Dubai: Mushroom coffee goes beyond TikTok craze; cold brew version served at Gulfood

This drink, which is packed with antioxidants, has a pleasant flavour — but it has no taste of mushrooms


Lamya Tawfik

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Published: Tue 21 Feb 2023, 5:59 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 Feb 2023, 9:44 PM

Have you ever wanted to try mushroom coffee — a drink that has taken TikTok by storm? A Ukranian company is serving a cold brew version to Gulfood visitors in Dubai.

Victor Sidorenko, owner of Vesta-Lider, the company offering the drink, said the product combines ancient knowledge and modern technologies.

The coffee and four kinds of mushroom are cold-brewed at 8 degrees using birch sap. “Mushrooms contain a powerful complex of biologically active substances of natural origin and antioxidants that enhance each other's action,” he said. Chaga mushrooms contain quercetin and melanins; while Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, mannan and emitanin. Reishi mushrooms have germanium, β-D-glucans and triterpenes and Porcini mushrooms contain glutathione and ergothioneine.

“These mushrooms are used in alternative medicine in China and Japan for 2,000 years,” said Victor, adding that even today, modern medicine uses them as they are packed with antioxidants and can decrease inflammation.

The reason why they are cold brewed in birch sap, not water, is to help retain their medicinal qualities and nutrients. He said that historically, it was also used in the Arab world.

A process called cryogenic destruction helps maximize the extraction of the useful substances in the mushrooms while also maximising the preservation of their activity. “You can get the same result if you boil but you will lose nutrients,” he said.

The coffee has a pleasant flavor that has no taste of mushrooms. When asked about the lack of ‘mushroom taste’ in the coffee Victor said that is, strangely, due to the existence of the mushrooms. “Mushroom strengthens the taste of coffee. It harmonizes perfectly with coffee, giving it new shades of aroma and taste. This strong smell you feel is from the mushrooms not coffee,” he said.

There are three kinds of flavors – plain, cardamom and cinnamon, he said, and they all don’t contain any preservatives. “We sterilize without heating. The technology uses very high pressure,” he explained, adding that it can be enjoyed cold or warm.


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