Coffee has been around for ages and over time, it has evolved from being a simple black wake-up beverage to a flavorful product that people of all ages can enjoy. Coffee businesses and home brewers alike are constantly trying new things with coffee beans, and if you’re familiar with emerging coffee trends, you may have heard about mushroom coffee.
But what is it? Is mushroom coffee the newest drink for people to try once and forget? Not at all. Let’s explore.
What is Mushroom Coffee?
Mushroom coffee is, as the title suggests, coffee that is made out of mushrooms. Grinding certain types of mushroom into small pieces and combining them with coffee beans often creates a smooth coffee with a nutty undertone. However, certain mushrooms work better for mushroom coffee than others, which we will cover a little later in this article.
How’s It Made?
Mushroom coffee is made by dehydrating certain mushroom types and grinding them into powder or fine, small pieces. The mushroom powder is then combined with coffee beans in equal parts so that the two ingredients can complement each other in a specific blend.
Mushroom coffee is quite versatile and can be made as an instant drink using instant coffee grounds or standard coffee using grounds and a standard coffee machine. This coffee type can be used to make practically any one of the popular drinks that coffee enthusiasts drink today, including lattes, iced coffees, mochas, cappuccinos, and more.
Mushroom Coffee’s History
Mushroom coffee became a popular morning beverage in the 1930s and 1040s, though Asian countries used a type of mushroom coffee as a medical aid farther back than this.
The development of mushroom coffee occurred as a response to limited resources and a need that had to be satisfied. During World War II, many parts of the world experienced food shortages that differed in type and severity. One of the most common shortages involved coffee beans.
Because coffee was a staple beverage in Finland at the time, Finnish people became quite determined to find a decent substitute for coffee beans that would get them through the wartime shortages. The best substitute they found was mushrooms, namely the Chaga mushroom. They were easy to come by because Chaga mushrooms were native to the area. The Finnish population adjusted to this coffee substitute and found it to be relatively pleasant compared to traditional coffee.
Of course, after the war was over and the world’s food supply stabilized, much of the world returned to drinking traditional coffee. Had it not, most of us would be more familiar with mushroom coffee today.
Types of Mushroom Coffee
We’ve mentioned that the first mushroom coffee in WWII Europe was created using the Chaga mushroom due to its accessibility. However, there are several mushroom types that can be used to make excellent mushroom coffee blends.
Let’s cover a few common mushroom types used to make mushroom coffee.
- Chaga Mushroom: Chaga is a smooth-tasting mushroom type that promotes healthy immune function and reduces inflammation in the body.
- Turkey’s Tail Mushroom: This type also supports the immune system but may be extra beneficial for individuals going through cancer treatments.
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom: Lion’s Mane promotes anxiety relief and enhances brain health. It can supplement dementia prevention and it’s good for the digestive system.
- Reishi Mushroom: Reishi Mushrooms can help fight depression and keep fatigue at bay. Like many other mushrooms, it also enhances the immune system.
- Cordyceps Mushroom: Cordyceps enhance physical performance, slow the aging process, and can help reduce inflammation. It’s also heart-healthy.
Most of the time, mushroom coffee utilizes medicinal mushrooms instead of culinary mushrooms. This is due to the health benefits that medicinal mushrooms provide, though there is no rule saying that culinary mushrooms are out of bounds. Feel free to experiment with your mushroom coffee blends if you’d like, just make sure the mushroom types you use are safe to eat.
Benefits of Mushroom Coffee
On top of providing coffee drinkers with an energy boost, like traditional coffee, mushroom coffee is often consumed for the health benefits that mushrooms promote. It’s also said to create a smoother sense of alertness without leading to coffee jitters or a caffeine crash later in the day.
On top of being quite easy to make at home, there are several health benefits associated with mushroom coffee that consumers won’t find when drinking traditional coffee.
- Inflammation Reduction
Mushroom coffee may provide anti-inflammatory benefits, being that many mushroom types have anti-inflammatory qualities. People who suffer from arthritis or other autoimmune conditions might find the healing power of mushroom coffee beneficial, at least compared to traditional coffee. Anti-inflammatory agents work to reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness brought on by inflammatory conditions.
- Less Caffeine
Mushroom coffee usually contains less caffeine than traditional coffee. Though caffeine is what gives coffee the ability to enhance wakefulness, cutting back on this ingredient might be a positive. Mushroom coffee tends to provide a smoother sense of alertness without the crash that’s common with other caffeinated products.
- Stress Reduction
Cortisol is a stress hormone that, in high levels, can contribute to depression, weight gain, and sleep disturbances. Mushrooms contain adaptogens, which help stabilize the body’s cortisol levels. Thus, drinking mushroom coffee has the potential to reduce stress and promote better whole-body health.
- Immune Support
Mushrooms are a great source of antioxidants, which are essential for proper immune function. Drinking mushroom coffee stands to provide consumers with a natural immune boost.
- Vitamin & Mineral Content
Mushrooms are healthy fungi, as they contain Vitamin D, several B vitamins, potassium, and selenium. Drinking mushroom coffee can provide consumers with vitamins and minerals they may not be getting in their diets.
Further, while mushroom coffee can be purchased at stores, it’s an easy product to create at home. Making your own mushroom coffee creates a great opportunity to experiment with flavors and coffee-making methods. Dehydrating mushrooms and grinding them to make your own coffee blend doesn’t require the use of many complicated products, either. The process of preparing mushrooms for coffee can be done quite easily with standard kitchen equipment.
Not to mention, if you’re planning to start a coffee-centric business, introducing mushroom coffee may very well give your brand an edge over others in your area. Mushroom coffee is slowly gaining popularity and if you’re the first to offer a unique product, you’ll surely simplify making a name for yourself in the coffee industry.
Homemade Mushroom Coffee
Making mushroom coffee at home (or for your customers) is a relatively easy process. Simply choose the mushrooms you want to use for your various blends, dehydrate them, then grind them into powder. Combine the powders with coffee grounds and make cups of coffee the same way you would ordinarily. As you gain experience, start altering the coffee ground types you combine with your mushroom powders to find new flavor profiles and health benefits.
If you’re planning to sell mushroom coffee blends, especially in an e-commerce setting, it’s essential to make sure you’re properly sealing your product packaging. Not only will properly sealing the mushroom bags ensure freshness, but it will also protect the product from any sort of contamination that may occur in transit.
Mushroom coffee is far from a new product, though the growing popularity of this coffee type has reemerged in a significant way since its early 1900s adoption into European society. Given the opportunity to experiment and the ease of promotion the internet provides, mushroom coffee might be here to stay this time.
If you’re a coffee connoisseur and you’re interested in trying something new, mushroom coffee might be worth a shot.
Pack Secure will be happy to assist you in setting up your packaging needs for your mushroom or coffee business.
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