Last Updated: December 15, 2022
We’ve updated this article to include new testing for Laird Superfoods, MUD\WTR, Clevr, and Om. None of them unseated Four Sigmatic as the best mushroom coffee—but Laird came pretty close.
Caffeinated fungus is having a moment. Medicinal mushrooms like lion’s mane and chaga have a long history of health-related use, but more recently, they’ve taken up residence in western culture—in tablets, in powders, and in many, many podcast ads.
You can consume mushrooms in almost any form, but one of the most popular options is mushroom coffee. This is an alternative to traditional coffee that’s usually (but not always) made with 50% traditional coffee beans and 50% dried mushrooms. Devotees claim the mixture provides sustainable, non-jumpy energy—but is mushroom coffee actually healthy? What does mushroom coffee taste like? And which kind of mushroom coffee is the best? To find out, we brewed up a tried a bunch of caffeinated fungus ourselves, from mushroom coffee brands including Four Sigmatic, Ryze, MUD\WTR, Sun Alchemy, La Republica, and Laird. We also talked with dietitians and had them review our findings to make sure they’re legit.
Here’s the TL;DR on the best mushroom coffee:
- Four Sigmatic Instant Coffee with Lion’s Mane (Best Instant Mix)
- Laird Superfoods Organic Peruvian Mushroom Coffee (Best True Coffee Replacement)
- La Republica Organic Mushroom Coffee
- Sun Alchemy Mushroom Coffee
- Clevr Coffee Superlatte
- Om Mushroom Coffee Latte Blend
- Ryze Mushroom Coffee
- Organic Rasa Herbal Coffee Alternative
The Best Mushroom Coffee
Best Instant Coffee
Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee: Instant Coffee with Lion’s Mane
- Conains lion’s mane, chaga, and rhodiola
- Half the caffeine as a regular cup of coffee
- Comes with 10 single-serve packets
- Delicious taste
- Easy to brew
- Variety of options available
- Doesn’t contain as many mushrooms as some
After several rounds of taste testing, Four Sigmatic’s Instant Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s Mane was the tastiest and the easiest to brew in the bunch. You can order Four Sigmatic’s mushroom coffee in a variety of options, picking from various medicinal mushrooms and brew styles, but this instant variation is its most popular offering.
It’s real coffee with mushroom extracts that, according to the brand, maintain the benefits of functional mushrooms (i.e. all the medicinal mushrooms we mention, like lion’s mane and chaga)! It includes 250 milligrams of lion’s mane, 250 milligrams of chaga, and an unspecified amount of NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health “Rhodiola” View Source (a flowering plant that grows at high altitudes in Europe and Asia and is used as a supplement that may reduce stress and fatigue. Side effects are rare but may include dizziness or a dry mouth, and more study is needed to confirm its efficacy. Though this blend features fewer mushrooms overall than some other coffees, it’s one of the only ones we tried that discloses exactly how much of each mushroom you get in each serving.
Four Sigmatic’s instant mushroom coffee includes 10 single-serve packets, which can be stirred into a cup of hot water. The grounds dissolve instantly and can be drunk alone or paired with milk and sugar. The Lion’s Mane instant coffee that we tested had the best taste of all the javas we tried, with a fruity, nutty profile. Seasoned coffee drinkers can expect it to be slightly less full-bodied than a cup of French press coffee, but it’s nonetheless appealing for something that comes from a sachet.
Each packet contains 50 milligrams of caffeine, or about half the amount of a regular cup of coffee. All testers usually drink one to three cups of coffee per day, so no one felt much of a boost from the mushroom coffee. That said, no one felt too sleepy or any effects of caffeine withdrawal. It also didn’t make anyone feel jittery, nor did it make anyone feel particularly calm—instead, it mainly functioned as a way to maintain stasis.
During a tasting panel, multiple testers chose Four Sigmatic’s coffee as their favorite in the bunch, and online reviewers had the same opinion. As one reviewer put it: “It’s W A Y better than whatever that instant Starbucks stuff is. Buy it because it tastes good… but don’t buy it because it’s going to take you from failed startup to unicorn.”
