Mushroom Blend Coffee: Gross Or Genius?

 

Coffee is coffee is coffee, right? Not necessarily. In fact, I recently had the opportunity to try out a sample of a “mushroom coffee blend.” Sounds kind of off-putting, but when the sample was offered I was too intrigued to pass it up. Here’s what I found out. 

What are Chaga Mushrooms?

When I heard about this Chaga mushroom blend coffee, I had to research a burning question: why on earth would anyone think to put mushrooms in coffee? As usual, Healthline came to my rescue and I learned a few things about the benefits of Chaga mushrooms.

This particular mushroom tends to form on birch trees. And apparently, people in Siberia and some regions in Asia put Chaga mushrooms to use for medicinal purposes going back hundreds of years. 

Mushroom Benefits

According to Healthline, these mushrooms might bolster immunity. They could have some anti-inflammatory properties and they might even help slow or ward off cancer. Not only that, but Chaga mushrooms could bring down blood sugar as well as cholesterol levels. 

That’s a lot of potential benefits from a mushroom. As always, the disclaimer is that more information is needed on these claims. 

The website for the product itself states that the blend provides antioxidants and benefits to digestive health. They also note it contains adaptogens (thought to help with stress) and immunomodulators (thought to support healthy immune systems). 

Any Side Effects?

Predictably, anything used for medicinal purposes is likely to have some sort of potential side effect. In this case, Healthline says Chaga mushrooms could interfere with other meds. They could also cause some blood sugar challenges for diabetics and may not be wise to consume for people on blood thinners. Healthline cautions that people with autoimmune conditions should probably ask their doctor before consuming these mushrooms. 

It’s also worth noting that the FAQs for the coffee blend state that people should probably only have one cup of Chaga coffee per day.

What Does Mushroom Coffee Taste Like?

Now on to the big question: what in the world does a mushroom blend coffee taste like? Well, the big answer is...it tastes like coffee. 

I popped a K-cup into my Keurig and anxiously awaited the aroma, which turned out to smell exactly like traditional coffee.  Forage Hyperfoods, the company behind this coffee sample, says it should taste of brown sugar and hazelnuts with a dash of plum. 

I really didn’t pick up on any of those flavors, but I did detect a slightly earthy bitterness that was not at all unpleasant. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure I would have even picked up on that taste had I not known I was sipping on a mushroom blend brew. 

No Jitters

I made the adventurous (or questionable, depending on how you roll) decision to have a cup of coffee just before three in the afternoon one day. I felt a little perk as I sipped, but didn’t get the usual hyper, jittery feeling that can come with a late afternoon coffee. 

The Coffee Industry

Beyond mushroom blend coffee that promises some interesting benefits (without the weird taste you’d expect), I discovered an interesting connection between blockchain technology and coffee

First, blockchain would allow customers to track exactly where their coffee beans originated. For those that are passionate about supporting fair trade, this is a big deal. It would mean that customers would know whether the coffee farmers are compensated fairly because blockchain would cut out fraudulent claims of fair trade practices. 

Secondly, using blockchain would also let people find out whether the farmers are using sustainable methods as they produce the coffee beans. 

Blockchain would essentially give customers the power to remove their support from coffee farmers or distributors that don’t align with their values. When someone wants to ensure that their coffee was farmed sustainably, blockchain could let them know that.  

And, it so happens that Forage Hyperfoods even practices sustainable harvesting.

Mushroom Coffee for the Win

I would say that mushroom coffee is a win, taste-wise. As far as the health benefits, I haven’t noticed anything extraordinary that can be attributed to the mushroom blend coffee. But if you want to incorporate some healthier things in your life in the new year, why not try it?

 

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