Everything You Need to Know About Mushroom Coffee: A Beginner’s Guide

10 min read DEC 24, 2022

Mushroom coffee, anyone? Before you frown upon the idea, it is not about mushrooms floating on your favorite cup of joe! Mushroom coffee has been a great alternative for coffee lovers who have built up caffeine tolerance and those who get stomach upset when they drink traditional coffee. But what more is there concerning mushroom coffee that has made it a buzz among coffee lovers?

What is mushroom coffee? What are the benefits of mushroom coffee? Let's delve deeper into how you can know the best mushroom coffee for you. But first, What is mushroom coffee?

What is Mushroom Coffee?

First things first! Mushroom coffee doesn't taste like mushrooms but rather tastes like coffee. This is why coffee lovers looking to enjoy their morning cup of joe find this a great non-caffeine alternative. Mushroom coffee is thought to have originated in Finland during World War II when there were no coffee beans.

Later Finnish-Americans Isokauppila and Mikko Revonniemi founded the first mushroom brand-- Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee. The first mushroom coffee was discovered due to coffee shortage and was made by soaking Chaga mushrooms in water overnight. The liquid would then be pressed out and boiled alone or with real coffee for additional flavor. This discovery opened the way for several mushroom coffee brands in the market, such as RYZE mushroom coffee, Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee, and others for you to choose from.

Mushroom coffee is a coffee substitute made with dried powdered adaptogenic mushrooms (functional mushrooms). It is produced by brewing the uppermost parts (fruiting bodies) that release spores. These parts are dehydrated, powdered, and mixed with traditional ground coffee.

What are Adaptogen Mushrooms?

Adaptogen mushrooms are not the same as the mushrooms you buy to cook and eat, but they are medicinal mushrooms. The mushroom powder may include some bits of tea leaves and coffee beans, and herbs.

Adaptogenic mushrooms are "healing mushrooms" that aid in reducing the effects of stress on your body when taken regularly. They were revered for many years in traditional Chinese medicine for their medicinal purposes. For a mushroom to be adaptogenic, they should help you deal with stress, enable you to find a state of balance, and be non-toxic when taken in small doses. 


Mushroom coffee may include:

  • Cordyceps mushrooms
  • Turkey tail mushrooms
  • Chaga mushrooms
  • Reishi mushrooms
  • Lion's mane mushroom

You can prepare your mushroom coffee the same way you would prepare regular black coffee, mocha, or latte. And you can find instant coffee powders, ground coffee blends, or coffee pods from various stores that you can use to make your own delicious blend at home.

There are benefits and downsides to consider when considering purchasing any mushroom coffee brands. But first, what are the benefits?

Benefits of Organic Mushroom Coffee

Compared to traditional coffee, mushroom coffee is one of the most nutritious drinks as it contains many minerals and proteins that help you maintain good health.

Mushroom coffee also has anti-aging properties as it has high levels of antioxidants which help fight off free radicals in our body and protect you from various diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Mushroom coffee contains less caffeine which means you will have improved sleep and more energy during the day. In addition, drinking the best mushroom coffee will help you maintain healthy bones and prevent joint problems.

The main reason for adding mushroom powders to your cup of Joe is to get the nutritional benefits of mushrooms! Mushrooms contain:

Minerals - Mushrooms contain minerals such as iron, copper, and potassium. Potassium helps control blood pressure, while phosphorus combines with calcium to ensure you have strong teeth and bones.

    Carotenoids - Prevents vitamin A deficiency. It also has antioxidants that lower inflammation in the body.

      Polyphenols - Polyphenols in mushroom coffee help reduce inflammation and also support immune function. Polyphenols also contain anti-aging and cancer-fighting properties.

        Polysaccharides - These complex carbohydrates found in mushrooms that benefit your gut flora.

          Here is how different coffee mushroom extracts are beneficial to your body: 

          Chaga mushrooms

          Chaga mushroom extracts help boost your immune system, give you focus and energy and improve your overall health. It also counteracts the acidity often found in coffee.

          Cordyceps mushrooms

          Cordyceps mushroom extract also helps boost the immune system due to its antimicrobial effects. In addition, they have anti-aging properties, are great for alleviating fatigue, and inhibit cancer cell growth.

          Reishi mushrooms

          Reishi mushrooms are common Asian fungi that you will find in alternative coffee. They provide calmness, increase energy, and aid in fighting anxiety and depression. Reishi mushroom also helps reduce the risk of heart disease, playing a major role in improving your overall health.

          Turkey tail mushrooms

          Turkey tail mushrooms contain probiotics that benefit your gut health and immunity.

          Maitake Mushrooms

          Maitake mushroom is beneficial in regulating blood sugar levels, reducing blood pressure, boosting immunity, and treating high cholesterol levels. Last but not least, this mushroom coffee can help you lose weight as it contains no fat or cholesterol. 

          Does Mushroom Coffee Contain Caffeine?

          Yes. Mushroom coffee contains less amount of caffeine compared to regular coffee. However, it has more caffeine compared to decaffeinated coffee. The amount of caffeine in a regular cup of coffee is lower in mushroom coffee blends because mushroom coffee blends contain fewer ground coffee beans.

          Most mushroom coffee brands contain some caffeine and thus may not be the best option if you want to avoid caffeine completely. If you are looking into reducing your coffee consumption, then mushroom coffee is the low-caffeine option worth trying.

          You will find mushroom coffee tasty with the right coffee brand. The effects of mushroom coffee depend on individual drinkers and the specific blends.

          Choosing the Best Mushroom Coffee Brands- 3 Tips and Tricks

          When shopping for the best coffee brands, you will be bombarded with different coffee brands in the market. So how can you choose the best mushroom coffee?

