Yes, that's right. Coffee made with mushrooms.
I first discovered mushroom coffee via The Tim Ferriss Show podcast. It was one of those sponsor ads that you hear over and over again. Until you don't really hear it anymore.
But for some reason, my ears actually attuned to this particular one. "He's really banging on about this stuff," I thought. "Maybe I should try it."
So I did. Thus proving the power of advertising. Take note future Faster Ideas sponsors!
Mushroom coffee (Four Sigmatic is my brand of choice) is not just some whizzed up supermarket mushrooms in a mug. It's coffee containing the extracts of Lion's Mane and Chaga mushrooms, which have been used for centuries by Chinese and other natural health practitioners as a tonic for supporting health and longevity.
Studies in more recent years have found these mushrooms have beneficial effects on cognitive health, stimulating the production of 'nerve growth factor' which helps maintain neurons in our brain, aiding learning and memory. They're also packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and help regulate the immune system.
But does it taste like brewed up mushrooms? No, in a word.
To my tastebuds, it's like a coffee shop cuppa at the more mellow end of the spectrum. Not the strong, punch-you-in-the-brain kind that some of us like. That's no bad thing though, as it's kind of the point - the coffee/mushroom blend is designed to avoid the dreaded post-coffee crash.
The effect on the mind is literally stimulating. When I've drunk it yes, I get that natural fire in the brain from the caffeine - a shot in the arm to see something through.
But mushroom coffee does something more. It's not some drug rush (and forget any connection to psychedelics here) yet my mind seems somehow able to get to ideas and solutions just that little bit quicker. Like, they were always there, but it just seems easier to reach out and grab them once I've had a mushroom coffee.
Mushrooms - of all kinds - are a generally underused natural resource. They contain so many ingredients that are beneficial to humans. Maybe that's because mushrooms - or more accurately, fungi - have a genetic makeup that is actually closer to people than plants (as proved by this advert from the 1980s).
Mushrooms are just the spore-bearing, the fruiting body of a fungus. And fungi are not plants. They are as separate from plants as insects are.
As it turns out, animals and fungi share a common evolutionary ancestor, which branched away from plants at some point about a billion years ago. Fungi and animals then went their own way sometime after that.
This mutual ancestry could be the reason why toadstools continue to be the preferred housing option for fairies.
If you want to know more about mushrooms and their healing uses, check out Healing Mushrooms A Practical and Culinary Guide to Using Mushrooms for Whole Body Health by Tero Isokaupplia, founder of Four Sigmatic.
Disclosure: Faster Ideas is an independent site that uses affiliate links in our content. We are part of the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which allows websites to earn advertising revenue by linking to Amazon listings.
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