The Delicious Mushroom-Based Beverage That’s Made Me Ditch My Morning Coffee

published Jul 19, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Woman holding coffee mug
Credit: Getty Images/ Jamie Grill

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of the taste of coffee, despite drinking it on the regular. I always load up my mug with some creamer and a generous amount of sugar to mask the bitterness of the taste — and after drinking it, I don’t always feel as great and refreshed as I think I should. Still, at the very least, I like the routine of it: Sipping on a hot cup of java throughout the morning has become a sort of ritual for me. But, nobody had to twist my arm to try out a new beverage that claims to have all the benefits of coffee — and more. Yep, you can probably guess what I’m talking about: I tried one of the mushroom-based alternative coffee drinks that have been rising in popularity over the past few years. 

It didn’t take all that much convincing for me to give MUD\WTR a try, but I’ll confess I was a bit skeptical at first, since I’m decidedly not a big fan of mushrooms. However, after testing out the brand’s Morning Ritual Starter Kit — which comes with their signature Masala Chai blend — I don’t think I’ll ever go back to regular coffee.

What is MUD\WTR?

We all know the downsides of regular coffee — mostly in regards to the jittery feeling the caffeine induces and the brutal crash that follows. MUD\WTR, however, claims to give you a boost without those side effects, plus a higher level of focus and immunity. As the brand says, it’s a “micro-dose of caffeine and a macro-dose of functional benefits.” So, what’s the Rise blend actually made of? First off, it’s entirely organic, sugar-free, keto-friendly, gluten-free, kosher, and vegan. In addition to the chai, there’s energy- and mood-enhancing cacao and various kinds of mushrooms blended in. According to the brand’s website, the lion’s mane mushrooms are for focus, chaga and reishi are for immune system improvement, and cordyceps help with energy.

Additionally, you’ll only consume about 35 milligrams of caffeine with each serving, as opposed to a cup of coffee that often has over triple that amount, give or take. The Morning Ritual Starter Kit comes with a 30-serving tin of the Masala Chai, plus a rechargeable frother and recipe book that tells you exactly what and how much to add to your brew. There are even a few samples of nondairy creamers and a sticker, which is a fun little bonus.

Credit: Morgan Pryor

Why I Love MUD\WTR

The guidebook instructs you to add a tablespoon from the tin to your mug, then add 180-degree Fahrenheit water to it. Next, you whip out the provided frother and blend, which I thought was super effective. It’s as easy as it sounds, which I’ve appreciated when I’m in a rush in the morning. In as little as 20 to 30 seconds, there weren’t any powdery remnants in my beverage. Now, I was wary of what MUD\WTR would taste like at first, but thankfully it wasn’t too earthy. There were faint hints, sure, but it tasted like my regular chai from Starbucks more than anything, especially when I added some brown sugar oat milk creamer from Trader Joe’s. I will admit, as with my coffee, I wouldn’t drink MUD\WTR without creamer and a bit of sugar. (It may only be vaguely earthy, but it certainly isn’t too sweet.) The chai also had the perfect amount of cinnamon, and when I gave the Matcha and Rest blends a try, they were just as delicious (with the creamer, of course). I wasn’t all that into their coconut milk creamer sample, however, but to each their own.

Now, after a week of adding MUD\WTR to my routine, I’m not sure if the energy I felt was just from ingesting a warm drink or if it actually was the mushrooms. Placebo or not, though, I did feel more awake without needing to drink more than one cup per day. To me, taste is more important when it comes to coffee rather than energy, and this drink more than delivered on that front.

So, is mushroom coffee worth the hype? After my first foray into it with MUD\WTR, I’d say yes. Even if I can’t vouch for all of its health claims, I didn’t get sick of the taste like I do with coffee, and I consider that a win. In fact, I think I’m even going to get the more affordable monthly subscription!