It’s finally that time of year when we can enjoy all things autumn. Along with storms and darker nights comes the opportunity for pumpkin pies, conkers, wellies and long walks through fallen leaves. Seasonal bliss.
If you do get outside for some fresh air, something you may see a lot of at the moment are mushrooms. Though they grow all year round, fall is a favourite time for fungi and they are currently putting on a good display. It will depend on your point of view whether you find them delightful or dreadful to look at, but there can be more to mushrooms than meets the eye.
Some species have been used in medicine for centuries and are now making a move on our mugs. Mushroom coffee is here.
Over the past 12 months something of a reishi revolution has taken place and although mushroom coffee hasn’t broken into the mainstream in the way some predicted, the phenomenon has still grown in popularity. And the reishi rise shows no sign of slowing down.
At this point there are probably two big things to make clear. Firstly, mushroom coffee does not involve popping to Waitrose for some portabella to float on your favourite roast. Secondly, medicinal does not mean magic - so thankfully no trips to Waitrose or anywhere else.
Mushroom coffee in fact uses mushroom powder. Taking advantage of the fact both coffee and certain fungi have a lot of health benefits, mushroom coffee unites both to make an alleged superdrink. Coffee is well-known for its antioxidant content and ability to improve brain function. It is also thought to reduce pain and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and depression among other things.
Likewise, certain mushrooms are said to have certain medicinal properties. The four most common friendly fungi are chaga, lion’s mane, reishi and cordyceps.
Chaga are good for boosting the immune system and have anti-viral properties. Lion’s mane mushrooms are said to enhance our cognitive abilities and improve the memory as well as having an anti-inflammatory effect. Reishi have this effect too along with plenty of helpful antioxidants. Finally, cordyceps are reported to balance stress hormones and have anti-depressant like qualities. They are even rumoured to be an aphrodisiac!
With all these potential benefits, it could well be worth giving mushroom coffee a try, but always ask your doctor first if you take prescription medication or have an outstanding health condition.
Thankfully mushroom powder doesn’t taste as awful as it sounds, but it will still alter the flavour of your brew so it’s unsurprising a lot of recipes include extra ingredients. Two of our favourites are the Reishi Mushroom Chocolate Latte by Coffesphere and the Mushroom Coffee Pumpkin Spice Latte from Defiant Coffee - a real autumnal drink.
The benefits of mushroom coffee are still scientifically unproven, but many around bear witness to its feel-good factor. The potential is powerful at least. If you fancy trying it out this autumn make sure you mix your powder with some of our espresso beans for the best experience. We’ll leave you to decide if it’s any good...