          Different companies have their own way of making their mushroom coffee brands. However, the components remain the same. They mix ground coffee with mushroom extracts ( Lion's mane, Reishi, Turkey tail, and Chaga) to give you that delicious and nutritious blend. A dehydrated mushroom coffee blend from most top mushroom coffee brands is usually mixed with premium coffee in a ratio of 1-to-1.

          You can then brew just like traditional pre-ground coffee using the pour-over method or automatic pot.

          You can also choose an instant mushroom coffee that you mix with hot water, stir until smooth, and enjoy. Remember that some companies may add flavors and milk powder for a cafe-style drink. 

            • Ensure you buy mushroom powder from brands that sell mushrooms with organic ingredients without pesticides.

            • Ensure you read the ingredients carefully to see whether the product you are buying contains artificial ingredients or refined added sugar. 

          • Ensure you buy your mushroom coffee from reputable stores to be sure you are buying mushrooms with real coffee, as some companies make tea with fungi and sell it as mushroom coffee. You can buy mushroom coffee in pod form, grounds, or packets for an instant brew. 

          How to Make Mushroom Coffee at Home

          Buying mushroom coffee can be expensive compared to actual coffee, which means you can save more money if you make your own mushroom coffee. Making your own coffee is also advantageous because you can control the quantity of the ingredients and use only the mushroom extracts you want. This means you will be assured of the quality.

          Some commercial companies may use ground myceliated grains instead of the fruiting bodies of the mushrooms that contain more bioactive compounds to make mushroom coffee. The more reason to make your own or only purchase from trusted companies.

          Here's how you can make DIY mushroom coffee :

          You will need mushrooms either in powder form or if you grew your own mushrooms, dehydrated fruiting bodies and bring them into powder form. If you wish, mix with coffee grounds and store in an airtight container away from direct light.

          You can also purchase a mushroom powder that you can scoop and add to your cup of coffee or hot cocoa to reap the benefits as you enjoy.

          What does Organic Mushroom Coffee Taste Like?

          Mushroom coffee does not taste like mushrooms; instead, it has a subdued, toasty, earthy flavor. As a first-time coffee drinker, you will find that mushroom coffee tastes the same as traditional coffee and not like mushroom soup!

          Even though mushroom coffees may not contain a significant amount of caffeine like traditional coffee, it is important to consult your healthcare provider before drinking mushroom coffee if you are nursing or under medication.

          What are the Risks of Drinking Mushroom Coffee?

          Caffeine tolerance depends on an individual since some experience the side effects of caffeine after drinking coffee, even in small doses. When you have caffeine intolerance, you may experience rapid heart rate, stomach upset, or anxiety even when caffeine is in a small dose.

          Mushroom coffee is not suitable if you have kidney problems or have difficulty digesting grains. Chaga mushrooms have high levels of oxalates which may cause kidney stones. However, this will only pose a real danger if you take oxalates in high quantities and with little liquid.

          Another side effect you may experience due to the adaptogens found in the mushrooms includes stomach ache, nausea, and allergic reactions. You should stop drinking mushroom coffee if you experience any side effects and if symptoms persist, then consult your doctor. 

          Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Mushroom Coffee

          Is mushroom coffee good for my health?

          Yes. Mushroom coffee helps improve immunity, protects you against chronic diseases, and has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has low caffeine content with the same coffee taste so that you can enjoy your cup of coffee without feeling jittery and restless or having other side effects associated with regular coffee.

          What is the difference between mushroom coffee and regular coffee?

          Normal coffee has coffee only, while mushroom coffee contains mushroom extracts from medicinal mushrooms and coffee. This provides a balanced cup of joes with both coffee and mushroom benefits. Mushroom coffee is good for your health because you get both the benefits of coffee and mushrooms.

          Is there real coffee in mushroom coffee?

          Most mushroom coffee brands contain organic coffee in a ratio of 1:1.You can purchase coffee powder to make your own coffee mix or if you prefer tea, add the ground coffee to your tea to reap the benefits of the delicious blend.

          How can I make mushroom coffee without coffee?

          To make a coffee alternative, you can purchase mushroom coffee with a tea base instead of coffee for a familiar taste. If you have your own grounded mushroom powder, you can add a scoop to your tea, add sugar to taste and enjoy your drink.

          Is mushroom coffee more caffeinated than decaf coffee?

          Yes. Mushroom coffee has more caffeine compared to decaf coffee. If you want to enjoy coffee with a much lower caffeine content, then a decaffeinated coffee is a better option. However, mushroom coffee contains about half the amount of caffeine as normal coffee.

          Can I drink Mushroom coffee if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

          If you have a preexisting condition, you must consult your healthcare provider before you start using mushroom coffee.

          Are the medicinal mushrooms in mushroom coffee the same as the edible mushrooms?

          No. Mushroom coffees containing medicinal mushrooms are adaptogenic mushrooms that are different from edible mushrooms.

          Why does mushroom coffee stain teeth?

          Mushroom coffee stains teeth if you do not brush your teeth regularly. Having good oral hygiene is important whether you drink regular or mushroom coffee.

          Does Mushroom coffee cause acid reflux?

          No. The mushroom coffee mix of Chaga, Cordyceps, Reishi, Turkey tail, and Shiitake cuts down acidity so that you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee without acid reflux.

          Final Thoughts

          Ground medicinal mushrooms like Chaga, reishi, Cordyceps, Lion's mane, and Turkey tails have a host of benefits that make it a worthy brew. Whether you choose to buy your coffee from the best mushroom coffee brands in the market or make your own, you will experience mushroom coffee benefits that surplus traditional coffee. Mushroom coffee guarantees energy, calmness, a clear mind, and good gut health.

          Check out Lifeboost Coffee MitoMushroom Mocha

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