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Mushroom Coffee and its Health Benefits!

September 12, 2022

According to registered dietitian and clinical herbalist Jenna Volpe, RDN, CLT, mushroom coffee is a term used to describe certain types of coffee or coffee substitutes made with dried, powdered, or pre-extracted adaptogenic mushrooms.

Adaptogenic mushrooms are herbs that, when taken regularly, can help the body to adapt to stress. Volpe explains that mushroom coffee is made from adaptogenic mushrooms including reishi, cordyceps, chaga, turkey tail and lion’s mane. The mushroom coffee product you’re eyeing may include one, a few, or all of these mushroom types.

While the concept of mushroom-coffee has only started becoming popular in the U.S. in the past several years, adaptogenic mushrooms have been used for centuries as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM, consuming adaptogenic mushrooms in the form of a beverage has long been a way to reap their many benefits.

The modern mushroom coffee movement is thought to have originated in Finland during World War II when coffee beans were not available. “The first commercial brand of mushroom coffee was Four Sigmatic,” Volpe says. Perhaps not so coincidentally, the brand’s founders, Tero Isokauppila and Mikko Revonniemi, are Finnish-American. Four Sigmatic may have been the first widespread mushroom-coffee brand, but it certainly won’t be the last. Now, there are dozens of brands selling mushroom-coffee.

How does mushroom coffee compare to traditional coffee?

The way you make mushroom-coffee depends on the type you buy, so it’s important to read the directions specific to the product. Some mushroom coffees are brewed exactly like traditional coffee. Others are made more similar to tea, mixing the powder with hot water. There are even mushroom coffees in K-cup form.

Volpe explains that some mushroom-coffees are a combination of traditional coffee and mushrooms while others are just mushrooms. As you might imagine, in either case, adding mushrooms into the mix affects the taste. Just like the mushrooms, you’re used to buying from the produce section, adaptogenic mushrooms taste earthy, which can be off-putting to some. Some brands add chocolate, vanilla, or other flavors to their mushroom coffees to sweeten the taste. Read more:

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