Mushroom Tea vs Coffee: Which is the Healthier Choice?

Mushroom Tea vs Coffee: Which is the Healthier Choice? - Lucid™

In today's fast-paced world, many of us rely on a daily cup of mushroom coffee to kick start our mornings. But have you ever wondered if there's a healthier alternative out there? Well, look no further. Today, we'll explore the age-old debate of "Mushroom Tea vs Coffee'' and help you make an informed decision about what's best for your health.

Key Takeaways

Mushroom Tea offers holistic health benefits, gentle energy, and stress relief.

Mushroom Coffee provides quick energy, sensory satisfaction, and a wide range of flavor options.

Ultimately, choosing between mushroom tea vs mushroom coffee comes down to your personal preferences and priorities.

The Magic Brews: Mushroom Tea and Mushroom Coffee

Let's start by getting acquainted with our contenders.

Mushroom Tea

Mushroom tea is a unique infusion made from medicinal mushrooms like Chaga, Lion's Mane, and Reishi. These fungi have been cherished for centuries in traditional medicine for their potential health benefits.

Mushroom tea was, at one time, the most common way to take functional mushrooms–before supplements, tinctures, and capsules took over the modern wellness market. Today, mushroom tea still offers a convenient, potent, and highly-medicinal method for consuming functional mushrooms, especially when brewed correctly.

Mushroom Coffee

Mushroom coffee combines the goodness of coffee with the benefits of medicinal mushrooms, creating a unique brew that's gaining popularity. 

Before we dive in, we want to clarify: There are two different “types” of mushroom coffee–those that contain coffee and mushrooms, and those that contain only mushrooms. The latter is still sometimes marketed as a “coffee” because of its bold, rich flavor, though it doesn’t necessarily apply the same benefits (because it lacks the coffee component.

For the scope of this article, we are talking about mushrooms+coffee, a unique combination of medicinal mushrooms and instant coffee that results in a rich, energizing, therapeutic beverage.

Mushroom Tea vs Coffee–A Look at the Similarities

We know you’re here for a deep dive into the differences in mushroom tea vs coffee, but we feel it’s also important to look at the way these two therapeutic beverages overlap. They have many, many similarities, and both are truly a good choice for reaping the general therapeutic properties of functional mushrooms in beverage form.

Here are the primary qualities that both mushroom tea and coffee share:

They both offer functional mushroom benefits (when high-quality and brewed correctly).

Mushroom extract is chock full of beta-glucans and other bioactive compounds. This is true whether you purchase a mushroom coffee extract or extract them yourself when making tea–as long as you do it correctly.

Thanks to these beta-glucans and other mushroom polysaccharides, both mushroom coffee and tea are superfood beverages with some outstanding potential benefits, including:

Read “Functional Mushroom Benefits: What to Expect from Lion's Mane, Cordyceps, and More” to learn more.

They can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Coffee and tea are exceptional choices for serving both hot and cold. If you’re looking for a cold mushroom coffee beverage, try instant mushroom coffee. It can be added to cold water or milk to create an instant cool beverage. 

Mushroom tea can also be served cold, but it needs to be steeped hot and then chilled. The process is longer, but creates an equally delicious and potent brew.

They offer incremental dosing opportunities.

Mushroom tea and coffee can be consumed by the cup, offering you the opportunity to drink several throughout the day. Unlike capsules, you can easily increase or decrease the amount of mushroom extract you add to your cup, making it easy to adjust your dosage.

They can both be made from a diverse selection of mushrooms.

Both mushroom tea and mushroom coffee can be made from any combination of medicinal mushrooms, so you can tailor the mixture to meet your needs. Different mushrooms have different therapeutic properties, and combining mushrooms can help you create a full coverage wellness routine. We’ll discuss the different types of mushrooms that are popularly used for these beverages down below.

Mushroom Tea vs Coffee Differences

Now for the moment you’ve been waiting for–what are the distinct differences between mushroom coffee and mushroom tea? And which one is the best choice? Here’s how they stack up:

Mushroom Tea Has a Milder Flavor

When looking strictly at flavor, mushroom tea and mushroom coffee have a very obvious difference–one of them contains coffee, which is bold in flavor and usually paired with cream or sweeteners.

Mushroom tea, however, is a steeped infusion that can be made with various medicinal mushrooms, so it usually has a slightly milder flavor and thinner consistency. The actual flavor will vary based on the mushrooms you use. Tea can still take on cream, sweetener, or even other herbs or fruits for additional flavor.

Mushroom Coffee May Be More Potent Than Tea

Mushroom coffee is usually a combination of mushroom extract and instant coffee. Assuming you’ve purchased a high-quality mushroom coffee, the mushroom extract is a concentrated version of mushroom polysaccharides, making it optimal for therapeutic use. A high-quality mushroom extract will have a beta-glucan content of 20% or higher.

Mushroom tea, on the other hand, is brewed from fresh or dried mushrooms. You need to use water at a certain temperature and steep for a certain amount of time in order to break the beta-glucans free from the chitin, the layers of tissue that make up the mushroom body. Chitin is indigestible, and, if they aren’t properly extracted, beta-glucans cannot be used by the body when consuming mushroom tea.

Mushroom Tea is Trickier to Brew

Because of what we said above, mushroom tea is a bit trickier to brew. Whether using dried or fresh mushrooms, you want to steep them in water that is at between 130 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit because research indicates that the water soluble medicinal components can degrade at higher temperatures.

Then, steep the mushrooms for 3-5 minutes and strain them out to get a potent cup of tea. You can consume this tea hot or allow it to cool and serve over ice.

Mushroom coffee, usually, just requires you to mix the extract coffee powder with water, hot or cold, and consume.

