Now, you may well have read the title to this blog and thought: ‘What, on earth, are they on about?’.
Although it may sound a bit like a cross between a Star Wars character and the latest silly trendy fad to temporarily feature on the drinks menu, actually, the chagaccino is a fairly singular beverage. We reckon it’s well worth exploring this particular brew in a bit more detail.
So, first things first, what is it? A chagaccino is a sweet drink (that you can take with or without coffee) that is made using, amongst other natural flavourings, powder from the Chaga mushroom. Seems strange to add mushrooms to your coffee, right? We thought so too at first, but all will be revealed below.
In this article, we’ll be covering all things chaga - we’ll talk about its history, health benefits, and provide a recipe that you can use to incorporate this herbal superfood into your next iced coffee.
A Chaga is a variety of mushroom, which grows on birch tree bark across the northern hemisphere. It looks a bit like a lump of charcoal but, once you get past the black crumbly exterior, you’ll find a soft orange core.
Chagas have a long history of usage in European traditional medicines, where it was made into a fine powder, then brewed into tea. In fact, these little mushrooms have been used as an overall health aid in Siberia and other Asian countries for centuries. In more recent years, the popular world of natural remedies has spotlighted this intriguing ingredient as the next big superfood. You can buy it in its traditional tea form, as a supplement in capsule form or as a powder.
Its popularity amongst health-conscious foodies comes from its antioxidant, nutrient-rich and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, Chaga can also boast of helping to boost the mental focus of consumers, reduce their fatigue and improve the function of their immune system - not bad for one little mushroom.
Recent studies on Chaga mushrooms have shown promising results, which has led to increasing interest in the superfood from the health community. It has been found to be incredibly nutrient-dense - being rich in (to name just a few) amino acids, B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, caesium, fibre, copper, zinc, iron, potassium, rubidium, calcium and magnesium.
Research shows that it may also be able to combat physical signs of ageing (for example, wrinkles) that are caused by oxidative stress; lower cholesterol, and so help fight cardiovascular disease; help to fight cancer; lower blood pressure; support the immune system and its ability to combat illness; reduce inflammation; and lower blood sugar, so help to fight diabetes.
So, as you can see from the long list above, it may not be the prettiest funghi around, but there’s a lot of hype about what’s to come from Chagas. Research into the Chaga mushroom may still be in its early phase, but there’s a lot of exciting potential being explored for a new alternative treatment.
However, since it’s still early days for the Chaga, scientists have warned us to exercise some caution in its consumption. For example, although Chaga is being explored as an anti-inflammatory, some scientists believe that its consumption may also lead to a more active immune system. So, it is recommended that anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease should first consult a doctor before they consume Chaga.
We’re still waiting from confirmation of the benefits of Chaga, the safety of this supplement, and its optimal dosage. So, alternative health specialists strongly recommend that consumers only buy Chaga supplements from reliable, trustworthy sources.
Chaga is fast becoming a popular, natural alternative to caffeine in hot drinks, but it can also taste great as a pairing alongside a smaller helping of coffee in your next cuppa. This way, you’re limiting the side-effects of caffeine, while keeping your cup full of health boosters.
Below, you’ll find our recipe for an aromatic iced chagaccino. It’s loaded with health benefits, energising properties and feel-good flavours - making it the perfect Kickstarter to set you up ready for a busy day at work.
Recipe for an Iced Chagaccino
- Chaga powder, 1 teaspoon
- Cacao powder, 1 teaspoon
- Cinnamon, just a pinch
- Natural sweetener (either 1 teaspoon of monk fruit, or 2 drops of stevia)
- Nut milk, 240ml
- Add 1-2 shots of espresso.
- Mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add this into the nut milk bit by bit, stirring well as you do so.
- Serve in a tall glass with plenty of ice.
It’s as easy as that!
It takes just 5 minutes to prep this yummy drink - perfect for even the busiest worker’s morning routine. The drink is gluten-free, vegan and suitable for those on a keto diet. Plus, for even more health benefits, you could even try your hand at making your own alt milk to use in this recipe.
What we especially love about this recipe is the fact that it's super flexible. You can adjust the coffee content to suit your personal preference. A shot or two of espresso makes a delicious addition to a chagaccino. With the Smarter Coffee machine, you’ve got a huge amount of precision at your fingertips - you can modify the strength, temperature and volume of your coffee, to secure yourself your ideal chagaccino.
The Smarter Coffee machine is designed to bring as much ease, tranquillity and joy to your morning cuppa as possible. With our innovative piece of kitchen technology, you’ve got precision, flexibility, and the ability to be as picky as you like, all at your fingertips. You can choose between filter and grinder coffee, whenever you need.
What’s more, thanks to the Smarter app this all comes from the push of a button. Just whip out your phone, tap a few commands, and you’ve got a perfect cup of fresh-brewed coffee ready and waiting for you.
If this sounds like a fabulous way to upgrade your morning routine, take a trip to our Smarter online store, where you can have a browse at our full range of intelligent kitchen technology.
The content provided in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice and consultation, including professional medical advice and consultation.