I like mushrooms in pasta and on pizza, but not necessarily in my morning coffee. So, when I was asked to test mushroom oat milk I was… less than excited. My first sip of an oat-mushroom milk latte left me shocked. It tasted nothing like mushrooms—it straight-up tasted like I had used half and half.
On its own, the Califia Farms Mushroom Oat Milk Barista Blend ($28 for a pack of six) is like a laid-back version of the OG Califa Farms oat milk ($27 for a pack of six). It has the same nutty, buttery, semi-sweet flavor, but it’s not as strong and it’s a bit earthier. When paired with coffee, that earthiness translates to the subtle sourness you get from dairy.
Mushroom-infused milk speaks to Well+Good’s 2021 trend prediction that mushrooms would be everywhere this year. Mushroom sales increased during the pandemic and global functional mushroom sales are expected to grow 8 percent by 2024.
The Califia Farms Mushroom Oat Milk Barista Blend combines the oat milk we know and love with cordyceps and lion’s mane mushrooms. Herbalist and founder of New York City café Supernatural Rachelle Robinett says mushrooms are powerful adaptogens. “Medicinal mushrooms are their own kingdom and there are about 270 different types,” she explains in an episode of Plant-Based on Well+Good’s YouTube channel.
“Cordyceps is pretty commonly used in the athletic fields so performance athletes who are looking to improve performance but also improve recovery,” says Robinett. “Lion’s mane is probably the stand out for brain health, specifically for helping to encourage the regeneration of neurons.”
Learn more about medicinal mushrooms:
This mushroom oat milk is great for those who want a dairy-free alternative that’s not as sweet. The only downside is that it did not froth. Despite sporting a label that reads “froths well,” the milk simply refused to do it for me. While I don’t have a state-of-the-art milk frother, it gets the job done when using the regular Califia Farms oat milk as well as dairy milk and pistachio milk (and if you haven’t tried pistachio milk—run, don’t walk—to your nearest grocery store.) But when I tried to froth the mushroom oat milk, it just left a handful of sad bubbles on top. That said, the milk still has a great taste, closer to dairy than any other alt-milk I’ve tried, with all the health properties of mushrooms. It now has a welcome spot in my alt-milk rotation. Grab a pack online or head to a grocery store near you to try it yourself.
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