Donaldina is a coffee lover and freelance writer from Tanzania. Coffee runs deep in her family - tracing its roots to her grandmother’s running of their first coffee farm in the mid-70s. She enjoys spending her time writing and co-running her grandmother's small robusta coffee farm with her sister in northwest Tanzania during the summer seasons.
What Is Cordyceps Coffee?
Cordyceps coffee is a new concept in the US that combines regular coffee with Cordyceps. The type of coffee can be anything, from regular coffee to green coffee or instant coffee. You will typically find three common kinds of Cordyceps coffee (although there are other lesser-known varieties) on the market.
These include regular coffee with Cordyceps or Cordyceps extract added to it. The second option is a premixed combination of Cordyceps and coffee. The third option is Cordyceps powder or extracts that you add water to turn into drinkable Cordyceps coffee instantly.
Now, while many brands market this type as Cordyceps coffee, in reality, it is Cordyceps tea. Cordyceps coffee offers a more improved quality and functionality of coffee. It is also reported to come with myriad health and healing benefits.
Learn more about Mushroom Coffee here.
The Science Behind Cordyceps Coffee
This new concept of Cordyceps coffee is sought after for its medicinal and health benefits. Cordyceps is a fungus that lives on caterpillars, typically in mountainous regions of China. But, you may also come across many lab-made Cordyceps supplements.
Cordyceps have been used in traditional medicine in Asia for centuries. In fact, according to studies, these fungi boast a wide range of medicinal, healing, and health benefits. One core health benefit of Cordyceps is energizing the body, explaining why it pairs well with regular coffee. Cordycepin, the essential component of Cordyceps, is believed to have a similar structure to adenosine.
Found in ATP, adenosine is made in the body and used for energy. Consuming Cordyceps has been linked to bringing similar benefits to the body as adenosine to give it much-needed cellular energy. But, this is just one of the many benefits of consuming Cordyceps.
Combining Cordyceps with coffee creates the perfect formula for refreshing, strengthening, and nourishing the body. Cordyceps coffee comes in several varieties (with the three most popular ones). So, manufacturers will use different approaches, whether in concentrations, ratios, or even mixtures with other compounds.
For example, some manufacturers tune their Cordyceps coffee weight ratio to (1-10) :( 10:200) to extract as many Cordyceps properties without over-saturating the drink. With a growing number of these products from different brands, it's a good idea to examine each option. Read through the coffee packaging to find something that works for you.
Benefits of Cordyceps
As mentioned before, Cordyceps comes with various benefits for the body. Consuming it as coffee also offers the body numerous health benefits. Outlined below are some of the keys reported benefits;
Energizing The Body
This is Cordyceps coffee's most prized benefit. In addition to its adenosine-resembling compounds, Cordyceps also boost the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Now, this compound is essential to delivering energy to the muscles.
This, in turn, appropriately manages the body’s utilization of oxygen, especially during exercise. So, integrating healthily into your diet, Cordyceps coffee can help people who exercise. Its functions help boost exercise performance. Incorporating a cup of Cordyceps with coffee into your daily diet can help energize you all day.
Strengthening The Immune System
Cordyceps are naturally rich in antioxidants. This rich antioxidant content helps to decrease the risks of infections. The rich antioxidants also boost an array of other benefits, including overall heat and kidney health support, and the healthy regulation of blood sugar levels.
Powerful Anti-Aging Properties
According to research, Cordyceps boast antioxidants that boost its anti-aging properties. With these rich properties, Cordyceps coffee reduces fatigue, increases overall body strength, and even boosts sex drive. Cordyceps coffee can also improve memory retention.
However, its most prized reported benefits are how it fights overall aging. The antioxidants found in Cordyceps coffee fight cellular damage by preventing and reversing cellular damage done by free radicals. This, in turn, reduces the risks of diseases and overall aging.
Potential Cancer-Fighting Properties
Some studies have suggested Cordyceps have the potential to fight tumors. The fungi are believed to inhibit several human cancer cells, including the liver, skin, lung, and colon. Other sources suggest that Cordyceps can reverse side effects associated with cancer therapy, like leucopenia (a condition that decreases white blood cells, lowers the body's defenses and increases the risks of infections).
