I have come across a type of ‘healthy coffee’ known as ganoderma coffee. Basically coffee is combined with reishi mushrooms (ganoderma lucidum), which are widely used in traditional Chinese Medicine. These mushrooms have many therapeutic properties including supporting the immune system, blood sugar and cholesterol. They also help to temper the stimulating effects of caffeine found within coffee, which is great if you don’t want your adrenals to be over-stimulated.
The concept of using reishi mushrooms to reduce the effects of caffeine made me think of cardamom coffee, which is a traditional way of drinking coffee in the Middle East. In the Middle East cardamom has been enjoyed with coffee and has its roots in helping to maintain alertness during all night spiritual practices.
Cardamom has certain properties which are similar to reishi mushroom in that it also lowers the effect of caffeine. Cardamom also supports blood sugar and cholesterol management and helps to support digestion and smooth muscle movement. It helps energize and invigorate the mind and body.
Reishi has traditionally been used as a medicine, so some caution is required if you are considering taking it regularly in a food form. Cardamom on the other hand has been used as a food spice for centuries and has many therapeutic properties. Cardamom coffee is also a lot cheaper than reishi coffee, tastes great and has been consumed in this way for centuries as a tried and trusted formula.
1 cup of water
1 tsp of ground Arabica coffee
1-2 crushed green cardamom pods
Unrefined Sweetener (optional - honey, date syrup, date sugar or jaggery)
- I have an ibrik but any small saucepan will do. Add around 1 cup of water, the crushed cardamom and bring to the boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for around 5 minutes. This helps the cardamom flavour to develop.
- Add the ground coffee and return to the heat.
- When the coffee comes to the boil, take off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes then strain through a coffee filter or just pour into a cup.
- If you really need to sweeten then add a little honey, jaggery or date syrup. If coffee has been unfiltered, the coffee grounds should settle at the bottom.
I love re-discovering traditional foods and drinks, which taste great but also offer medicinal and therapeutic support as well. In my version of cardamom coffee, I haven’t gone for an ultra-strong brew or heated and reheated the coffee a few times to create the traditional foam. I’m more interested in the idea of combining coffee with cardamom to help lower the effects of caffeine. So you could adding cardamom to your regular coffee or even adding other therapeutic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.