Note: Other Four Sigmatic coffee products, including its ground and whole beans, carry the Fair Trade Certified “What does fair trade certification mean?” View Source . Its instant coffee, however, does not. If that label is important to you, it’s best to skip the instant brew.
Four Sigmatic used to have a Proposition 65 warning label on all its products in accordance with California law. The label stated, “Consuming this product could expose you to chemicals including lead which is known to the state of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.” However, Four Sigmatic products are no longer required to apply the Proposition 65 label due to the brand’s testing methods.
Best True Coffee Replacement
Laird Superfoods Organic Peruvian Mushroom Coffee: Medium Roast
- Contains chaga, lion’s mane, and cordyceps
- Similar amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee
- Ground coffee mixed with medicinal mushrooms
The Evidence Test Score: Unknown
Ness believes it is unclear if this service and/or product has a health benefit.
Read more about we use The Evidence Test.
- Tastes incredible
- Feels most like a “real” cup of coffee
- Unclear ingredient amounts
This ground mushroom coffee option tastes exactly like a “normal” cup of coffee, making it our favorite option, taste-wise. It’s chocolate-y, rich, and not too bitter. We brewed the grounds in a French press, although you can use a drip coffee machine as well. Laird Superfoods recommends a ratio of 1 T of coffee to 8 ounces of water, no matter your brew method. The brand doesn’t share the caffeine content of its coffee, but says that the mixture includes chaga, lion’s mane, and cordyceps mushrooms in addition to organic Peruvian coffee beans.
The only downside to this option is that, like some other brands, it doesn’t specify exactly how much of each mushroom you get. It also feels like it has a lot of caffeine, even if the exact amount isn’t specified—we felt a coffee-like buzz after one cup. We’d guess that this option has as much (or more) caffeine in it as a typical cup of coffee. So if you’re looking to lower caffeine intake and avoid jitters, Laird Superfoods won’t work well for you. If you just want to add some mushrooms to a regular brew, it’s a good option.
Because we can’t nail down the mushroom or caffeine content of this coffee blend, we have to give it an “unknown” health score. All the same, we think this review puts it well: “Very happy with the taste of this coffee. Easy on the stomach and smooth… Not sure if the mushrooms do anything but they can’t hurt I guess.”
Other Great Mushroom Coffee
- Contains lion’s mane, chaga, reishi, and cordyceps
- Much less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee
- Comes in a jar with about 30 servings
- Good taste (with added cream and sugar)
- Low caffeine
- Easy to make
- Bitter taste without additions
If you spend any time on social media, you’ve probably seen ads for MUD\WTR. It’s a coffee alternative that contains masala chai, cacao and a variety of mushrooms, including lion’s mane, chaga, reishi, and cordyceps (all .56g per serving). We tried the “morning ritual starter kit,” which comes with the mushroom coffee, plant-based creamer and sugar, and a rechargeable frother. The taste is heavy on the chai and cinnamon, and we got a hint of the cacao as well. Overall, it’s a fairly earthy mushroom coffee—and it’s quite bitter without cream and sugar. Even for black coffee drinkers, the bitter taste is overpowering. But when we mixed the included coconut sugar into MUD\WTR, we found that we enjoyed the taste much more. Still, we liked Four Sigmatic’s options better when it comes to taste.
One serving of MUD\WTR (1 tablespoon of powder stirred into 12 ounces of water) contains “1/7th” the caffeine content of a normal cup of coffee, according to the brand. (That’s about 30 grams total.) We didn’t feel any extra element of energy or focus, but the warm liquid serves as a nice replacement for the morning ritual of traditional coffee if you’re trying to avoid jitters.
La Republica Organic Mushroom Coffee
- Contains chaga, lion’s mane, cordyceps, shiitake, maitake, reishi, and turkey tail
- Almost as much caffeine as a regular cup of coffee
- Comes in jar with about 30 servings
- Higher quantities of mushrooms
- Caffeine content produces more of a buzz than other brands
- Watery flavor
Compared to our top pick, La Republica’s instant mushroom coffee’s taste is slightly inferior. One tester described its flavor profile as “100% camping coffee.” The coffee comes in a plastic screw-top container that contains about 30 one-teaspoon servings, which dissolve into a cup of hot water.
