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Mushroom Coffee Is Having A Moment

December 21, 2021

Picture this: it’s early March 2020, and the COVID pandemic is looming just around the corner. You and everyone you know remains blissfully ignorant to this reality, even as businesses begin to discuss the possibility of a “two week” shut down. You excitedly venture into Coffee Fest New York, unaware that it’s the final big coffee event you’ll attend for quite some time, hoping to catch the finals of the World Latte Art Open. Just as you’re rounding the final corner before the event, a vendor catches your attention—” Hey, did you about mushroom coffee?”

You stop dead in your tracks. “Mushrooms? In coffee?” you ask, skeptical yet intrigued. “Yes, mushrooms in coffee. It’s already huge in LA. Here, try a sample packet.”

You bring it home and you are immediately hooked. It becomes your pandemic at-home favorite—and just as this vendor alleged, coffee shops around the world slowly and stealthily begin to introduce various varieties of your favorite fungal friends into popular beverages over the course of the pandemic.

While the idea of mushrooms in your coffee may initially strike you as odd, this unassuming pair of ingredients is actually a match made in heaven. To understand why this combination works so well, you’d have to go to the experts, the mushroom coffee companies themselves. But to start, it’s important to note that mushroom coffee is not actually new, and the idea most certainly did not originate in the United States.

The health and wellness capabilities of mushrooms are something that humans have enjoyed and studied for thousands of years, examples of which can be found in texts from ancient Rome, Greece, and China. In a coffee context, history is more recent. According to Four Sigmatic founder and CEO Tero Isokauppila, “Finnish people have been using Chaga mushrooms as a coffee substitute since World War II and functional mushrooms have been a staple in many cultures for thousands of years.” However, it is somehow only within the past few years that the US coffee market has finally caught up with the affinity for fungus. Read more:

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