Fighting Type 2 Diabetes
Cordyceps contains a special sugar compound that may help fight diabetes (type 2). This compound mimics the functions of insulin to prevent glucose from saturating the bloodstream. In addition to this, Cordyceps also help with blood sugar level regulation, preventing the risks of type 2 diabetes. Further, evidence suggests that Cordyceps protect the body against kidney disease, which may stem from diabetic complications.
Supporting Heart Health
Cordyceps are also believed to improve and support heart health. The fungi are approved for arrhythmia treatment in countries such as China, thanks to their heart-protecting properties. Further, Cordyceps also helps to regulate cholesterol levels, decreasing bad LDL cholesterol and protecting against fat-related heart disease.
Cordyceps helps fight inflammation in the body. After all, excess inflammation can cause diseases as serious as heart disease or cancer. The fungi’s anti-inflammatory agents reduce increased inflammation to protect the body. In fact, these fungi supplements or drugs are usually marketed as anti-inflammatory supplements or medication.
How To Make Cordyceps Coffee At Home
Did you know that you can make Cordyceps coffee at home with just a few ingredients? Learn more on how to make your personalized mushroom coffee here. Below are different ways to achieve a homemade Cordyceps coffee.
Add Cordyceps Powder to Coffee
The easiest way to make Cordyceps coffee at home is by simply adding Cordyceps to the coffee. You can find 100% Cordyceps powder or a mushroom blend (with other super mushroom extracts like Reishi and Chaga). All you do is regular brew coffee to your liking, whether using a French press, espresso machine, or any other method. You can add your cream, sugar, and other additives without affecting the Cordyceps functions.
While your coffee is still hot, stir in Cordyceps powder, and let it rest for about 3 to 5 minutes before drinking. As you allow the Cordyceps powder to steep in your coffee, it unleashes its health benefits. The hot water breaks down its outer layer, chitin, to release these properties.
My personal favorite Cordyceps powder is Om Mushroom Superfood Master Blend Mushroom Master Complex. The powder packs powerful immune-supporting powers with a blend of Cordyceps, Chaga mix, Reishi mushroom, turkey tail, lion's mane, and other compounds.
Add Cordyceps Extract to Coffee
Instead of the Cordyceps powder, you can also add a full dropper of Cordyceps extract to your coffee. Becareful not to use tinctures as they mostly contain alcohol instead of the beneficial polysaccharide. Read more to find out how to choose the right product on our blog here.
Buy Commercially Available Cordyceps and Coffee Mix
If you don’t want to determine the amount to mix and steeping time, you can go for commercially available pre-made Cordyceps with coffee. You can find more affordable options than purchasing coffee and Cordyceps powders or extracts separately.
Moreover, of the three methods, this one guarantees authentic coffee flavors. While some brands use a slightly different method, most of them use this method of producing Cordyceps and coffee mix. Green coffee beans are typically missed with three popular medicinal extracts, such as Cordyceps, Chagga, and phellinus, together or individually.
The extracts (in the form of powder) are left to fuse with the coffee for several days, allowing their flavors to merge and leave a dominant regular coffee taste. Here are my top 5 recommendations for Cordyceps Coffee brands to try out this year;
Where To Buy It
Canadian Ground Mushroom Coffee w/ Organic Lion's Mane, Reishi, Cordyceps - Adaptogens For All Day Energy. Focus & Stress Relief - Made in Canada w/ USA Grown Mushrooms - Medium Roast 340g (Mind & Body). Premium Arabica Grounded Beans and 1,500mg of Organic Lion's Mane, Reishi and Cordyceps mushroom extracts per serving. This is grounded into a universal blend that's ready for your auto-drip machine, pour-over, French press or espresso machines.
To enjoy non-caffeine cordyceps coffee, you can always opt for the Four Sigmatic Cordyceps Mushroom Elixir Coffee. This coffee alternative packs a good selection of superfoods for the ultimate immune-boosting performance. The Cordyceps coffee mix contains 1500mg of organic Cordyceps militaris, organic mint, 300mg of organic rose hips, and 200mg of organic Schisandra superfood powder.
This superfood mix is keto diet friendly and supports energy and athletic performance. Each box comes with a pack of 20 instant sachet mix and is caffeine, gluten, and dairy free. So, even vegans can enjoy this coffee alternative.
