Mushrooms in coffee. No, really!

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    Coffee and … Mushrooms?

    The term “superfood” has become synonymous with healthy living. I’m sure you’re familiar with the term. A superfood is high in health benefits and nutrients. Foods like blueberries, avocados, salmon, almonds, and acai berries fall into this category. And in the coffee realm, the recent craze of bulletproof coffee has people making all sorts of health-related claims. Some of these claims may or may not hold water. But controversy hasn’t stopped consumers from latching on tightly.

    Seems like no matter what it is, it’ll be frantically purchased and espoused by millions of commercial-loving consumers if you call it a superfood. All humans get older. It seems that everyone is looking for the Fountain of Youth. Humans want a Magic Concoction we can gulp down in order to feel better, live longer, think smarter, run marathons in our nineties, and burp rainbows.

    With all of that in mind, I’d like to introduce Mushroom Coffee. 

    You read that correctly. Mushroom. As in fungus, as in varieties like Lions Mane, Matsutake, and Chaga, for example.

    I personally adore mushrooms. I love them raw, sautéed, piled onto a Philly cheese steak, stuffed and broiled, or in just about any dish. They have a flavor and texture like no other food.

    I also adore coffee. That’s a tiny understatement. And I am willing to try anything as long as it’s not wiggling too much. Even then, I’d seriously consider it.

    Four Sigmatic is the brand of Mushroom Coffee that everyone is talking about. What claims are made about this relatively new product? Quite a few, actually.

    (NOTE! These statements are not confirmed or verified by the FDA. Proceed and consume with caution. Consult your physician before drinking this product, especially if you take any kind of prescription medication for any reason.)

    Possible Health Benefits of Mushroom Extract

    Consuming mushroom extract may:

    • lower blood glucose in diabetic patients
    • support digestive health
    • ward off viruses and bacteria
    • lower blood pressure
    • lower bad cholesterol
    • improve memory
    • fight depression
    • stave off the onset of Parkinson’s Disease
    • increase cognitive function.

    Sounds like a pretty good deal! On another positive note, the Four Sigmatic beverage is lower in caffeine than a regular cup of joe. Each serving only has 40 mg per cup, as opposed to 80-200 for regular brews. And for java lovers with acid sensitivity, the alkaline mushroom counteracts coffee’s natural acidity. This brand is likely to be easier on the tummy than your standard cup.

    How Does it Taste?

    According to the manufacturer, the beneficial elements found in mushrooms are accessed by cooking the product. Also, the “umami,” mushroom-y, earthy flavor that toadstool-lovers enjoy may not mesh so well with the flavor of coffee. Cooking the shrooms down into an extract form helps to transform the product into something workable flavor-wise. All of the user comments I can find online clearly confirm that there is no mushroom taste in the beverage. Hey, to each his own, but I’m relieved to hear it. That would be just weird.

    Four Sigmatic offers different instant-beverage packets available for purchase depending upon which type of boost you’re after. The price for ten packets is somewhere between $13.00 and $15.00. Consumers will pony up from $1.30 to $1.50 per cup. That’s about the same price you’d pay if you go into Starbucks and get a regular medium-sized drink.

    Wait. Did I say instant? Yes! INSTANT.

    Hold up. Sirens are blaring. Coffee snob alert radar is going off in my head while dollar signs shoot out of my ears. I have to draw the line somewhere. The Ethiopian beans in my hopper are insulted. My French press is weeping in the corner.

    With all due respect to the brand and their health claims, I can never see myself buying instant coffee. I may consider it if I am baking a specific dish that calls for that specific product. I would also consider it if I was taking a trip to the moon.

    Many of the customer reviews are positive regarding the actual flavor of this beverage. But quite a large number of naysayers think it tastes just like the cheap instant stuff. It may be a useful product in the big picture, but instant coffee can’t hold a candle to the real thing. Life is too short to drink low-quality, overpriced coffee!

    Another Option

    In my humble opinion, if consumers believe they’ll benefit from the obvious attributes of mushrooms, there is a better way. The first step is to make the most delicious coffee possible. Prepare the beverage with freshly roasted, freshly ground beans. The second step is to add mushroom extract to the coffee. Several liquid or powdered varieties of these extracts are available on Amazon. Take a look at the products found here, here, and here. The third steps comes after consuming this concoction. Get to the gym and work out. Take a walk. Ride a bike. Go for a swim. Play a game of tennis. Jog in place. Do leg lifts from your chair. Eat some tasty superfoods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And of course, go easy on the booze and sugary treats.

    Kudos to the marketing peeps at Four Sigmatic for capturing so much media attention. It’s simply not a product I’d shell out money to try.

    As always, thank you for reading. Cheers!


    (Note that these opinions are those of the author, and may not be shared with the administration or other writers affiliated with )

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