Lucie Deacon | Contributing Writer | Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Mushroom Coffee Is The Latest WTF Food Trend

Mushroom Coffee Is The Latest WTF Food Trend

The Debrief: Mushroom coffee??

Despite the recent backlash against clean eating, so-called superfoods are still spamming our newsfeeds. In fact, wellness trends are becoming more and more unlikely, not to mention unappealing. And yet, mushroom coffee is being hailed as the next big thing for 2017. 

As all caffeine addicts know, there is much to be gained from your regular, no frills mug of coffee: it gets you up in the morning, boosts your metabolism and might even protect against Parkinson’s disease.  But that’s not to say that it comes without its downsides like insomnia, increased anxiety and tummy problems. 

This is where Four Sigmatic and their mushroom coffee comes in. Made from ‘medicinal mushrooms’ the company claim to be producing the ‘world’s healthiest coffee’, which provides all the benefits of your regular cup of Joe, minus the nasty side effects. Sounds promising, but I’m still envisaging some slimy, soupy concoction. So WTF actually is it? And why the hype?

 

Here’s how it’s made:

The first thing to note is that the coffee isn’t made from the kind of mushrooms you’d find in your local Tesco. This is a superfood after all. Instead, the company picks wild mushrooms growing on or near trees. After they’ve been dried, they’re boiled and liquefied in order to yield maximum nutrients. Finally, they’re combined with organic instant coffee powder – mild Arabica beans from Central America for all you coffee aficionados out there. So, you just need to add hot water – super easy.

 

What does it taste like?

The coffee has so far received mixed reviews, with some claiming that you can’t taste the mushrooms and others detecting an earthy, tree bark flavour. Even the founder, Tero Isokaupilla has said that the Reishi blend is too acidic and suggests sweetening it with honey or almond milk. In terms of an energy boost? Some reviews claim it makes them super alert, whereas others got no caffeine kick whatsoever. 

 

Four Sigmatic offer a wide range of mushroom blends, with each supposedly producing various health benefits. The Maitake blend helps to regulate blood sugar levels (one for when you’re feeling hangry??), boost brain power and productivity. The Reishi blend is recommended for stress relief and candida. The coffee is also vegan, paleo-friendly, sugar free and allergen free.

Despite the extensive research available on the company’s website, it’s hard not to remain sceptical, especially when bombarded with so many marketing buzzwords. However, Cynthia Sass, Nutrition Editor for Health has supported the company’s claims saying that ‘maitake mushrooms may lower blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes’ and that chaga mushrooms are good for digestive health and can ward off bacteria and viruses.

However, Sass has also warned that maitake mushrooms can interact with medication used to thin blood or lower blood pressure.  She explains, ‘it’s important to know that anything medicinal, even plants and natural substances can have potential side effects and interactions.’

So all in all, it’s unlikely that mushroom coffee will get me out of bed in the morning, but if you’re looking to reduce your caffeine intake and up your five a day, it’s certainly one to try. 

Will you be trying mushroom coffee? Let us know

 

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Tags: Food