s easy to believe that it’s a drink that tastes exactly like mushrooms. But, this isn’t entirely true. Since mushroom coffee contains coffee, it still has that unmistakable coffee flavour. This is true for all mushroom coffees, however, the flavour can be altered depending on which mushrooms are in it.
To put it simply, as most medicinal mushrooms have a distinct flavour, the taste of the coffee depends on the mushrooms used to make it.
Chaga is the closest match in terms of flavour. It has an earthy taste that is similar to coffee. This is one of the reasons why it’s such a popular choice. However, Lion’s Mane has an acquired taste which it owes to its slightly fishy flavour. As you can imagine, this isn’t to everyone's liking.
So, when we’re asking if mushroom coffee tastes good, the answer isn’t an easy one. It’s really a matter of personal preference. For the most part, the flavour of the coffee beans shines through. But if you're unsure, you really can’t go wrong with Chaga in terms of flavour.
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Is Mushroom Coffee Caffeine-Free?
Premixed mushroom coffee isn’t caffeine-free, but it is lower in caffeine than regular coffee. Because mushroom powder doesn’t contain any caffeine and it makes up half of the mushroom coffee formula, the caffeine content is dramatically reduced.
The total amount of caffeine you can usually expect to find in a cup of mushroom coffee is around 9mg. This is significantly lower than the 150mg-200mg contained within a cup of regular coffee.
It’s important to note, though, that this isn’t necessarily the case for every brand of mushroom coffee. It’s also not the case if you're simply mixing a spoonful of mushroom powder into a cup of coffee yourself.
Another important thing to note here is that, while mushroom coffee is significantly lower in caffeine than regular coffee, it isn’t a suitable substitute for anybody who has been advised to avoid caffeine altogether. If you’re trying to wean yourself off caffeine, however, it is a great choice.
What Are The Benefits Of Mushroom Coffee?
Mushroom coffee isn’t only lower in caffeine than regular coffee, but it’s believed to provide loads of different health benefits too. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of mushroom coffee below.
Regular coffee contains many natural acids that can create heartburn or stomach issues. Since mushroom powder makes up around half the formula in mushroom coffee, it contains less acid and, therefore, you have less chance of suffering from these problems.
Improves The Immune System
The combination of coffee and medicinal mushrooms should give your body an influx of antioxidants that help to strengthen the immune system. In turn, you may be less likely to catch an infectious disease. Even if you do, you’ll find your body may be able to fight it off much quicker. Some mushroom coffees, such as Chaga, may help reduce the risk of developing cancer.
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Reduces Oxidative Stress
The antioxidants found in coffee beans and medicinal mushrooms are believed to work together to protect against the free radicals we’re all exposed to on a daily basis. This includes such things as air pollution and UV light.
These free radicals cause oxidative stress which creates cellular damage to our bodies. This can manifest as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. However, some mushrooms (Chaga, in particular) are thought to have free radical-fighting properties.
Prevents Cholesterol Build-Up
It’s believed that mushroom coffee can help to prevent cholesterol from building up. Again, Chaga is the superstar mushroom coffee here, and one study found that it reduced LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing antioxidant levels. The lower our cholesterol is, the more efficiently the cardiovascular system works, so it’s great for keeping your heart healthy too!
There are some other benefits to drinking mushroom coffee, too. However, these are fairly unique to the type of mushroom used to make the coffee. If you’re looking for high antioxidant levels and a way of improving your digestive health, Chaga is the best option to go for.
However, if you want to support your mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, while aiding your memory and concentration, choose Lion’s Mane mushroom coffee.
If you want to improve your sleep, reduce your stress levels, and boost your immune system, go for Reishi mushroom coffee. And, finally, if you want to increase your energy levels without getting the crash that comes from regular coffee, Cordyceps is the best mushroom coffee for your needs.
Want to know more about medicinal mushrooms? Read our ultimate guide on the types of mushrooms, their benefits, and where you can buy them!