Although it is currently a popular coffee blend, this concept is not new.
When coffee beans were unavailable in Finland during World War II, mushrooms were used as a coffee substitute, according to online sources.
In addition, mushrooms have a long history of culinary and medicinal use in Asian countries, particularly in Chinese medicine, for their nutritional and health benefits.
This article examines the evidence for mushroom coffee and offers an expert opinion on its purported health benefits.
What exactly is Mushroom Coffee?
Sigh of relief if you picture a cup of coffee with mushrooms floating on top. That is not the case.
Mushroom coffee is a delicate combination of ground mushrooms and coffee beans that brews a dark, smooth, and nutty coffee.
Medicinal mushroom extracts, rather than culinary mushrooms like shiitake and portobello, are commonly used in mushroom coffee.
The following medicinal mushrooms are commonly used to make this trendy coffee:
- Lion’s mane Turkey’s tail
According to several consumer reviews, the flavor profile of mushroom coffee isn’t all that different from that of regular coffee.
How is it created?
To make mushroom coffee, the mushroom fruiting bodies are extracted and ground into an organic powder free of fillers, carriers, and other additives.
The mushrooms are then dehydrated, ground into a fine powder, and mixed with ground coffee beans after a dual extraction process. This is typically done in a one-to-one ratio.
You can get mushroom coffee in the following forms:
- packets of instant coffee
- coffee pods ground
- coffee blends
Mushroom coffee can be made into delicious mochas, lattes, or black coffee drinks using the same methods as regular coffee.
It contains less caffeine than regular coffee.
Mushroom coffee blends are marketed as having less caffeine than traditional coffee.
Caffeine is a psychoactive substance found naturally in some foods such as coffee beans, cocoa beans, and tea leaves, but it is also synthetically added to other foods and beverages.
People who are pregnant or lactating, children, and people with underlying heart problems are more likely to experience negative side effects from caffeine consumption and should limit their intake.
Although drinking up to 400 mg of caffeine per day is not associated with negative effects, this may be different for people who are caffeine sensitive.
Even with a lower caffeine intake, you may experience anxiety, rapid heart rate, upset stomach, and other side effects
As previously stated, mushroom coffee is typically made with an equal amount of mushroom powder and ground coffee beans.
Because mushroom powder contains no caffeine, it reduces the caffeine content of the final product by half when compared to regular coffee.
This may not be the case for all brands of mushroom coffee. Caffeine content is frequently not listed on product packaging.
The caffeine content in one cup (180 ml) of three types of mushroom coffee, regular coffee, and decaffeinated coffee is shown below.
As a result, mushroom coffee drinks contain roughly half the caffeine of a regular cup of coffee but significantly more caffeine than decaffeinated coffee.
Potential health advantages
- For hundreds of years, medicinal mushrooms have been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine
- Adaptogens are compounds extracted from medicinal mushrooms that may improve the body’s response to stress
- Researchers have been interested in adaptogens derived from medicinal mushrooms for their potential health benefits since the 1970s
However, it is important to note that the majority of studies on medicinal mushrooms are conducted on animals or in laboratories, with only a few well-designed clinical trials involving humans.
This means that the findings of these studies cannot simply be applied to humans or human diseases.
Furthermore, these studies aren’t specific to mushroom coffee — and it’s unclear whether combining mushrooms and coffee beans have combined positive or negative health effects.
Although medicinal mushrooms and coffee have some established benefits on their own, there are numerous unsubstantiated health claims regarding the benefits of mushroom coffee.
The following are some scientific findings regarding the alleged health benefits of medicinal mushrooms:
- Immunity has improved. Turkey’s tail and its fermented substrates have shown some immune-boosting properties in test tube studies
- Cancer prevention potential. Studies have shown that Lion’s mane, Reishi, Turkey’s tail, Chaga, and Cordyceps have some potential as supportive therapies for cancer patients, such as reducing nausea and vomiting
- Antiulcer. Chaga mushrooms have been shown in animal studies to help fight ulcers
- Anti-allergenic (food allergies) (food allergies). Chaga mushroom has been shown in test-tube studies to suppress the activity of immune cells responsible for allergic reactions to certain foods
- Cardiovascular disease Reishi extracts have the potential to lower blood cholesterol levels, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease.
- Although there is some promising evidence, more research involving humans is required to confirm those health benefits, particularly in mushroom coffee blends.
The main disadvantages of mushroom coffee are a lack of human studies to support health claims and verify the safety of consumers and potential interactions. It’s also pricier than regular coffee.