The coffee is a 50-50 mix of traditional ground coffee beans and its mushroom blend, which consists of chaga, lion’s mane, cordyceps, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center “Shiitake Mushroom” View Source (which may support immune health), Journal of Medicinal Food “Genes Related to Suppression of Malignant Phenotype Induced by Maitake D-Fraction in Breast Cancer Cells ” View Source (which may prevent the growth of breast cancer cells), reishi, and turkey tail. Each serving contains “approximately” 80 milligrams of each mushroom, according to La Republica, and 70 to 90 milligrams of caffeine (the exact amount depends on when the beans are harvested, according to the brand).
Despite La Republica’s higher caffeine content, it has a watered-down taste and doesn’t provide the same satisfying, fresh-brewed flavor and aroma of a standard cup of coffee. That said, it’s potent enough to provide more of a buzz than other brands. We also liked that the brand’s products are certified Fair Trade.
Sun Alchemy Mushroom Coffee
- Contains lion’s mane, cordyceps, chaga, and reishi
- About the equivalent amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee
- Contains 12 single-serve packets
The Evidence Test Score: Healthy-ish
Ness believes this service and/or product can provide a health benefit for certain individuals based on their individual circumstances.
Read more about we use The Evidence Test.
- Powdered coconut milk provides creamy taste
- Becomes sludge-like when cooled
- Doesn’t provide much energy, despite high caffeine content
Those who crave a rich, flavorful cup will want to try the Sun Alchemy instant mushroom coffee option, which has the largest grounds-to-water ratio of one .19 ounce packet of grounds to a cup of water. It contains a blend of lion’s mane, cordyceps, chaga, and reishi mushrooms that adds up to 1000 milligrams total of all mushrooms; however, the brand does not specify how much of each mushroom you get. It also has 110 milligrams of caffeine—about the equivalent of a regular cup of coffee. The blend also tastes rich, chocolate-y, and creamy due to the addition of powdered coconut milk. Basically, if you want coffee with cream (but without having to put in the cream yourself), this is the coffee for you.
That said, we didn’t notice the effects of caffeine—despite its higher quantity compared to other brands—and the coffee became sludge-like when it cooled down a bit. The box also contains a proposition 65 warning label. (See below for more information on that warning.)
Is Mushroom Coffee Actually Healthy?
Is Mushroom Coffee Good For You?
Based on our research and review, we’ve reached the conclusion that mushroom coffee can be considered healthy for most people, especially people who already drink coffee. This is based on the potential benefits, including possible increased immune health, present in most mushroom coffee varieties. We looked at a lot of studies on mushrooms and mushroom coffee for this article, and many show promising evidence of potential benefits. However, because most of the studies were done on mice, not humans, we can’t say for sure what you can expect to see if you start drinking it.
That said, anyone interested in mushroom coffee should consider a few things. As with all supplements, the mushroom coffee brand must be transparent about the ingredients it uses, and exactly how much it contains. If it says it contains, say, chaga—a mushroom with many benefits that we’ll get into in the next section—we can’t be sure what it does if it doesn’t contain enough chaga to do much, or doesn’t say how much it contains.
Does Mushroom Coffee Have Caffeine?
Swapping regular coffee for mushroom coffee is not an automatic way to eliminate caffeine from your diet. Almost all brands contain some caffeine (usually about half the amount of a standard cup) in addition to the mushroom additives, which means it’s not always the best option for people who want or need to avoid caffeine. It is, however, a good way for regular coffee drinkers to get some of the potential benefits of mushrooms to their morning cup, or to taper down caffeine consumption if they’re looking to reduce by going for a lower-caf option.
We weren’t able to find any evidence that it provides a more sustainable buzz than a regular cup of java, as many brands claim. One review cites BioMed Research International “Antifatigue Functions and Mechanisms of Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms ” View Source in medicinal mushrooms, but more study on mushroom coffee is needed for conclusive evidence. (Anecdotally, our testers also didn’t think the brew did much, energy-wise, that a cold brew can’t.)
