Oh Come on! Mushroom Coffee?
Updated: Nov 29, 2020
By Julie G - Microbigal!
It is estimated that 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed on a daily basis worldwide.
I live in New England, and that means most of the coffee I consume comes from Dunks - which can conveniently be found about every 10 feet (seriously, on my rural 15 mile commute, I pass by 3). My go to drive-thru beverage is a large cold brew, black, less ice (or in a pinch Dark Roast, iced, black). I very rarely (maybe once a year, if it’s wicked cold) get a hot coffee - and that needs at least cream. I did have to train myself over time, first giving up sugar and having extra cream, and eventually going with naked coffee. Also of note, I do intermittent keto-ish fasting (thanks to some extra winter and the quarantine-19 fluff that has accumulated), so until 3PM, all I consume is 1 large coffee and water, so that coffee needs to be good! I’m not one of those people who NEEDS coffee every day, but most work mornings, I do enjoy a little pick-me up, get-going beverage, and something more satisfying than water to get me through until 3PM.
Coffee, Your Gut, and Your Health
So while Dunks remains open for drive-thru during quarantine, I’m working at home full time and not commuting much. We’ve been ordering various coffees online and making them at home, with varying results. But what does this have to do with microbes? Earlier this week, we talked about the microbiome of coffee plants. But besides offering a jolt of caffeine, does consuming coffee help or hurt our own microbiome? We each have trillions of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract, making up our 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 your gut plays a major role in managing hormones in the brain, like serotonin, which can improve your mood. Don’t you love it when they prove that something you’re doing already might actually be good for you? Obviously, everything in moderation and some people experience an upset stomach, mid-day crash, jitters and increased anxiety when consuming coffee with caffeine.
Mushroom Coffee?!? Yes!
When I was assigned this week’s Thirsty Thursday and told it was about Mushroom Coffee, my first reaction was ‘coffee made from mushrooms? really? why?!?’ Sure enough, a quick internet search produced lots of articles and options for purchase, who knew? So I ordered some and kept reading. My first article talked about Lion’s Mane as a highly touted, beneficial ingredient - I thought we were talking about mushrooms not the king of beasts? I hope these lion manes were responsibly sourced and they were given cute haircuts that still made them feel fierce! Turns out, Lion’s Mane is a type of mushroom. Phew, no lions were harmed in the making of this coffee! These mushrooms are blended with other mushrooms and roasted coffee beans to create Mushroom Coffee! Why? Manufacturers claim that by infusing coffee with super food mushrooms, you can stay focused, clear-headed and energized with less caffeine, more plant-based nutrients, higher antioxidants AND help your gut microbiome!
While waiting for my coffee to arrive, I did a little more research on the mushrooms and their potential health benefits:
Download the doc below to access the links and learn more!
So my NeuRoast Caramel Pecan Cluster Mushroom coffee arrived and I’ve been drinking it for a week now. It looks like coffee, smells like coffee and tastes pretty good! You make it the same way as you normally would, which for me was my cold brew filter. I think I have felt more focused and have been feeling pretty good, which is surprising considering how hectic its been at work this week. Would I buy it again? It’s pricey, at $20/10oz. bag - which didn’t quite get me through one week. I suppose if I went to Dunks every day (which I don’t), it would be close in cost!
Healthier coffee that helps my focus, gut microbiome and boosts energy with less caffeine seems like a winner! I think I will definitely buy the little single packs and maybe their creamer for my backpacking trips.
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