What is Mushroom Coffee – Latest Research Included

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Mushroom coffee is widely regarded as a healthier option than regular coffee. It boasts beneficial mushroom extracts and health benefits.

Although it's a trending coffee blend, this idea isn't new.

According to online sources, mushrooms were used to substitute coffee in Finland during World War II, when coffee beans were unavailable. There's also a long tradition of medicinal and culinary use of mushrooms in Asian countries, primarily to aid in Chinese medicine due to their health and nutritional benefits.

This article examines the research on mushroom coffee and gives an authoritative assessment of its claimed health benefits.

What exactly is it?

If you picture the cup of coffee with floating mushrooms on the top, breathe a sigh of relief. This isn't what it is.

Mushroom coffee is an exquisite mixture of coffee beans used to make an intense, smooth, sweet coffee.

Mushroom coffee typically uses extracts of medicinal mushrooms instead of culinary mushrooms such as shiitake or portobello. The most common medicinal mushrooms used in this coffee are:

  • Chaga
  • The tail of the turkey
  • The mane of a Lion
  • Reishi
  • Cordyceps

Several consumer reviews suggest that the taste profile of mushroom coffee isn't that different from the flavor profile of regular coffee.

However, the potential health benefits of mushrooms in coffee, including less anxiety and increased immunity, give it an edge in marketing.


Mushroom coffee is the hottest drink made from ground medicinal mushrooms and coffee beans. The most common mushrooms used are Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion's mane, Reishi, and Turkey's tail.

How does it get made?

To make mushroom coffee, the mushroom's fruiting bodies are extracted and then transformed into an organic powder free of carriers, fillers, and other adsorbents.

With a dual extraction procedure, the mushrooms are dehydrated, pulverized into a fine powder, and then mixed with ground coffee beans. This is usually carried out in a ratio of 1:1.

The coffee you purchase from mushrooms can be described as:

  • Instant coffee packets
  • ground coffee blends
  • coffee pods

Mushroom coffee can be made using the same techniques as regular coffee to create delicious mochas, lattes, or black coffee drinks.


The medicinal mushrooms are dehydrated to extract the moisture, then crushed into fine powder and brewed with coffee beans to make mushroom coffee. It is then prepared in the same manner as the regular coffee.

It's less caffeinated than regular coffee.

The blends of mushroom coffee are advertised as having less caffeine than regular coffee.

Caffeine is a psychoactive ingredient that is naturally present in certain foods like cocoa beans, coffee beans, and tea leaves. However, it can also be made in chemical form in various beverages and foods.

Women who are lactating or pregnant, young youngsters, and those with heart problems have an increased risk of suffering the adverse effects that come with the consumption of caffeine and should be mindful of their intake.

While drinking up to 400 mg of caffeine daily does not cause adverse side consequences, this could be different for people sensitive to caffeine. In this instance, you could be prone to anxiety, a rapid heart rate, stomach upset, and other adverse effects even with lower doses of caffeine.

As stated, mushroom coffee typically consists of a certain amount of powdered mushroom mixed with a comparable amount of ground coffee beans. Since the powder does not include caffeine, it reduces the amount of caffeine present in the final products by half compared to regular coffee.

However, this might not be true for all coffee made from mushrooms. The caffeine content is usually not stated on the product packaging.

Below is a comparison of the caffeine content in a cup (approximately 180 milliliters) of three different types of coffee: ordinary coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and black coffee.

Here is a simplified overview of the content of caffeine found in various coffee brands:

  • Folgers Black Silk Dark Roast (Keurig pod): 100-150 mg
  • Folgers Back Silk Decaf (Ground coffee): 1-4 mg
  • 4 Sigmatic Instant Mushroom coffee Lion's Mane (Instant): 50 mg
  • Shrooms Reishi Mushroom Coffee (Instant): 53 mg
  • “Tiger 2 Mushroom” Coffee Lion's mane and Chaga (Ground coffee): 60 mg


Blends of mushroom coffee contain less caffeine than ordinary coffee because of the smaller amounts of ground coffee beans in each blend. But, they have significantly higher levels of caffeine than decaffeinated coffee.

Potential health benefits

Medicinal mushrooms have been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

The substances obtained from medicinal mushrooms are referred to as adaptogens. They can increase the body's reaction to stress.

In the 70s and 80s, scientists have been studying the adaptogens found in medicinal mushrooms to determine their potential health benefits.

It is important to remember that the majority of studies of medicinal mushrooms are conducted on animals or carried out in a laboratory. There are only a handful of clinical trials that are well-designed and include humans. That means we cannot just apply the results that these tests have produced to human or human ailments.

Additionally, these studies don't pertain to coffee made from mushrooms, and it's not clear if combining coffee and mushrooms has a combination of negative or positive health benefits.

We can safely say that medical mushrooms and coffee can provide several proven benefits. There are many unsubstantiated health claims regarding the benefits of the coffee from mushrooms.

Here are some of the scientific evidence concerning the health benefits that are claimed to accrue from medicinal mushrooms:

Increased immunity. Through experiments in test tubes, a turkey's tail and fermented substrates have been shown to possess specific properties that boost immunity.

Potential to prevent cancer. Research has revealed some potential of Lion's Mane, Reishi, turkey's tail Chaga, and Cordyceps as therapeutic options for cancer patients, for example, aiding in the fight against vomiting and nausea.

Antiulcer. Research conducted on rats has shown that Chaga mushrooms can help combat ulcers.

Anti-allergenic (food allergies). Through tests on test tubes, Chaga mushroom has shown evidence of reducing the immune cells' activity that triggers an allergic reaction to certain foods.

Heart disease. Reishi extracts are believed to decrease blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of developing heart disease. Although some promising evidence is available, further research involving human subjects is required to confirm the health benefits, particularly in blends of mushroom coffee.


Medical mushrooms have fascinated scientists since the 1970s and have been praised for various health benefits. However, many of these claims have no evidence and more rigorous clinical trials involving humans are required.


Although it's interesting to test, there are a few negatives to be aware of.

The biggest issue is that human-based studies regarding its health effects aren't currently being conducted. Most scientific studies were performed using test tubes or on animals, but human studies are required to confirm the claims of health benefits.

This means that information on the appropriate dosage, who will benefit from the product, who would be advised against it, and if medical mushrooms can interact with other medications is not widely known — and this could create some safety concerns.

Furthermore, it is expensive. It can cost twice that of regular coffee for a 12- oz (340 grams) bag.

One possible reason for the higher cost is that medicinal mushrooms are naturally grown in their habitat and aren't commercially grown. They are, therefore, difficult to obtain.


The biggest drawback to mushroom-based coffees is that studies on humans do not support claims about health and safety or confirm the safety of consumption or possible interactions. They're also priced higher than regular coffee.

The Bottom Line

Mushroom coffee is the hottest coffee drink. It consists of blends of regular coffee and extracts from medicinal mushrooms, including Chaga, Cordyceps, Reishi, Lion's mane, and Turkey's tail.

While there are many health claims about the use of mushrooms as well as coffee from mushrooms for a variety of illnesses, many of them are not confirmed currently, and further research on human subjects is required.

While it's probably appropriate for a majority of people, you must consult your health doctor if you're taking medication or suffer from a medical condition that is preexisting.

Live Healthier
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