Science is divided on where to put caffeine on the health spectrum, but some evidence shows that, when consumed in reasonable amounts (that is, no more than USDA ““Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025”” View Source , or about four cups of coffee) it can help lower the risk of American Heart Association Journals “Association Between Coffee Intake and Incident Heart Failure Risk” View Source and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention “Coffee Consumption and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer” View Source . Caffeine also has Food and Drug Administration “How Much Caffeine is Too Much?” View Source , especially when consumed in excess, including restlessness, insomnia, headaches, dehydration, gastrointestinal distress, and anxiety. In all cases, caffeine’s health benefits (or lack thereof) depend in large part upon one’s own tolerance. Some people respond well to caffeine, which means it can be healthy in moderation, and some people do not respond well, which means it should not be considered healthy.
Mushroom coffee is not a magical elixir. But it is a healthful beverage that may provide benefits to people who drink it consistently over a prolonged period. As a bonus? With the right brand, it’s usually quite tasty.
What is Mushroom Coffee?
Mushroom coffee is often marketed as an alternative to traditional coffee; a way to get energy without as much caffeine (or jitters). It’s also positioned as a vehicle for the purported mental and physical benefits of mushrooms.
Every mushroom coffee brand is made differently, but all the ones we tested use a mix of mushrooms with a history of medicinal use and some studies to back up their benefits. These coffees often include Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center “Chaga Mushroom” View Source (which has potential anti-inflammatory benefits), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center “Coriolus Versicolor” View Source which contains BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies “The mycelium of the Trametes versicolor (Turkey tail) mushroom and its fermented substrate each show potent and complementary immune activating properties in vitro ” View Source and Gut Microbes “Effects of polysaccharopeptide from Trametes versicolor and amoxicillin on the gut microbiome of healthy volunteers: a randomized clinical trial ” View Source ; prebiotics may be associated with improved gut function, Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine “Neuronal Health—Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help?” View Source (which may help regenerate damaged nerves), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center “Reishi Mushroom” View Source ( JBUON “Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi Mushroom) and cancer” View Source ), and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center “Cordyceps” View Source (which may improve kidney function).
Traditionally, Integrative Medicine “Medicinal Mushrooms: Ancient Remedies Meet Modern Science ” View Source , as well as in Japan, to heal ailments that were related to inflammation and even for cauterizing wounds. There is evidence of them being used in ancient Greek culture, as well as by the first peoples of North America and in ancient Aztec traditions. Nearly every ancient culture relied on plant medicine for healing.
Most mushroom coffee brands produce their brew with the mushroom’s fruiting bodies. This is the uppermost visible part that produces and releases spores, rather than the mycelium, the branching, root-like part of the fungus. These are dehydrated, then powdered and mixed into traditional ground coffee.
The fruiting body is thought to contain more nutrients than the mycelium, as most studies of medicinal mushrooms focus on the fruiting bodies. However, Nature “Medicinal potential of mycelium and fruiting bodies of an arboreal mushroom Fomitopsis officinalis in therapy of lifestyle diseases” View Source that evaluated both the fruiting body and mycelium of a type of medicinal mushroom found that the mycelium sometimes contained more nutrients than the fruiting body. The turkey tail study cited previously also studied the mushroom’s mycelium.
You can buy mushroom coffee in pod form, as grounds, whole beans, or in packets for an instant brew.
What Should You Expect When Drinking Mushroom Coffee?
Mushroom coffee made with medicinal mushrooms “may be a novel functional coffee,” according to a study that Preventative Nutrition and Food Science “Functional Cordyceps Coffee Containing Cordycepin and β-Glucan” View Source . The study found that the coffee maintained its flavor while providing the immune benefits of the mushrooms. However, not all mushroom coffee brands use green coffee beans, so this could be a factor in the final nutrient profile of the drinks.
Some undesired side effects may accompany medicinal mushroom consumption, from nausea to dry mouth to headaches. Make sure to consult your doctor before going all in on ‘shrooms and not to go overboard if you decide to start drinking it, especially if you’re taking a medication and you don’t want anything to interfere with it. There’s no recommended daily limit of medicinal mushrooms, but most mushroom-related products will contain suggested serving sizes on their labels, depending on how the mushrooms were processed (ie. extract, powder, or pure mushroom form). You cannot overdose on most medicinal mushrooms, but consuming them in large amounts very quickly can lead to vomiting.
