Morning revolution: the Relentless Power of MushroomCups

It’s no hidden secret that people love coffee, with over 400 billion cups of joe consumed each year around the world. Corporate giants like Starbucks and Nestle have grown immensely riding the wave of rising demand for coffee over the past few decades as well, with the former in particular posting revenues of $22.4 billion in 2017. The category is constantly in a state of innovation in order to appeal to changing consumer tastes, and the history of coffee innovation includes now ubiquitous items like instant coffee, K-cups, and cold brew.
Stipe Rezic and MushroomCups are looking to bring on the next innovation in coffee with its mushroom-imbued coffees. Mushrooms have been known to contain positive nutrients and characteristics for centuries, and MushroomCups’ unique dual extraction process taps into nutrients of mushrooms to be infused within coffee. Some species of mushroom used by the company include wild chanterelles, chaga, and cordyceps. We reached out to Rezic, CEO of MushroomCups, to learn about the unique properties of mushrooms, the company’s sourcing, and its methods to encourage product adoption

How did Mushroom Cups first get started?

I was professional basketball player competing on a high level, and as most athletes do I used supplements to boost my performance. Unfortunately my body had really bad reactions to all of the artificial things I was filling it with, which is why I started exploring functional mushrooms.

They did miracles for me and I was able to improve both my focus, physical performance and recovery time after games.

But the event that pushed me over the edge happened after I witnessed healing power of mushrooms on one of my closest family members, when no medicines or diets managed to help after years of trying. It was too much potential for us to let it go to waste.

Why mushrooms in particular? Why not some other superfood?

Mushrooms have DNA much more similar to humans than, for example, plants do, which makes their chemical composition uniquely beneficial for humans in many interesting ways. They have been overlooked and undervalued for a very long time, mainly because their most interesting substances are locked inside cell walls which cannot be broken and digested by human stomach. Now the time has come when extracting these compounds is no longer a expensive problem, wherefore their popularity is raising tremendously.  

How does Mushroom Cups source its coffee and mushrooms?

We source our coffee from an organic farm in Peru.

Coffee is important ritual for my colleagues and me so we tested more than hundred of coffees from all around the world before we fell in love with current one. We learned that High attitude, with lowered oxygen levels, on Peruvian highlands prolongs maturing period of the coffee beans, gifting them exceptional quality and specific  aroma.

Chanterelles come from intact Croatian forests in Lika and Gorski Kotar. We have partnered with a fleet of professional mushroom hunters who are gathering and delivering wild chanterelles to be infused into the coffee.

Coffee and Chanterelle are the basis for both of our products, and they are the ingredients that make coffee with mushrooms special.

Mushrooms in coffee is certainly a unique concept. How do you convince new customers

to try it out, and what has been their reaction?

Customers are often concerned if it tastes like mushrooms, and if they will get “high” after drinking it. So we made it quite clear on our website, Amazon and promotional material that the mushrooms we are using are not magical, at least not in that kind of way :)).

For the taste part we offer customers who dislike it the opportunity to send it back and we give them a refund. Nobody returned it so far, probably because coffee taste is dominant in Coffee with mushrooms and in overall it is enjoyable experience for our customers. On a recent survey we did, our customers rated the taste of the coffee with mushrooms with 4.8 out of 5 in average.

My personal favorite way to drink it is with a bit of stevia and cream.

What do you see as the future of Mushroom Cups?

We see Mushroom Cups as a global leader in premium mushroom infused beverages. Our intention is to do so by delivering impaired value to our community and customers. In order to achieve it we are focusing on 3 strategic goals which stand as a foundation of our  business:

  1. Overcome low consumer trust where we are working on communicating

the production process and healthy properties to the public increasing the trust in smart

food products

  1. Create consumer valued food for healthier nutrition: we are

creating value added food for healthier nutrition and are strengthening local production

capacities in herbal infusion extractions and

  1.  Catalyze food entrepreneurship and innovation: where we are fostering innovation in our production having cooperation with local science organizations.

About the Author /

Mohamad Akef is an Impakter columnist and fan of Egyptian football. When he’s not watching a match he enjoys creative writing and outdoor hiking, and is currently studying for his MBA at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley

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