What Is Mushroom Coffee and What Does It Taste Like?

Personally, I’ve never sipped my morning coffee and thought, “needs more portabella.” So imagine my surprise when I learned that mushroom coffee was a thing. Now, I love mushrooms in food and, while in college, I partook in a fair share of the “magic” variety, so I approach mushroom coffee with a very open mind. After all, I did achieve enlightenment while in my dorm room, journeying into the stars and conversing with the sky dragon. So, nothing really fazes me anymore. Anyway, what is mushroom coffee? I did some research and found out. Here’s your mushroom coffee FAQ. 

What is mushroom coffee?

The mushroom part of mushroom coffee has no psychotropic properties (unless you are buying some homemade stuff from your weird neighbor, Jimbo). But there are legit mushrooms in there, mostly ones used for their medicinal properties like lion’s mane, cordyceps, reishi, chaga, king trumpet, and turkey tail. The person whose job it is to name mushrooms had a lot of fun.

Typical mushroom coffee available for purchase is a one-to-one combination of mushroom and coffee beans. Mushrooms have been consumed in many different cultures for their health benefits for a long time, so making a mushroom drink is nothing special. However, the concept of mushroom coffee seems to sprout from Finland of all places.

During World War II, when certain foods were scarce, resourceful Finns made coffee from their natively-grown chaga mushrooms. Only recently has it gained popularity in the ever-growing health food industry.

How to Make Mushroom Coffee?

First, mushrooms are dried and ground into a powder. Then, the powdered mushrooms are mixed with ground coffee beans. 

Making a cup of mushroom coffee is pretty much the same as making instant coffee. You put a scoop of the grounds into a coffee mug, pour hot water over it, and stir. Bing bang boom, you’re drinking shrooms.

What does mushroom coffee taste like? Does mushroom coffee taste like coffee? 

You might think that the umami, earthy flavor of mushrooms would conflict with the slightly nutty, bitter flavor of coffee. But that’s not the case. Because the mushrooms are processed and ground, the mushroom flavor is fairly subtle. So, mushroom coffee mostly tastes like instant coffee. Sure, it’s not going to taste exactly like what you get from a can of Dunkin’ iced coffee, but it’s not far off if you add milk (or a milk alternative) and sweetener.

Does mushroom coffee have caffeine?

Yes, mushroom coffee does contain caffeine since it is half coffee. But that also means it typically has less caffeine than traditional coffee. It also includes the purported benefits of the mushrooms with which it is made, which vary from a strengthened immune system to inflammation reduction to a calmer disposition. If your morning cup of coffee can actually make you less stressed, we’re dealing with a different kind of magic mushroom. 

About the Author

Luke Field

Luke Field is a writer and actor originally from Philadelphia. He was the former Head Writer of branded content at CollegeHumor and was also a contributing writer and actor to the CollegeHumor Originals cast. He has extensive improv and sketch stage experience, performing both at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and with their Touring Company. In addition to writing, he also works as a Story Producer, most recently on season 4 of Accident, Suicide, or Murder on Oxygen. Keep your eyes peeled for his brief but impactful appearance as Kevin, the screaming security guard, in the upcoming feature The Disruptors, directed by Adam Frucci.

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  • How about ranking mushroom coffees?