We all know what coffee is, but what is cordyceps coffee? Believe it or not, it’s a special blend of coffee and dried cordyceps mushroom. Yes, you read that right. Cordyceps is a fungus — a mushroom — that just so happens to contain a number of health-enhancing properties. And mixing cordyceps with coffee, it turns out, is rather genius.
Now I’ll readily admit, when I first heard the term “mushroom coffee,” I wrinkled my nose. I mean, I like mushrooms, and I love coffee. But the two together? It sounded pretty weird. And I couldn’t imagine mushroom coffee tasting all that great, either.
Then I tried some.
I finished my first packet of cordyceps coffee and immediately ordered more.
It wasn’t just the taste of cordyceps coffee that I’d grown accustom to, however.
What I really liked was how drinking cordyceps coffee made me feel.
What is Cordyceps?
Cordyceps is a broad genus of fungi that includes over 400 different species. In the wild, cordyceps mushrooms are parasitic. This means they infest and then grow from a live host. While the host is sometimes another fungi or an insect, it is most often a caterpillar. This has earned some cordyceps mushrooms the nickname “caterpillar fungus.”
Cordyceps grows naturally in the Himalayan mountains. It thrives at elevations ranging from 3,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level depending upon the species. Although some strains, like Cordyceps Militaris, are rather widespread, others, like Cordyceps Sinensis (technically reclassified as Ophiocordyceps sinensis), are much rarer and harder to find in the wild.
Today cordyceps mushrooms are intentionally cultivated around the world. In the West, cordyceps is most often grown on grain or rice. In the East, cultivation typically occurs in a liquid culture. Although attempts have been made to recreate “parasitic development” of cordyceps in a controlled environment, these efforts have been unsuccessful. Which is undoubtedly a great relief to caterpillars.
Health-Boosting Properties of Cordyceps
Ancient Chinese Medicine
Cordyceps has been prized for its medicinal properties for centuries in China and Tibet. It has been used to boost energy (both physical and mental), improve lung capacity, and promote healthy aging.
Cordyceps is one of my favorite treatments for a natural energy boost and I highly recommend it to my patients who struggle with low mood and compromised overall vitality. I recommend that you experiment with cordyceps for a couple of months.
Forms of Cordyceps
Cordyceps can be purchased in whole, dried form in most health food stores. These dehydrated mushrooms can be added to soups and stews and eaten like any other culinary mushroom. This is the most common use of cordyceps in China, in fact.
Cordyceps is also available in more “medicinal” forms that include capsules, tinctures, and liquid extracts. Product labels for these formulations will include recommended daily dosage instructions. Typical dosage is one capsule or a few drops ingested twice per day.
Cordyceps is also available in a powdered form. The powder can be added to smoothies. It can be used by itself to make tea.
Or it can be used to make Cordyceps Coffee!
What is Cordyceps Coffee?
Cordyceps coffee is pre-mixed beverage made up of a combination of cordyceps mushroom powder and instant coffee powder. It is usually sold much like hot cocoa mix, in boxes that contain a number of individual serving-sized packets. My personal favorite, however, is sold in a larger, resealable packet that contains 100 grams of powder, enough to make up to 45 servings (you can read more about it below).
Regardless of the packaging, making a cup of cordyceps coffee is the same as making hot cocoa or any other instant coffee: place the cordyceps coffee powder in a mug, add hot water, stir, and enjoy.
Just as with regular coffee, cordyceps coffee can be personalized with cream, sweetener, or flavoring to make it your own.
Those of us who drink coffee know what the typical “boost of caffeine” feels like. That’s the reason many of us drink coffee, for that energetic “kick in the pants” that gets, or keeps, us going strong. Since cordyceps coffee contains caffeine, that familiar boost of energy is present in each cup.
The addition of cordyceps mushroom powder, however, takes the energizing properties of this beverage to a whole new level. More specifically, it takes it all the way down to the cellular level.
From Caffeine Kick to ATP Kick
Cordyceps mushrooms give a boost to the production of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, in our cells.
And what is ATP ? It’s an organic chemical within our living cells that is responsible for storing and transferring metabolic energy.
ATP plays a part in many bodily processes, including muscle contractions and nerve impulses. And enhanced ATP function is credited with improving both athletic performance and cognitive functioning.
Which starts to make clear the potential benefits of drinking cordyceps coffee, and why I wrote that I liked the way drinking cordyceps coffee was making me feel.