If you’re pregnant, consult with your doctor before implementing mushroom coffee into your diet. You may consume up to American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology “How much coffee can I drink while I'm pregnant?” View Source , according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, but more study is needed to determine the effects of mushroom coffee on pregnant people.
How We Found the Best Mushroom Coffee
Meet Your Guinea Pig
I’m Jenni Gritters, a journalist with 10 years of experience covering science, health, and psychology. I’ve written product reviews for publications like Reviewed, Wirecutter, and Slate, and you can find my writing in the New York Times and the Guardian. I was previously an editor at Wirecutter where I covered parenting gear, outdoor gear, and travel apparel as a writer and editor. I drink a cup of coffee every morning but am generally sensitive to caffeine consumption.
Nutrition consultants Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN and author of Read It Before You Eat It—Taking You From Label to Table, and Krista Linares, RDN, also weighed into this guide by providing guidance on the purported nutritional benefits of mushroom coffee.
Our Testing Process
We spent 10 hours researching mushroom coffee by reading dozens of reviews, digging through 10+ journal articles and investigating any news surrounding the product category. Then we sat down with Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered dietitian, to learn about the actual health merits of consuming mushroom coffee. Once we’d done this, we built a list of 20 popular mushroom coffees and picked the top contenders for testing. Once the products arrived, we spent several hours brewing and sipping on coffee, then another hour conducting a blind taste-test.
After the taste test, we also looked into the nutritional content and sustainability practices of each brand, and researched potential health warnings. Our testing panel included three adults, one of which was the author. The author drinks a cup of coffee daily, while the other testers drink two to three.
If you’re interested in seeing exactly how we tested and found the best mushroom coffee, you can review our testing notes here.
Who Should Buy Mushroom Coffee?
Anyone interested in the benefits of medicinal mushrooms, as well as those who cannot consume fully-caffeinated coffee could benefit from trying mushroom coffee. That said, the cup may not deliver the smooth-caffeine high the brand promises.
“Your mug may be lower in caffeine than pure coffee, but if you are a child or you’re pregnant or sensitive to caffeine, mushroom coffee can have a negative impact on your health,” Taub-Dix says, “just as regular caffeinated coffee would. For some people, caffeine causes jitters or stomach upset—so you have to adjust the amount you drink accordingly. Just like coffee, mushroom coffee is not for everyone.”
Which Features Matter Most When Buying Mushroom Coffee?
When you’re buying mushroom coffee, you should consider:
- Caffeine percentage: Most of the top mushroom coffee brands are 50-50 mushrooms and coffee, but the caffeine content differs between brands. Our top pick, Four Sigmatic, contains 50 milligrams (or half the amount of a standard cup), but other brands like Sun Alchemy contain up to 110 milligrams of caffeine. You can choose options with no caffeine as well, based on your personal needs and preferences.
- Mushroom combo: Check the mushroom types to get a sense for benefits. Research is limited, but some, like cordyceps may have anti-fatigue, others, like turkey tail, may benefit gut function and digestion. Know what you plan to do that day and choose your blend accordingly. If you can, choose a brand that specifies the amount of each mushroom you’ll get per serving.
- Brew style: We tested instant coffee for this review. But you can also try French press grounds, traditional coffee maker grounds, and pods.
- Taste: Some mushroom coffees taste earthy or bitter, while others taste more like traditional coffee. You can often choose between light and dark roasts.
- Nutritional value: Some research suggests that there are healing properties to mushrooms. Depending on the mushroom type, you may see added nutritional benefits
- Sustainability: Did the company come by its beans and mushrooms in an ethical way? Are the beans and mushrooms being processed sustainably? This is where checking for a Fair Trade label could be helpful.
Health notes: Several of the mushroom coffee brands that we reviewed here contain Proposition 65 “Lead and Lead Compounds” View Source warnings for potential lead exposure that could lead to cancer. However, the proposition 65 threshold for lead is extremely low—even low risks must be reported, per California law. For most of the products reviewed in this guide, the risk of lead exposure is 1/100,000. Still, certain populations, like pregnant people, should be aware of these kinds of risks when consuming mushroom coffee. Likely the brands in question source their mushrooms from locations where there may be industrial pollution, leading to the possibility of lead in the groundwater where mushrooms are grown.
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