At first glance, mushrooms and coffee are two things you wouldn’t necessarily think to combine. Despite the unappealing connotation mushroom coffee may have, many are discovering that these products closely resemble the taste of regular coffee, and some have added flavors that taste even better than your average cup of joe.
Functional mushrooms, specifically mushroom extracts, have been used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for a long time for their purported health benefits.
Mushroom coffee is likely gaining popularity due to consumers’ interest in more holistic methods for sustained alertness minus the jitters and caffeine crashes. Since coffee is a part of many people’s daily routine, it’s sensible to want to add an extra dose of health to this sacred morning (or any time of the day) ritual.
Since dietary supplements are not regulated like foods and medicines, it’s always beneficial to work with a trained nutrition expert to discuss your diet and fitness needs on an individual level to ensure you’re using products safely and effectively.
At EverFlex, we are all about implementing extra doses of health whenever possible, so mushroom coffee seems like a great addition to maintaining a healthy diet and fitness routine. Below, we’ve collated a list of the best mushroom coffee brands on the market in 2023.
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What Are the Best Mushroom Coffee Brands?
The best mushroom coffee brands will contain the most effective and researched medicinal mushrooms, have excellent customer reviews, and maintain transparency in listing ingredients and amounts. Most mushroom coffee brands use a combination of lion’s mane, chaga, cordyceps, and reishi mushrooms.
Four Sigmatic – Best Multi-Product Brand
You can’t discuss mushroom coffee without mentioning the industry leader, Four Sigmatic. The Finnish founder used his knowledge from growing up on a farm in Finland where he learned about how his elders used mushrooms in place of coffee during the war when coffee was sparse. Buyers can choose from several different Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee products, including whole beans, ground coffee, instant coffee, and pods.
- Contains lion’s mane extract (250 mg) and chaga extract (250 mg)
- Dark roast
- USDA organic
- Fair-trade certified
- $16 when you subscribe
- $20 for a one-time purchase (16 servings)
The “Think” ground coffee is rated 4.7 of more than 2550 customers, which is a pretty impressive figure. If you want to buy from a popular brand trusted by many, Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee may be the answer.
Laird Superfood – Best Ground Mushroom Coffee
This functional food brand was developed by athletes who wanted quality plant-based products to fuel an active lifestyle. The brand expands its reach from drinks, powders, and snacks to merchandise.
- Contains chaga, lion’s mane, and cordyceps mushrooms extracts
- Peruvian coffee beans
- Available in dark and medium roast
- USDA organic
- Subscribe and save 20%
- 1 pack (12 oz) $17.95
- 4 pack $65.95
- 6 pack $98.95
Laird’s mushroom coffee is rated five stars of over 500 reviews by satisfied customers. This could be another great choice for those wanting to add a healthy boost to their morning coffee routine without sacrificing the typical coffee experience.
Clevr – Best Instant Latte
Just add hot water and froth to create a tasty and functional latte with Clevr’s SuperLatte blend. It’s made with oat milk and coconut cream powder to create a creamy plant-based superfood latte to be enjoyed instantly.
- Contains 50 mg of caffeine per serving
- Contains coffee, ashwagandha, lion’s mane, reishi, probiotics, oat and coconut
- $28 for 14 servings ($2/latte)
- Subscribe and save 15%
This is another highly rated item at 4.7 of over 750 customer reviews. Latte drinkers and those that want an “all-in-one” option may find this superfood powder appealing.
La Republica Mushroom Coffee – Best Budget Option
Mix one teaspoon of this organic mushroom blend with hot water to create a delicious coffee instantly. This is the only option on the list that contains additional mushrooms aside from the four most popular. It’s one of the more cost-effective options and can be ordered on Amazon for a speedy delivery.
- Contains 75–85 mg of caffeine per serving
- Contains Arabica coffee beans, chaga, lion’s mane, reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, and turkey tail mushrooms
- USDA Organic
- One-time purchase: $29.99 (30 servings)
- Subscribe and save 20%
- Free shipping on all US orders over $35
La Republica’s organic mushroom coffee blend isn’t as popular as some of the others on the list, but is the most cost effective option, which is something to consider as we know health products can be on the pricier side. Additionally, it uses more mushrooms than the others for potential added benefits.
Om – Best Organic Instant Coffee Blend
Om created handy packets of instant coffee to use at home or on the go. Add one packet to 10 ounces of hot water to mix up an energizing organic mushroom coffee blend instantly.
- Contains Arabica coffee beans, lion’s mane, cordyceps, turkey tail, and reishi organic superfood mushroom powder, plus Ginkgo biloba
- USDA organic
- $39.99 for a one-time purchase ($1.33/serving)
- $33.99 for a 30-day subscription ($1.13/serving)
Om’s blend makes our list of the best mushroom coffees for its potential added benefits of Ginkgo biloba extract for enhanced cognitive function. These packets would be great for travelers or people who want a portable solution for their organic mushroom coffee.
MUD/WTR – Most Flavorful Blend
The “Rise” blend is crafted by MUD/WTR for those that want a boost of energy and focus. They also offer a “morning starter kit” for those that are new to the mushroom coffee arena and want the full setup. Customers have rated this mushroom coffee as super tasty and the brand has been featured in multiple trendy magazines.
- Contains 25 mg of caffeine
- Contains masala chai, cacao, lion’s mane, chaga, reishi, cordyceps, turmeric, cinnamon, and sea salt
- $40 for small size (30 servings)
- $100 for large size (90 servings)
If you love a chai latte, you may really enjoy the taste of MUD/WTR’s morning brew. This would be a tasty coffee alternative for those looking to limit caffeine consumption and replace coffee with more functional ingredients.
