Written by Jon Clarke
By their very nature, trends are things that come and go. Every so often, a trend will stick and hang around longer than others. Does this make it more than a trend? And is a trend different to a fad? How so? These are all questions we’re not about to answer. What we’re about to answer is whether or not you should be trying the latest coffee trend sweeping the nation. But be warned, this is a little more adventurous than a sprinkling or cinnamon or a dash of nutmeg…
The comical variety of coffee in 2018
A trip to your local Starbucks or Caffè Nero (our personal favourites) will present you with a mind-boggling menu. It’s not as simple as ordering a coffee anymore. In fact, you’re likely to get some bizarre glances if you dare ask for ‘just a large coffee’.
If you do, you’ll be bombarded with a tirade of questions - ones you’re not up to answering at 7am pre-caffeine - oh the irony. Is it a macchiato? Or an espresso? Maybe a double espresso? Or perhaps you want a caffe latte? Mint latte? Caramel iced frappuccino, espressino, Arabian, breve or a con panna?
A confusingly complex coffee menu: the bane of indecisive caffeine lovers.
Once you’ve decided on the format of your caffeine consumption, you’re still not out of the woods. Then you need to learn the difference between a short, tall, grande, venti and tentra.
Only THEN will you be able to give them a funny fake name to write on your cup.
So what’s the latest controversial addition to the menu?
Mushroom coffee. Yep. Everybody’s favourite fungi - usually found on a pizza or inside garlicky bread crumbs - people are now mixing mushrooms with coffee. Why? Well apparently there are all kinds of health benefits. According to research published in the Journal of The American College of Nutrition, mushrooms can boost your immune system - making you more healthy and invulnerable to viruses.
“One shiitake mushroom every day could see changes in your immune system that are beneficial," says professor Sue Percival, an Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member. It’s also been found that mushrooms can help fight obesity, as people reported that they felt less hungry later in the day, if they consumed a mushroom-based meal for lunch.
Not exactly a classic combination: is mushroom coffee one to stay on your coffee radar?
So an appetite suppressant and an immune booster, it’s no secret that mushrooms are good for you. But why the hell have people started putting it in their coffees? Because 2018.
Consuming mushrooms separately from your daily caffeine intake is such a 2006 thing to do. You need to move with the times. Bro.
Jokes aside, if you’re after trying some, whether through genuine intrigue or to give as a gift to your ‘mushroom-coffee’ loving friend (because everyone has one), Four Sigmatic have got a great reputation. In their own words, they describe the unusual fusion as “combining coffee with the more balanced cellular energy support of cordyceps mushroom can result in balanced stimulation while using only half of the amount of caffeine normally found in coffee”.
Seems obvious now they’ve said it.
Is it another bohemian-hipster gimmick?
Like any new ‘revolution’ or idea, there will always be questions raised as to whether the health benefits are indeed measurable. The term ‘superfood’ is thrown about so much these days it’s easy to become jaded by its true meaning. While mushrooms are a superfood, consuming them in tandem with coffee is unlikely to yield an life changing health benefits.
But who are we to judge? Joanna Townsend drank mushroom coffee for a month and reports that it’s “one wellness trend that lives up to the hype”.
The jury is still out in the Goodwin Smith office, but we’re interested to know what you think. Maybe you’ve been drinking it for sometime and have developed fungi-fuelled superpowers as a result? Get in touch and let us know!