Fungus in Coffee? The Latest Coffee Trend to Hit the UK

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Farewell to the tumeric coffee, mushroom coffee is now the latest trend popping up in coffee shops and supermarkets across the UK. There has been a 471pc year-on-year rise in searches for mushroom coffee according to data collected by Hitwise, and most of these searches were by those aged 25-34. This drink has grown in popularity with the British public because its an anti-inflammatory and can supposedly regulate blood sugar levels and boost metabolism. 

Fungi like the chaga mushroom, a parasitic fungus from birch trees; reishi, used medicinally in traditional Chinese medicine; and cordyceps, which grow on insects are the types of mushrooms that are used to make mushroom coffee. 

Mushroom coffee is usually created out of a blend of regular ground coffee and powdered fungus, giving the drink a deep, earthy taste. However, this concoction is often mixed with milk, or a milk variant and a sweetener to make the drink more appealing to the mass market. 

“We have seen a dramatic shift in people’s attitudes to their health and wellbeing,” said Catriona Spence-Ishaq of Roots Deli and Salad Bar in Edinburgh where mushroom coffee will soon be hitting their shelves. 

Mushroom coffee is not anything new seeing as it has been drunk in Northern Europe since the 1940s. But now, the British public are thirsty for this unique coffee blend. 

Sasha Sabapathy, founder of Glow Bar, highlights the nutritional benefits. “It’s fascinating to see how we are finally opening our eyes to the magic within the humble mushroom. The super mushrooms are the medicinal kind that have been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

“These kinds of mushrooms can be taken in many different ways, but they are amazingly delicious in a coffee and they’re able to help counter effects like the awful caffeine crash or an upset stomach.”

However, not everyone is completely sold on the idea of mushroom coffee, as Andrew Knight, founder of coffee roasters Andronicas, predicts the fashion will soon fade. 

"Mushroom coffee is nothing more than a fad, and one I predict will go out of fashion very quickly, this beverage should not be consumed by coffee lovers!" 

The health benefits of these types of fungi are quite impressive. Chaga is thought to be rich in several vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including Vitamin D, potassium and B-complex vitamins. According to studies at the University of Malaya in Malaysia, anti-inflammatory compounds in mushrooms could even help combat dementia. 

So whether people want to try it for the flavour or health benefits, people are rushing to get a taste of the latest trend in coffee. So keep an eye out, your go-to coffee shop might be stocking this new mushroom blend soon.