Lattes are a classic, but who would have thought mushroom lattes would be all the rage one day. Well, today is the day and they are delicious! Our chaga latte is vegan, super quick (5 minutes!), and packed with flavor and nutrients.
Fun fact - I don’t like mushrooms. I think they're slimy, flavorless, and just generally bleh. So the fact that I just made an entire recipe around a mushroom should attest to just how good this drink is. This simple recipe really is my favorite way to enjoy the essential nutrients of the chaga mushrooms!
First off - what is a chaga mushroom and why should I ingest it? Chaga is a type of mushroom that grows on birch trees, is found in northern hemisphere, and is known for its antioxidants, overall wellness, and immunity. Besides being packed with antioxidants, the other good stuff comes from adaptogens. Adaptogens are edible plant extracts that have been used to treat ailments for millennia by natural doctors.
When we consume adaptogens, research suggests that their organic properties work with the body’s stress responses and metabolism to balance our system. Thus leading to a more regulated energy supply and stress response as well as a boosted immune system (source).
I should note that the scientific evidence is not conclusive in regards to adaptogens being beneficial, but it's definitely not negative so I figure adding it to my daily routine will either add potential health benefits or not do anything. Seems like good odds!
Now what better way to get this great health benefit than with this super easy recipe in your morning cup of joe? So, let’s get to making it!
Need more healthy drink ideas? Try these!
Ingredients and Substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted.
Espresso: I like to make this with a shot of espresso (or a double if I'm extra sleepy). I should note, this recipe is intended to make a European style latte which is much smaller than an American latte. So, please don’t be sad when you have less latte than you thought you'd have.
Substitutions: You can use ¼ of a cup of instant espresso or strongly brewed coffee if you don’t have espresso.
Chaga Powder: The star of the show! Chaga powder is simply ground up, dried, chaga mushroom. It's essentially flavorless with the exception of adding a slight earthiness. It can be found in the health food section of your store or on Amazon here.
Substitutions: An apoptogenic blend powder, other mushroom powders, or maca powder can be used in place of chaga powder (but then it wouldn't be a chaga latte).
Oat Milk: I prefer oat milk for this because of the mild taste that let’s the spices shine. Plus, it's lighter than dairy milk or some other plant based milk so I don’t feel as weighed down as I do with a normal latte.
Substitutions: Any milk you like can be used. I wouldn't recommend coconut milk though because it has a such a strong flavor that could overpower everything else.
Spices: I use a blend of cinnamon, cayenne, cocoa powder, and sea salt for this spiced chaga latte. The cinnamon and cayenne add warmth while the cocoa powder adds richness, and the sea salt helps to enhance the cocoa flavor. Plus, cinnamon, cayenne, and cocoa powder all have health benefits on their own like anti-inflammatory properties, metabolism boosting, antioxidant rich, and more!
Substitutions: You can use nutmeg or ginger in place of the cinnamon. There is no substitute for the cayenne pepper or salt, but you can omit both if needed. For the cacao powder, you can use hot chocolate powder or chocolate syrup and leave out the maple syrup.
Maple Syrup: This might be a personal preference but between the cacao powder and maple syrup, this chaga mushroom latte gives off serious hot chocolate vibes and I love it. And I think you will too. No - I know you will!
Substitutions: You can use agave or honey (if not vegan).
How to Make this - Step by Step
Step one: Brew espresso or coffee however you normally do.
Step two: While that brews, add everything else to a blender or large glass. Blend until well mixed and frothy. If not using a blender, mix with a whisk or fork vigorously until well combined.
Step three: Heat this chaga chocolate mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a stove top until heated through. If you want to enjoy this drink iced, skip this step.
Step three: Pour espresso into a mug or glass and top with chaga mixture and enjoy! If you want this iced, fill the rest of the glass with ice and enjoy. You can stir it up a bit if needed, but I find I only need to do this when using coffee, not espresso. Be sure to note that if making with coffee, you will get a slightly different color, as shown on the left photo below. The right photo is made with espresso.
Watch How to Make This - Step by Step
While a blender might sound obnoxious for your morning coffee. It really does make this latte that much better! It helps to fully incorporate the ingredients and get the milk nice and fluffy like a true latte. And, if using a personal sized blender, you can usually remove the blade base and place the canister directly in the microwave to heat the mixture up.
Facts and Common Questions:
They have a whole bunch of chaga health benefits, the main being its anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it ideal for those with IBS, arthritis, celiac, and many other auto-immune conditions. Other common mushrooms, like lions mane, offer different benefits (like calm and focus). But, always consult with a licensed medical doctor before consuming adaptogen mushrooms.
Chaga does not have caffeine, but this chaga latte does because of the added espresso. You can certainly make it without the espresso or coffee and just double the milk. Many people use chaga as a coffee alternative because of reports of sustained energy release (similar to matcha). So, you may not even need the coffee after trying chaga (hence why some folks call it chaga coffee)!
Yes, chaga is not considered safe for everyone. Those with blood clotting disorders should consult a doctor for medical advice before consuming because it can cause a drop in blood sugar. But, for the general population it would be very hard to have too much chaga.
This chaga latte recipe can be remixed in many ways. Here are just a few ideas!
- Chaga chai latte: Add chai tea concentrate instead of espresso
- Chaga tea latte: Try brewing your favorite black tea and topping it with this chaga chocolate latte mixture.
Want to Save it for Later? Here’s how!
This drink keeps well in the fridge with just a few reheating tips.
Storage: If hot, let the drink cool and then store this latte in the fridge for up to 3 days. If enjoying this chaga latte cold, remove or strain out the ice and then store in the fridge. I like to keep it in a mason jar with a lid on it. When ready to enjoy, simply shake it up in the jar and either add ice or heat in the microwave for 40 seconds.
Chaga mushrooms are weird dudes. And by weird, I mean that they actually are 30% closer genetically to us humans than they are to other plants. Chaga has been a form of medicine in Russia and Japan for many years due to its health benefits. this is for good reasons, since it has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any plant found on earth, being literally off the charts! (source)
Joyful Latte Pairings!
These are some of my favorite breakfasts to enjoy alongside this chaga mushroom latte!
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a review, we would love to hear from you!
- 1 shot espresso
- 1 teaspoon chaga powder
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch sea salt
- ⅓ cup oat milk
- Make coffee or espresso as desired. *
- Add everything else to a blender and blend. Alternatively you can add it to a mason jar and shake to combine or whisk vigorously.
- With the mixture in a microwave safe container, heat the chaga mixture for 45 seconds. ** see notes about enjoying this drink iced.
- Pour espresso or coffee into a mug and top with chaga mixture. Enjoy!