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What's the deal with mushroom coffee?

Cup of coffee next to coffee beans and mushrooms

To some, coffee is a love like no other; it’s a must-have every morning with a specific preference for the “perfect cup.” But a new type of coffee has been swarming the internet: mushroom coffee. Luckily, it is not coffee that tastes like mushrooms. On the contrary, it tastes and looks much like regular coffee. That’s because mushroom coffee is still made from ground coffee beans. However, about half the grounds are coffee beans while the other half are dried and ground mushrooms.

Part of its popularity is the health benefits it claims. Proponents of mushroom coffee say that it decreases stress and inflammation, supports a stronger immune system, and contributes to better sleep. While some studies have shown that mushrooms themselves may relieve stress, support the immune system, and reduce inflammation, there isn’t enough research to say that mushrooms that have been dried, extracted and brewed into coffee have the same health effects. Mushroom coffee may not provide the same nutritional qualities as whole mushrooms, which have B vitamins, vitamin D, potassium, choline, antioxidants and dietary fiber.

Since mushroom coffee uses roughly 50% coffee grounds, it also has about 50% less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee. For those who may be more sensitive to caffeine or are simply trying to cut back, mushroom coffee may be beneficial, but of course, decaf coffee works just as well. Mushrooms used for mushroom coffee typically include lions mane, chaga, reishi and cordyceps. If buying mushroom coffee, be sure to read the list of ingredients to know what you are getting. Some brands of mushroom coffee use mushroom extract rather than dried ground mushrooms, in which case will contain less of the mushroom’s nutrients. Also, check for possible drug interactions with the mushroom used. Lion’s mane, for example, interacts with certain diabetes medications and blood thinners.

A lot of mushroom coffees come in powder form and are simply mixed with boiling water, just like instant coffee. Others come in grounds and are brewed. You may not be able to purchase it in the traditional grocery stores yet, but you can find it online. Just be ready to pay more than a bag of regular coffee. A 30-serving bag may cost anywhere between $20 to $40. Between the high cost and the unproven health benefits, it’s okay if you’d prefer to consume mushrooms and coffee separately! 


Amidor, T. Ask the Expert: Mushroom Coffee. Today’s Dietitian. Vol. 23, No. 8, P. 10

About the Author


Jenna Smith is a Nutrition and Wellness Educator with University of Illinois Extension, serving Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties. Smith uses her experience as a registered dietitian nutritionist to deliver impactful information and cutting-edge programs to Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties and beyond.