What to Expect Drinking Cordyceps Coffee
Energy Over Time
As stated, cordyceps coffee contains caffeine, so it provides that familiar boost. The cordyceps themselves, however, provide a more gradual increase in overall energy level when ingested over time. Which means, at first, cordyceps coffee may not seem very different from any other regular cup of coffee.
With consistent use, however, you may find yourself enjoying many of the same benefits I’ve experienced with cordyceps coffee.
Personally, I had no idea what to expect when I first tried cordyceps coffee. I purchased it to take with me to work to enjoy as an afternoon “pick me up” treat. I wanted something to push me through that typical afternoon-at-a-desk slump.
Within a few weeks, however, I noticed that I felt generally more alert. My focus seemed a little better. And I was definitely over the afternoon-at-the-desk slumps.
I won’t try to fool you with a claim that cordyceps coffee tastes the same as a fine cup of brewed coffee.
The coffee base is, after all, instant coffee. The cordyceps mushroom powder, in my opinion, does not add any particular flavor to the beverage. However, one might describe the overall taste as having an earthy depth. Cordyceps coffee has a unique flavor that differs from brewed coffee, but it still offers a rich, enjoyable drinking experience.
Bottom line: if you truly hate instant coffee and can’t bring yourself to drink it, then cordyceps coffee probably isn’t for you.
If you’re open to experimenting, though, you might find you acquire a taste for cordyceps coffee just like I did. As noted, you can add cream, sweetener, and/or flavoring of your choice to turn your cup of cordyceps coffee into a personalized taste treat.
Considering the benefits cordyceps provide, becoming a regular cordyceps coffee drinker is certainly worth a try.
Cordyceps mushrooms and cordyceps coffee are safe and beneficial for most people, but there are a few instances where care should be taken:
- Cordyceps can lower blood sugar levels, so be sure to check with your doctor if you are a diabetic or have any blood-sugar issues to ensure cordyceps use is safe for you.
- Cordyceps has blood-thinning effects and should not be used by those with bleeding disorders or blood cancers.
- Cordyceps may increase testosterone use so should be avoided by anyone for whom this is a concern.
- Cordyceps should not be given to children, and pregnant and nursing women should check with their doctor before using it.
When in doubt, it is always best to check with your doctor first before using any product that has health-altering properties, and cordyceps is no exception.
My Favorite Cordyceps Coffee (Plus Discount Code)
NOTE: The following section of this post contains affiliate links, meaning that, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission.
There are quite a few different brands of cordyceps mushroom coffee available, but, as mentioned, I have a personal favorite:
CafeCeps by Madre Labs
Why I Prefer CafeCeps:
- All CafeCeps ingredients, both the coffee and the mushrooms, are Certified Organic
- CafeCeps contains Reishi mushroom powder in addition to cordyceps powder. Reishi mushrooms offer many health benefits including improved immune function and significant anti-inflammatory effects.
- CafeCeps has a great price point, averaging about .25 cents per serving. Many cordyceps coffees sell for three to five times more.
- CafeCeps comes in a 100 gram resealable packet instead of pre-measured single-serving pouches. This means you can use a little more or a little less powder to suit your personal tastes.
- Each packet of CafeCeps includes a small serving scoop that fits inside the pouch for measuring convenience.
Where to Get CordyCeps Coffee
If you’d like to give cordyceps coffee a try for yourself, I recommend ordering through iHerb.com. I have ordered from iHerb for years because of their extensive line of health-boosting products, exceptionally low prices, reasonable free-shipping threshold, and phenomenal customer service.
Because I’m a regular iHerb customer, I can offer you the following discount that’s good on cordyceps coffee or anything else iHerb offers:
New iHerb Customers: Receive 10% Off Your First Order
Returning iHerb Customer: Receive 5% Off All Recurring Orders
How to Receive Your Discount
- Click here to go to iHerb.com and start shopping – Your discount will automatically be applied at checkout through this link.
- Manually add this code during your iHerb checkout process: BOZ299
You’ll find that CafeCeps is not the only cordyceps coffee available on iHerb, so you can try other brands to see what best suits your tastes.
And, not for nothing, but Madre Labs also offers an amazing cocoa powder — CocoCardio — that’s delicious blended into your CafeCeps. It also makes an amazing cocoa-almond-milk and banana smoothie. If you like a rich chocolate — complete with added health benefits — I highly recommend CocoCardio as well.
If you feel you can benefit from the boost of cordyceps coffee, I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
Happy — and healthy — sipping!