Have you tried mushroom coffee yet? If you imagine a cup of hot coffee finished with a floating fungi specimen on top, no worries… today is a day of enlightenment!
One of the most recent super-food trends is people putting adaptogenic mushrooms and herbs in coffee. And some are even replacing their morning coffee ritual altogether with a concentrated blend of mushrooms, chocolate, and other spices- usually purchased pre-mixed for a hefty price. But mushroom coffee can easily be made at home where you have total control over the ingredients, which… always seems to be for the better.
There is no one-size-fits-all in the world of DIY mushroom coffee. Instead, mushroom coffee drinks seem to exist on a bit of a spectrum. But the tie that binds them is the interchangeable medley of apoptogenic plants and spices.
What are Adaptogens?
The body handles all stress in the same way, whether physical, environmental, or emotional. This is because your body and mind work in sync with one another, and any stress can set off a string of hormonal and physiological changes that undermines your health.
Adaptogens are a subset of herbs that can help your body adapt to and regulate these changes, supporting metabolic processes and restoring balance. They can also increase the body’s resistance to future stressors. Adaptogenic herbs can help balance out almost any part of the body and even prove to have anti-aging effects, which may sound too good to be true. But these herbs have been used for thousands of years by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic traditions worldwide. And only recently has science begun to corroborate what practitioners of old have known for so long.
Some of the most highly studied adaptogenic herbs are mushrooms like Chaga, Turkey Tail, Lion’s mane, Cordyceps, and Reishi.
⇒ Try these potent mushrooms, all found in the Mushroom Fortress
Others are plant leaves, roots and barks like these:
- Holy Basil
- Schisandra Berry
⇒ Edible Plants That Grow in Your State (Video)
And if you’re wondering if you actually replace your coffee with these herbs or add them to your coffee, the answer is both.
Adaptogens vs Caffeine
Adaptogens and caffeine give the body energy in very different ways. Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system. It works fast, which is why so many people use it, but it does have unwanted side effects. Caffeine can also activate cortisol, which is a “stress hormone.” The impact of this can be felt when you’ve had too many cups of coffee and become jittery.
Adding adaptogens to caffeinated beverages may help control the adverse side effects of caffeine. Adaptogens are balancing. They can help regulate the pituitary gland, hypothalamic and adrenal glands, which govern the body’s stress responses. At the same time, adaptogens have stimulant properties of their own (though less destructive,) which is why so many swear by them. The energy produced by adaptogens is much longer lasting than the energy produced by caffeine. Energy from adaptogens like medicinal mushrooms can extend throughout the entire body, especially the brain, allowing you to remain focused and energized for more extended periods than purely caffeinated drinks like coffee. They essentially give your body whatever it needs. If you need a pick-me-up, adaptogens will answer the call. If you need to calm down and collect yourself, adaptogens got you, which is why they are so rad.
To caffeinate or not to caffeinate (that is the question).
Whether or not you want a caffeinated wake-up call or desire the iconic coffee flavor is the real question because both caffeine and adaptogens can be effective means of gaining energy. Some mushroom coffee blends have actual coffee in them, and others are more like a cappuccino, hot chocolate, or a latte. Chocolate and many teas also contain caffeine, though usually not as much as coffee. Making your own mushroom coffee blend means you can add coffee or other sources of caffeine or make it a caffeine-free mushroom coffee alternative.
You can choose additional spices and adaptogens or make it super simple. It’s entirely up to you.
The following recipe is an adaptogenic blend that can be added to a cup of coffee or made on its own with a cup of hot water, milk, or tea. Feel free to adjust the spices to your liking. Play around with it and find the combination that you like best.
You will need:
- 1 tsp. of medicinal mushroom mix (I used a blend of Turkey Tail, Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Shiitake, Maitake, and Lion’s mane)
- ¼ tsp. ashwagandha powder (or extract)
- ¼ tsp. maca powder
- ½ tsp. raw cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp. of turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon of licorice root (or extract)
- a tea ball (for the licorice, optional)
- 6 oz. of organic fair trade coffee
- 10 fl.oz. of scalding hot water or milk
- honey or other sweeteners to taste (optional)
- coffee cup
- Add all the dry ingredients to the cup beside the licorice (if using dried).
- Add the licorice root to the tea ball and place it in the cup along with the other ingredients.
- Add the coffee (if desired) and water to the dry ingredients and let sit for 3-5 minutes before finishing it off with your favorite sweetener.
Feel free to adjust the spices to your liking. Play around with it and find the combination that you like best.
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