If you love coffee, chances are you’ve heard about people drinking “mushroom coffee” in the last few years. And no wonder – this new habit has grown more and more popular among coffee drinkers lately.
But, let’s be honest – if you’re not already on the mushroom train, you probably have some questions. Starting with, what is mushroom coffee? Is it made of mushrooms? Does it taste like mushrooms? Why do people drink it, and more importantly, should you?
Well, you know what they say – new year, new you. There’s literally no better time to try something new, and if you’re curious about what mushroom coffee is and what it can do for you, then look no further. Here’s everything you need to know about mushroom coffee in 2022.
What Is Mushroom Coffee?
If you’re envisioning a cup of brothy liquid with mushrooms floating in it, then don’t worry – you can relax. Mushroom coffee is actually coffee that's been infused or mixed with functional or “medicinal” mushrooms to boost your health. These include Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, and many more that have untapped benefits for daily health.
It was actually during World War II in Finland that the magic that is mushroom coffee all began. But back then, it wasn’t necessarily to reap the health benefits – it was to solve for the coffee shortage. To make the coffee last longer, the Finnish people got crafty and began harvesting Chaga mushrooms in the forests, and mixing them in with the ground beans.
But medicinal mushrooms have been around for much longer than that. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, they’ve used them for centuries to improve overall well being – often as teas or tinctures.
So if these are not new, what's all the recent buzz about? And why is mushroom coffee good for you? First, the mushrooms.
The Benefits of Functional Mushrooms
“Functional” or medicinal mushrooms are jam-packed with beneficial compounds. These include immune-boosting beta-glucans, cell and skin-healthy antioxidants, and gut-healthy prebiotics. One of their most popular benefits is their adaptogenic properties. Adaptogens are plants or herbs that are thought to help the body’s ability to deal with stress.
Now, adaptogens can be found in a few types of foods, but the ones in mushrooms tend to be both concentrated and powerful.
Different mushrooms have different properties that affect your body in various ways. Cordyceps, for example, may boost energy levels, help fight inflammation, and a recent study even found it may improve tolerance to high-intensity exercise. Reishi, on the other hand, may reduce stress and support your immune system.
Early-stage research has also shown that functional mushrooms may be a proactive way to help reduce the risk of certain health conditions. For example, some scientists found potential effects that benefit us at the cellular level, removing damaging cells, lowering blood sugar, supporting a healthy heart, and boosting cell renewal.
In short? Functional mushrooms have a range of positive effects. If you're looking for ways to be proactive about your health, incorporating functional mushrooms into your diet could be a great start.
Let’s dig into another burning question – if mushrooms are good, why coffee?
Why Mushroom Coffee?
Here are all the reasons why having them in your morning coffee is a great way to consume these benefits:
1. Enjoy Your Ritual
Yes – you can enjoy the benefits of functional mushrooms in other ways than coffee. Powders, pills, and tinctures are common, and although they can be efficient and efficacious, they’re not always pleasant.
Powders can get clumpy when added to liquids, and they often leave a bitter, unpleasant taste that’s difficult to mask and an unfortunate texture. You’ll find yourself staring at the bottom of your drink wondering if you have to finish what’s left.
But when the benefits are already brewed into your latte? Now that’s a delight!
2. Never Forget Your Daily Dose
Have you ever forgotten to take your morning vitamin or supplement? Sometimes? Well, how about your morning coffee?
We didn’t think so.
You see, mushroom coffee makes it easy to work these benefits seamlessly into your morning routine – you don’t even have to think about it. Plus, your body needs the nutrients and antioxidants on a regular basis to really reap the benefits, so the repetition is key.
By making it a frictionless habit - you’ll never forget. And if you’re already drinking coffee – why not get your health boost while you’re at it
3. Feel Better About Your Coffee, Too
Many who are sensitive to caffeine jitters or coffee’s acidity find that mushroom coffees are much kinder on their bodies. As we’ll dig into below, mushroom coffees can actually take the edge off of coffee's jitters for those who are sensitive, and help minimize any stomach issues from acidity that you might experience.
And of course, adaptogenic mushroom coffee comes in half-caf and caffeine-free versions too. Which begs the question...
How Is Mushroom Coffee Made?
Many wonder how mushroom coffee is made. It starts by sourcing the right mushroom coffee ingredients. You want to make sure you know where your mushrooms are coming from. Avoid mushrooms that grow in areas where heavy metals and toxins are present in the air and soil, and since mushrooms absorb their environment. US-grown and Organic is best.
Next, you want to know what parts of the mushroom you’re consuming (fruiting body vs. mycelium). Ideally, full spectrum is best.
Finally, you want to make sure to extract the mushrooms. Companies who do it right use what is called a dual extraction process to access the adaptogens and beneficial compounds in the mushrooms. This is because some of these sought-after compounds are water-soluble, and others are only alcohol-soluble. Traditionally, these extracts are dried, ground up, and mixed in with coffee grounds.
This is why most common mushroom coffees you’ll find are “mushroom coffee mix”, mushrooms in a pre-ground or instant coffee form. Mixing the ground mushroom powder with the ground coffee beans is the easiest way to make mushroom coffee, but not always the best tasting, and always check for efficacy.