Rasa – Best Caffeine-Free Blend
Rasa’s mushroom blend is caffeine free, but contains other adaptogenic ingredients that may increase cognition and maintain alertness in consumers. Rasa recommends brewing your morning cup in a French press but offers alternative ways if you don’t have one.
- 3100 mg of adaptogens
- Contains roasted chicory, burdock, dandelion root, shatavari, codonopsis, eleuthero, roasted date seed, roasted maca, ceylon cinnamon, ashwagandha, rhodiola, chaga mycelium, reishi fruiting body extract
- Certified organic
- Caffeine free
- $29.99 for an 8-oz bag (30 servings)
- $108 for a 2-lb bag (120 servings)
- Subscribe and save 20%
If you’re looking to abstain from drinking caffeine, this may be a nice option. As a nice addition for female-identifying folks, the proprietary adaptogen blend could be helpful for hormone balancing. Also, it’s rated five stars out of 2007 reviews.
What Is Mushroom Coffee?
Mushroom coffee is generally a blend of functional mushroom extracts. It is sold as instant coffee packets, ground coffee, and pods, and most users consider the taste to be similar to a regular cup of coffee.
Brands may list the mushroom extracts as “mycelium” or “fruiting bodies” of mushrooms, and though it’s up for debate, both parts of the plant seem to be beneficial. This article explains the differences between mycelium and fruiting bodies of medicinal mushrooms.
Benefits of Mushroom Coffee
There are many benefits associated with drinking mushroom coffee or swapping out normal coffee for a mushroom coffee alternative. It’s important to note, however, the health claims have been based on mostly animal studies investigating individual compounds or ingredients. Some brands have their products third-party tested, but this is not a requirement.
Potential mushroom coffee benefits include:
- Increased energy and focus
- Improved digestion and gut health
- Reduced inflammation and immune support
Additionally, mushroom coffee blends have a lower caffeine content compared to traditional coffee. There is nothing inherently bad about caffeine; however, too much caffeine can lead to negative side effects and some individuals are more susceptible to caffeine’s negative effects than others.
Types of Mushrooms Used in Mushroom Coffee
The mushrooms listed below may be referred to as “functional mushrooms” or “medicinal mushrooms” or “adaptogenic mushrooms,” but these terms essentially mean that they contain certain compounds thought to be beneficial for health. This is probably a great point to mention that the mushrooms used in mushroom coffees are not hallucinogenic or “magic” mushrooms.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens provide health benefits by reducing stress in the body. There are four characteristics a plant or herb has to have to be adaptogenic. An adaptogenic substance must:
- Work by promoting homeostasis
- Provide resilience under stress and fatigue
- Modulate the immune system
- Be non-toxic when taken in appropriate doses
Mushrooms are probably the most popular or well-known adaptogenic plant food but other examples of adaptogens are ginseng, ashwagandha, and maca.
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) – Antioxidant
The chaga mushroom is loaded with free-radical fighting antioxidants, which lowers inflammation and potentially protects users against disease. Though this mushroom extract has been used medicinally in Russia and Asian countries for decades, there are no human studies on the health outcomes of chaga mushrooms. However, a few promising animal studies indicate that a bioactive compound in chaga extract, inonotus obliquus polysaccharide (IOPS), may be a good candidate for treatment of type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) – Cognition
Lion’s mane is most known for its cognitive enhancing effects potentially due to its effects on nerve growth factor (NGF). While this hasn’t been extensively studied, two small Japanese randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reported positive effects on cognition from Hericium erinaceus intake. An effective dose of lion’s mane is thought to be 500–1500 mg.
Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris) – Energizing
Cordyceps are the mushrooms to use when you need energy. This extract is great for athletes to take advantage of pre- or post-workout since they have been shown to enhance energy and aid in muscle recovery. An effective dose of cordyceps is between 500–1500 mg.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) – Stress Relief & Sleep Aid
Reishi mushrooms are the go-to for sleep help and stress relief. Its bioactive components have been studied and shown promising results for its potential health benefits, including anxiety reduction. But again, more research in humans is needed to confirm these findings. Many mushroom coffee blends will contain this extract to provide calming effects alongside the more stimulating effects of caffeine or other energy-enhancing mushrooms.
Potential Drawbacks of Mushroom Coffee
While mushroom coffee is a promising healthier alternative to a normal cup of coffee, it comes with a few drawbacks to consider. First and foremost, the taste may not appeal to everyone. For coffee snobs, or even for those that don’t exactly love to stray from their favorite coffee strain, the taste of mushroom coffee may never quite match up to the real thing.
Compared to regular coffee, mushroom coffee is more expensive. These mushroom coffee blends are still a relatively novel product and require costly sourcing and manufacturing.
Finally, there’s not much research that exists regarding the safety and efficacy of mushroom coffee, especially in the long-term. Without more human studies, it’s difficult to be certain that ingredients in mushroom coffee do not interact with any medications or supplements. For this reason, it’s always best to discuss any dietary supplements with a health professional, especially if you’re already taking any medications or supplements or have digestive issues.
Mushroom coffee may be a great way for coffee lovers to enjoy the taste and ritual of drinking coffee, but with added health benefits and without experiencing the potential negative side effects of high caffeine consumption.
Since there isn’t a breadth of research backing the health claims made, from a nutritional standpoint, it’s best to just eat whole mushrooms in addition to a balanced whole food diet if you’re looking to improve your health. If you don’t mind the price point and don’t struggle with digestive issues, there’s probably no harm in trying a few different mushroom coffees and tracking how you feel.
Mushrooms are definitely having a moment in the wellness world, so I can’t see them going anywhere soon. If anything, the mushroom coffee and mushroom supplement market will likely continue to boom as more people discover these products.
If you’d like some help navigating health foods and supplements, consult one of our experts at EverFlex to help you further your health goals.