Mushroom Coffee Contains Caffeine

This one seems obvious, but it’s worth mentioning–coffee contains caffeine, which offers a significant energy boost for many. It’s also a natural nootropic, so it may help to enhance focus, too. However, caffeine can have downsides as well, like jitteriness and dependency.

It’s worth noting that mushroom tea could be brewed with a black or green tea bag, which would add a small caffeine kick, too.

Mushroom Tea is Often More Cost Efficient

Mushroom coffee, because it’s been extracted and processed, usually costs a bit more than the dry or fresh mushrooms needed for mushroom tea, especially if you can find the mushrooms you need locally to avoid shipping.

Comparing Benefits of Mushroom Coffee vs Tea

Mushroom Tea: The Hidden Gem

1. Health Boosters Galore

 Mushroom tea is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can enhance your immune system and overall well-being. Mushroom coffee, while providing a quick energy boost, may not offer the same level of holistic health benefit–unless it’s made from a high-quality mushroom extract.

2. Stress Relief

The adaptogenic properties of certain mushrooms found in mushroom tea can help combat stress and anxiety. Mushroom coffee, especially when caffeine is consumed in excess, can sometimes lead to increased stress levels and jitters.

3. No Caffeine Crash

Mushroom tea provides a gentle, sustained energy without the notorious caffeine crash that often follows mushroom coffee consumption. Mushroom coffee can give you a burst of energy, but too much caffeine may be followed by a dip in energy levels that can leave you feeling drained.

4. Gut-Friendly

Mushroom tea can be gentler on your stomach, making it a better choice for those with sensitive digestive systems. Coffee can sometimes lead to acidity and digestive discomfort, especially on an empty stomach.

5. A Mood Enhancer

Some mushrooms in the tea, like Lion's Mane, have been linked to improved cognitive function and mood regulation. When the tea is brewed with a green tea, it may also include L-theanine, a calming amino acid associated with relaxation and boosted mood.

Mushroom Coffee: The Time-Tested Favorite

Mushroom coffee, our tried-and-true companion, also has its merits.

1. Quick Energy Fix

Mushroom coffee is your go-to for a rapid energy boost, making it ideal for that early morning kick. Mushroom tea might take a bit longer to get you up and running.

2. The Aroma and Ritual

The rich, enticing aroma of freshly brewed mushroom coffee and the comforting ritual associated with it can be therapeutic in itself. Mushroom tea, while nutritious, might not offer the same sensory experience.

3. Endless Varieties

Mushroom coffee enthusiasts can explore a vast world of flavors and styles, from lattes to espressos. Mushroom tea, though diverse, may not offer the same range of options.

4. Convenient and Ready to Brew

Mushroom coffee products are readily available and are easy to brew. Most are an instant mix, meaning the extraction has already been done for you–and a high-quality brand guarantees a certain beta-glucan content. It’s easier to ensure that a mushroom coffee mix that’s commercially prepared and lab tested will provide the benefits you are after compared to brewing your own teas at home.

Best Types of Mushrooms for Coffee and Tea

Lion's Mane

Lion’s Mane is known as the “mind mushroom” thanks to its benefits surrounding cognition and neuroprotection. According to limited evidence, lion’s mane may improve cognition, promote the growth of nerve cells, and support a healthy mood, potentially in a way that helps to manage depressive disorders.


Tremella, the “beauty mushroom” helps protect tissues and promote hydration inside and out. Studies have found it to have potential anti-aging properties and neuroprotective effects, though more evidence is needed to understand how these benefits may be applied.


Cordyceps is known as the “athletes mushroom,” but it can provide energy and stamina support for everyday life. This mushroom is known for its ability to stimulate oxygen flow throughout the body which may be linked to an array of physical benefits, like increased endurance and improved physical performance.

Cordyceps also contains cordycepin, which, according to a review published in 2020, may have anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging compounds, among other benefits.


The Maitake mushroom is a powerful adaptogen, meaning it may "adapt" to the body's needs in order to resolve imbalances that cause various mental and physical challenges. It’s most well known for its immune-regulating benefits.

Maitake contains D-fraction, a beta-glucan known to have a strong effect on the immune system by boosting the production of lymphokines and interleukins that improve your overall immune response. One study confirms that both Maitake and Shiitake stimulate the immune system defense response.


Reishi mushroom is also known as the "mushroom of immortality" in Chinese medicine. It has been used for centuries to improve immune function, reduce inflammation, and promote longevity. Reishi mushroom is believed to have adaptogenic properties, which means it can help the body cope with stress.


Chaga mushroom is a type of mushroom that grows on birch trees in cold climates. It is known for its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Chaga mushroom is also believed to have antioxidant properties, which can help protect against cellular damage.

The Verdict: It's a Personal Choice

So, which one should you choose? It all boils down to your preferences and priorities. If you're seeking a caffeine-free, holistic health booster, mushroom tea might be your go-to. But if you crave that quick energy kick and the ritual of mushroom coffee, then stick with your trusty brew.

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all answer, and it's perfectly fine to enjoy both options depending on your mood and needs. 

In the end, what truly matters is that you relish your daily mushroom beverage, whether it's a warm cup of mushroom tea or the invigorating aroma of mushroom coffee. Sip, savor, and stay healthy!

If you want to take full advantage of the "functional" side of functional mushrooms, consider a mushroom super-blend like our Lucid Coffee, Chai, or Matcha powders. It takes full advantage of the benefits of these superfood mushrooms by pairing Cordyceps,  Maitake, Tremella, and Lion's Mane, plus powerful nootropics, like BCAA's, L-Theanine, Alpha-GPC, and more. 


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  10. “Suppression of inflammatory and allergic responses by pharmacologically potent fungus Ganoderma lucidum”
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