While you're unlikely to come across this beverage at your local coffee shop, it has become hugely popular in the health community. Picture: Unsplash/Devin Avery
While you're unlikely to come across this beverage at your local coffee shop, it has become hugely popular in the health community. Picture: Unsplash/Devin Avery

Is mushroom coffee worth the hype?

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published May 19, 2021

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Mushroom-based innovations have gained widespread attention and continue to become more popular.

Speaking on Martha Stewart, experts at Whole Foods predict that new products such as mushroom broth and mushroom jerky will be two of the biggest food trends in 2021.

While you're unlikely to come across this beverage at your local coffee shop, it has become hugely popular in the health community.

According to a study on chemistry, nutrition, and health-promoting properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion's Mane) mushroom fruiting bodies and mycelia and their bioactive compounds, mushrooms were used as a coffee substitute in Finland during World War II, when coffee beans weren’t available.

There’s also an extensive history of culinary and medicinal use of mushrooms in Asian countries, specifically for Chinese medicine, for their nutritional and health benefits.

Mushroom coffee is prepared and enjoyed just like regular coffee— brew it in a drip coffee machine, Chemex, French Press, or even as cold brew. Drink it black or add cream—or the plant-based milk of your choosing — and sugar.

Healthline explains that mushroom coffee is a delicate blend of ground mushrooms and coffee beans combined to brew a dark, smooth, and nutty coffee.

Mushroom coffee uses medicinal mushroom extracts rather than culinary mushrooms like shiitake and portobello. Common medicinal mushrooms used to make this trendy coffee include:

  • Chaga
  • Turkey’s tail
  • Lion’s mane
  • Reishi
  • Cordyceps

Other medicinal mushrooms include highly adaptogenic properties, meaning they are able to adjust to the variety of different stressors in your life by naturally and gently supporting your body’s adrenal system which manages the body’s hormonal response to stress and anxiety – the opposite of what regular coffee does to the body.

However, more research is needed to back up the claims about the health benefits that mushroom coffee offers. Health experts say that consuming mushrooms as part of your daily diet can offer many of the same wellness benefits.

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