I like my coffee like I like my men… non-preachy.
As such, I suspected I was going to have a hard time with a java that implied I was drinking coffee all wrong. But that’s mushroom coffee’s general party line: Your coffee could be better.
It’s a stance that’s had a big helping hand from US self-help guru Tim Ferriss, who raves about the stuff almost non-stop. In case you haven’t heard of him, he wrote The 4-Hour Workweek and hosts what’s regularly ranked as the number-one podcast of all time, really. In a nutshell, he has some pull.
And when I say raves, I mean raves. He suggests trying this if “you want to light yourself up like a Christmas tree” and says it will seriously impact “your cognitive and mental state”.
Big call, Ferriss. Of course, his net worth sits at about $120 million so I guess I’ll let him preach to me this one time.
The big kahuna in the mushroom coffee world is Four Sigmatic, a brand started by some Finnish millennials.
“Half coffee, half mushrooms” is how the founders describe it.
Each serving contains 500mg of organically grown, dual-extracted, third-party-tested mushrooms. I don’t know what the second two things mean but they sound imposing. The idea is that you’ll get increased focus and concentration from the caffeine, and reduced inflammation and a boosted immune system from the medicinal shrooms.
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We loved seeing everyone’s Mushroom drink recipes on yesterday post! To continue the ? #inspo we’re sharing this Chaga Chip Latte recipe from @paytonsartain Ingredients -1.5 Cups Almond or Cashew Milk -1/2 Packet Chaga Elixir -1 tsp Cacao Powder -1 tsp Coconut Sugar -Dash or Two of Cinnamon -Splash of Vanilla -Pinch of Sea Salt Recipe -Combine all ingredients in blender, blend until smooth. -Serve over ice and top with coconut whip & cacao nibs. #everydaymagic #foursigmatic
Now, I’m not what you’d call a mushroom aficionado – I tend to think of them as those things that ruin pizza, make you incredibly high or kill people when eaten in the wild. I have a friend who runs mushroom foraging workshops in NSW’s Belanglo State Forest and – despite the fact I’m impressed that people pay to go out there with a complete stranger – he assures me that I’m in the minority. “Mushies are life, dude – you have to try picking your own!” I get it… you’re a funghi. But no thanks.
The coffee I’ll try, though. My mushroom cup of Joe comes in instant coffee-style sachets. I suspect it will taste like Nescafé mixed with mushroom soup. And – spoiler alert – it does.
Espresso and AeroPress worshippers would loathe the taste and I can certainly think of other vegetable-based accoutrements I’d prefer added to my coffee… cocoa beans, chicory, vodka. But as the box tells me, this also has adaptogens – aka healing plants – like rhodiola, eleuthero and schisandra. To me, these just look like words that popped up after someone smashed a keyboard, but they’re proven to help your body adapt to psychological stresses.
So, did I drink it and light up like a Christmas tree? I did not. I didn’t even reach sapling level. But all psychoactive substances have different effects on different people.
Perhaps quadzillionaires are just more sensitive to these things. Most people report less jitters from it than you get from regular coffee – and I’d agree with that, but then it only contains half the caffeine.
After a week of mushroom coffee, I can’t say I felt any more alert than usual. Maybe I tried the wrong kind. I went with chaga mushrooms but there are myriad variations – you can get your daily cup laced with other types of mushrooms such as reishi, lion’s mane or cordyceps.
There’s no denying these guys are really earnest about incorporating mushrooms for a healthier life. They even run a Mushroom Academy, should you wish to partake.
And science is on their side – mushrooms really are good for you. But as someone who grew up on Turkish coffee and lasagne, it’s not for me long-term – it’s like eating a cupcake with a clove of garlic inside.
You’ll just have to decide for yourself because, when it comes to wellness trends, you should always leave as mushroom as possible for the benefit of the doubt.
What: Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mix.
How much: From $20 for 10 sachets.
Where: Visit optimoz.com.au
I love: that the company’s hashtag, #onshrooms, has been hijacked by a guy (who’s clearly never heard of this coffee) cooking wild mushrooms while wearing a horse mask.
I wonder: if Tim might want to hear about my favourite substance with medicinal properties that lights you up like the 25th of December: red wine.