Back in 2018, our associate editor Kate tried an inexpensive brand of mushroom coffee and wasn’t the biggest fan. Despite more and more friends (and my own mom!) over the years extolling the benefits of mushroom coffee, I still hadn’t taken the plunge…until we partnered with The Kind Coffee Cooperative — great name, right? — and they sent me some of their coffee to try.

I (reluctantly. I admit it!) gave it a shot. I’ve long been intrigued by the benefits of functional mushrooms like lion’s mane, which people swear by to improve focus, alertness, and gut health, all of which I can use. (TMI?)

Full disclosure: I want to like it. Especially because they give $5 of every bag sold to their partner, which, among other things, is putting their science-backed kindness curriculum into thousands of K-8 classrooms.  (If you haven’t heard my podcast interview with founder/CEO Jaclyn Lindsey, she’s wonderful!)

Here’s the deal, if you’re thinking about trying it too — and spoiler alert, I think you should.

So what is the Kind Coffee Cooperative?

This is a premium, rich, medium-roast coffee that’s created in partnership with three very cool organizations:

  • Real People Giving, a veteran-owned company known for their popular RPG Super Coffee, which gives back to support veterans and first responders and their families.
  • Bridgetown Mushrooms, makers of high quality functional and gourmet mushrooms from the Portland, OR area
  •, which I’ve already said, I love.

What’s different about Kind Coffee Cooperative?

Choose Kind Coffee Cooperative: Microground coffee with lion's mane and functional aloe that have some pretty impressive effects on your health

Kind Coffee Cooperative coffee comes in little individual-serving packets that are easy to grab for travel or to drink at work. You add one to 8 oz of hot or cold water and it dissolves easily in both.

It is not instant coffee! (My fear at the beginning.) It is a fine micro-grind, so think gourmet cold brew, not Nescafe.

There’s more to it than just beans, but let’s start there:

Micro-Ground Arabica Beans
Obviously, the coffee is the most important part of…coffee. This one is made from very good, sustainably farmed, Colombian Arabica beans that are shade grown at high altitudes. I spoke with RPG co-founder Chris Capozzoli, who explained that shade-grown coffee naturally keeps critters away, eliminating the need for pesticides and toxic fertilizers; while the cool temperature of beans grown at high altitude create richer, more complex flavors.

Structured Aloe 
The coffee also contains antioxidant-rich Acemannan, a molecule found in the aloe vera plant. According to multiple published research studies in the NiH that I found, it does some amazing things! It boosts energy levels, strengthens the immune system, increases stem cell production, promotes bone quality, and helps with gut health, in part by improving nutrient absorption. Based on my research, I may actually start taking Acemannan on its own.

Lion’s Mane
As for the mushroom part of “mushroom coffee,” Kind Coffee Cooperative coffee includes 250mg of organic lion’s mane mushrooms, which has become wildly popular in recent years, because it’s recognized as safe, and there’s a growing body of published research about positive effects. From what I’ve read, it’s proving to create “potent neuroprotective activity,” which is why a lot of people swear by it for increasing focus and mental clarity. It’s good for your gut too, helping to regulate and lower blood sugar according to multiple studies.

Put them all together, and you get coffee that promises more alertness and focus than coffee alone, a more balanced gut microbiome, and the ability to better absorb nutrients in foods — all without the jitters of a typical cup of joe.

The ingredients in the Kind Coffee Cooperative functional mushroom coffee

How does Kind Coffee Cooperative coffee taste? (The important part!)

The taste is a bit earthy but not in an off-putting way. Once I added a splash of half-and-half in there plus the tiniest dash of simple syrup (how I take my iced coffee) it essentially tasted like…a gourmet iced coffee. I made some iced coffee for my teen daughter who likes her coffee stronger. So I’d say try it with maybe 6 oz of water to start plus the ice — you can always add more.

As for the effects…

The Choose Kind Coffee Cooperative is a functional mushroom coffee that's kind to your stomach, gives back in big ways, and tastes delicious hot or iced.

After drinking it for a week, do I feel less jittery? Coffee doesn’t make me particularly jittery so I’m not sure about that. But I do have a kind of alertness and energy that’s different from what I feel when I drink coffee. If that’s the feeling of my over-40 brain fog lifting, I’m here for that.

While sometimes coffee can irritate my stomach, I haven’t noticed anything like that from Kind Coffee Cooperative. And I really am hyped about the benefits of Lion’s Mane and functional aloe, so I’m going to stick with it and see if I notice any long-term improvements.

Bottom Line: Is Kind Coffee Cooperative coffee worth it?

Kind Coffee Cooperative: Coffee that's kinder to your body, and gives back to the good work of kindness .org.

The Kind Coffee Cooperative isn’t cheap, but that’s because the ingredients are incredibly high-quality, they pay fair wages to their farmers, and they do a whole lot of testing for purity. A one-time purchase of 32 single-serve packets is $58, but I’d suggest you try the 30-day subscription, which saves you 15% (about $1.50/cup). This way you can cancel the subscription within 10 days of the next delivery and there’s a a money-back guarantee if it’s not your cup of…coffee. ha.

If you’ve been thinking about trying the benefits of mushroom coffee (like my mom!) I say, this is a really good way to give it a shot.

These opinions are my own, and any ingredient claims are based on published research that I’ve found. Feel free to click through to the sources I’ve linked to learn more. All photos © Cool Mom Picks