If you’re a coffee aficionado, you may not like the staleness of pre-ground or instant coffee. So at Peak State, we’ve introduced the first mushroom coffee beans – whole beans infused with botanical extracts of functional mushrooms. More on this in a bit.
But Mushroom Coffee is only something that works if you enjoy the taste. Which begs the question…
What Does Mushroom Coffee Taste Like?
Since coffee has a distinct taste, it usually masks the mushroom’s own flavor quite well. But it depends on the brand. Most reviews indicate that the flavor profile of coffee with and without mushrooms is almost the same. Meaning, you can enjoy the benefits of mushrooms without the lingering, bitter taste – and without adding yet another task to your morning routine. This, of course, requires that the coffee itself tastes good.
Unfortunately, a lot of mushroom coffee brands out there don’t source quality coffee - it’s cheaper to source low-quality, sun-grown beans and burn them, which results in a bitter and unpleasant taste that you have no choice but to drown in cream and sugar.
So much for a healthy drink to start your day.
Luckily for you, there are new options emerging to deliver high-quality, craft coffee that your brain and body will thank you for.
Besides, the mushrooms don’t just make your body feel better – as we hinted earlier, they can actually make your coffee better…
How Do Mushrooms Make Coffee Better?
Everyone loves coffee, but undeniably, many are sensitive to its downsides – jitters, caffeine crashes, and for some people, even stomach aches and acid reflux….
But the magic of mixing coffee with functional mushrooms is that they balance the coffee out. In other words, functional mushrooms can help to minimize the unwanted side effects of coffee while preserving the taste, energy, and ritual.
For example, some mushrooms can help to lower cortisol levels in our bodies, so you can lessen the jitters from caffeine (which normally raises them). Similarly, some mushrooms can boost ATP, the energy molecule, and help sustain your energy so you can avoid that crash or slump in the afternoon – and benefit from more even-keeled energy that sustains you through the day.
Many coffee aficionados who aren’t sensitive at all to coffee still choose to drink mushroom coffee with lion’s mane for the added brain boost, or mushroom coffee chaga mix – for the added health benefits alone.
Some mushroom brews cut out the coffee ingredients entirely. Here at Peak State, we would never stop drinking coffee.
Considering how many people enjoy how much better they feel when drinking mushroom coffee, you might be concerned about caffeine level…
Does Mushroom Coffee Have Caffeine?
Most mushroom coffees contain caffeine because they have coffee in them. Always check the mushroom coffee ingredients if you’re unsure. You can, however, buy mushroom coffee decaf from yours truly, and wherever you buy decaf, look for a Swiss Water Process to make sure its chemical-free.
If you want to know how much caffeine is in mushroom coffee, you may not be able to get down to the milligram, but you can always check the roast level. The darker the roast, the calmer the brew. Most mushroom coffees are dark roasts for an inherently less jittery brew.
But what about acidity?
Is Mushroom Coffee Less Acidic?
Mushroom coffees are often more stomach-friendly – they are packed with prebiotics and can contain less acidity, which, on the coffee side, has to do with roast, origin, coffee-growing method, and caffeine level. This makes it more gut-friendly for those who are sensitive and dealing with conditions like IBS, acid reflux, or gastric ulcers.
Peak State is shade-grown, sourced, and roasted to be less acidic. How do we know? We pH-tested ours against all the other mushroom coffees out there.
In summary, coffee with functional mushrooms? More ups (sustained energy and health benefits) and less downs (jitters and acidity).
What’s not to like?
Does Mushroom Coffee Have Any Side Effects?
There are no general negative side effects connected to mushroom coffee. That said, functional mushrooms can have an effect on the body that certain health conditions should be careful of. Some mushrooms, for example, can help lower blood pressure, which is great news for people with high blood pressure. But those with low blood pressure already might want to double-check with their doctor first.
And though functional mushrooms have been used successfully for centuries, scientific research is still young and developing. It's important to note that mushroom coffee is not intended to treat or cure any diseases, only to support your body's ability to remain healthy. Any decisions relating to existing health conditions should always be made in agreement with your physician.
As a general guide, though, people that are pregnant, lactating, have low blood pressure, or are taking prescribed medication should discuss it with their doctor before trying mushroom coffee.
Peak State is Coffee with Benefits: Our Patentable Infusion Process
At Peak State Coffee, we believe the best way to enjoy coffee is without compromising on the coffee itself – quality, freshness, or taste. This means buying the kind that doesn’t taste stale as soon as you open the bag: whole beans.
The First Whole Bean Mushroom Coffee!
Beans stay fresh. They maximize both freshness and flavor, which is what we’re all about. And you need to grind your coffee differently depending on how you brew it. Get the best taste. And, why settle for less? This is why we developed our own patentable infusion method, to preserve the integrity of good coffee.
First, we extract the beneficial compounds using full-spectrum, US-grown, organic mushrooms, making sure to get both the water and alcohol soluble nutrients out for maximum bioavailability.
Then, using our patentable method, we botanically infuse the beans during the roasting process. This way, neither quality nor flavor is altered – but the beans are fully infused with the adaptogens and antioxidants you seek.
In other words? Fair-trade, organic, sustainably grown, quality coffee with benefits.
Curious to try our functional mushroom coffee? Get a free sample of one of our top-selling roasts delivered right to your front door, and feel the benefits for yourself!
On a quest for more information? Check out this blog all about the health benefits of different functional mushrooms!