Tip: To add flavor, add a sachet to 8 ounces of piping hot water and mix. For an energy-packed day, top with a splash of coconut milk or almond cream.
The Om Mushroom Superfood Coffee Latte Blend brings this specialty coffee to the comfort of your home – without breaking the bank. While it gives you the authentic latte taste, you don’t need to invest in an expensive espresso machine to enjoy this coffee drink.
You must pour one of the 10 sachets into piping hot water, stir with a spoon, and enjoy the coffee. However, flavor alone is not what makes this coffee blend stand out. The Cordyceps and coffee mix pack a powerful and energizing combination of superfoods.
The 100% organic instant Arabica coffee is mixed with less than 2 grams of sugar per sachet and blended with organic Cordyceps, lion’s mane, Reishi, and Chaga mushrooms. As a result, you enjoy a heap of health benefits from this mix, including immune support, improved focus and concentration, and a natural energy harness. Most importantly, the coffee mix doesn't compromise on its sweet, milky, and decadent taste.
Dark Roast Mushroom Coffee - Earth & Star Organic Ground Coffee blends Lions Mane, Chaga, Cordyceps, Reishi and L-theanine. This blend will elevated your daily brew with a whopping 1200mg of adaptogenic mushroom extracts in every cup. Then we invited L-theanine to join the party with its calming properties, because fun fact: when paired with coffee it delivers additional cognitive support without the crash or jitters.
How To Choose Cordyceps Coffee
When buying Cordyceps coffee, you want to consider certain essential factors. This ensures you invest in good quality coffee and a product that works for your needs;
Types of Cordyceps
While there are myriad types of Cordyceps, the common ones are militaris and Sinensis. You may come across militaris Cordyceps coffee and Sinensis Cordyceps coffee. But, these are typically lab-grown. Most brands that market their products as wild Cordyceps usually contain a small fraction of the wild fungi. This is because wild Cordyceps can be extremely expensive. On the other hand, Cordyceps militaris is the easiest to grow.
The Body of The Cordyceps
Different manufacturers will use other parts of the Cordyceps fungi. However, most use the fruiting body, also known as the visible part of the mushroom, and the mycelium, also known as the root part. Now, the combination of both two factors harnesses the optimal properties. However, manufacturers that use either one may harness fewer properties.
Generally, you will get more nutrients from the fruiting body compared to the mycelium. In this case, even with combinations of fruiting body and mycelium, always opt for products with more fruiting body components than mycelium.
A full spectrum cordyceps product uses both parts. The Four Sigmatic brand is popular because it typically uses 100% of the fruiting body in its Cordyceps products.
Think of How You Want To Enjoy It
Cordyceps coffee comes in several forms. You can invest in Cordyceps powder or tincture to add to regular or instant coffee. Alternatively, you can go for readymade, commercially available Cordyceps coffee. But, even this kind comes in various forms, so you have to pick which one you want. Some of the more common conditions include;
- Regular ground coffee mixed with Cordyceps extract
- Instant coffee mixed with Cordyceps extract
- Coffee mixed with Cordyceps extract in coffee or K-pods
- Instant, ground, or coffee pods combined with Cordyceps and other superfoods, such as mushroom extracts
- Cordyceps extracts combined with coffee alternatives
- Cold brew canned coffee mixed with Cordyceps extract
Unlike actual drugs, pharmaceutical authorities, such as the FDA, do not regulate supplements as much. So, it would be best if you exercise extra caution when choosing such products – Cordyceps is one of them. So, when picking the right kind, whether Cordyceps coffee, extracts, or tinctures, look out for specific vital details.
These include information on the ingredients – is it organic or lab-made Cordyceps? Others have real-life customer reviews and a recently published COA (certificate of analysis) on the product. COA gives the exact details of the product quality and compliance to set specifications. You can also refer to the COA as the entire label for ingredients (in detail) that form the product.
The company/brand’s overall transparency can tell you a lot about the quality of its products. These include the harvest and production process, including fair trade practices. The company’s reputation is also a great way to determine the coffee’s quality. For example, brands such as Four Sigma are popular producers of excellent quality coffee with Cordyceps.