Hello class, I'm so excited to welcome Chef Fermé to our class today! In honor of Mushroom Monday, Chef is here to create a culinary delight that is quite unusual. You see, the Giants love to consume a beverage called coffee. It is estimated that 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed on a daily basis worldwide. Usually, they make this from ground beans and it is a major crop and industry all around the world. But another type of coffee is starting to hit the scene, one that may offer health benefits and is made from one of my favorites: Mushrooms!
Many of the Giants consume coffee every day as part of their ritual - some like it in the morning, others in the afternoon. The caffeine it contains acts as a pick-me-up for them. They fill it with cream, sugar and all kinds of flavors.
MMMM, sugar! I love to eat sugar too!
Yes, so do the Giants, but it's not always good for them! They can't make wine, or bread or Kombucha as a by-product when they eat it like some microbes can - they mostly just get fat and unhealthy when they consume it!
Coffee, Gut Microbiome, and Health
We've talked a lot about microbes and their role in the gut microbiome. The Giants are just starting to understand this important relationship and how much microbes affect their health and well-being. Earlier this week, we talked about the microbiome of coffee plants. Don't forget, plants and animals also have microbiomes - making microbes so important to all life! But what does this have to do with coffee? But besides offering a jolt of caffeine to the Giants, does consuming coffee help or hurt their microbiome? There are trillions of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract, making up the gut microbiome. There are many studies happening now that are exploring how gut microbiomes have major effects on health and can promote or possibly fight off disease! Studies already point to coffee offering the following benefits:
Protection from Type 2 Diabetes
Protection from Parkinson’s
Protection from Liver Disease
Promoting a healthy heart
One such study was presented at the American College of Gastroenterology in October 2019. They took gut microbiome samples from various parts of the colon during colonoscopies and found that coffee drinkers had “bacteria that were more abundant, evenly distributed and were richer in anti inflammatory properties and considerably less likely to include Erysipelatoclostridium, a type of bacteria linked to metabolic abnormalities and obesity.”
Other studies suggest that the gut plays a major role in managing hormones in the brain, like serotonin, which can improve mood. You would think that with the amount of coffee they are consuming, they would be very healthy, right? Unfortunately for them, they are not always great at moderation and with all of the stuff they add to it, coffee can become a very unhealthy obsession! Some Giants experience an upset stomach, mid-day crash, jitters and increased anxiety when consuming coffee with caffeine. Are there healthier alternatives?
Manufacturers claim that by infusing coffee with 'super food' mushrooms, the Giants can stay focused, clear-headed and energized with less caffeine, more plant-based nutrients, higher antioxidants AND help the gut microbiome!
I can't wait to try it, Chef, can you show us how to make it?
Making Mushroom Coffee
Ah, thank you Ms. Myco! The Giants have all sorts of machines and gadgets they use to make coffee! They love to grind, filter, soak, brew, pour and enjoy their coffee. They buy it in shops and drive-thrus and make it at home. I ordered us some NeuRoast Caramel Pecan Cluster Mushroom coffee online.
Let's open it up - can we see mushrooms in there? Well, actually, it looks like coffee, smells like coffee - the mushrooms have been processed with regular coffee into a blend. Making the coffee into a delicious beverage is the same way as one normally would.
Today, I've brought a very easy way to make coffee - cold brew. Just measure the coffee, put it in the filter and pour in some water. With this method, we leave it to sit for a while. Maybe Ms. Myco can tell us more about the mushrooms while we wait for the brew!
Mushrooms are cool, and beneficial!
You know one of my favorite things is discovering all kinds of interesting fungal fruits growing out of the mycorrhizal network - mushrooms, and it turns out, some enterprising folks have found a way to make coffee from them! Of course, not just any mushrooms can be used (there's so many and they can have different affects (death, intoxication, poisoning, blindness, etc.)
Let's take a look at a few of these very cool mushrooms!
Download the doc below to access the links and learn more!
Ok everybody, the coffee is brewed, what do you think?
Ugh, why do the Giant's drink this stuff?!?
Well, Chef, I love it - it's something that people tend to like when they are a bit older - perhaps you younglings will
acquire the taste someday! When you're ready, try this healthier coffee that helps with focus, gut microbiome and boosts energy with less caffeine! Combining two of my favorite things: mushrooms and coffee has been a blast - thanks Chef Fermé, see you soon!
Gurwara, S. et al. Caffeine Consumption and the Colonic Mucosa-Associated Gut Microbiota: 196. Am. J. Gastroenterol. 114, S119 (2019)
HealthDay. Could More Coffee Bring a Healthier Microbiome? WebMD https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/news/20191028/could-more-coffee-bring-a-healthier-microbiome (2019)
NeuRoast Mushroom Coffee and Superfood Creamers. NeuRoast https://www.neuroast.com/
Have you tried mushroom coffee or creamer? What was your experience? Do you feel there are health benefits? Do you harvest your own mushrooms? I'd love to hear about it! Comment below