I tried mushroom infused coffee from a Toronto cafe and here’s how it impacted my workday

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had mushrooms at work? Technically, I can’t put my hand up, but I tried Strange Love Cafe’s mushroom-infused coffee and monitored my mood at work.

Strange Love is a mood enhancing cafe in Toronto that harnesses the power of naturopathy, Chinese medicine, and herbal remedies through its mood enhancers that can be added to any coffee or tea for 2, $ 50 more.

I tried some mood enhancing mushroom drinks from this cafe and this is how it turned out


One of their three cafes in Toronto is right next to my apartment, and after walking past one too many times, I had to find out for myself if this thing Actually works.

On October 12, I went to Strange Loves last location on University Avenue to chat with the cafe’s naturopathic doctor, James Yoon.

Lance McMillan | Narcity

What mushrooms do they use and how do they work?

Yoon explained how mood boosts work and clarified that I wouldn’t be ingesting real mushrooms or psychedelics.

Yoon explained that “mushrooms are particularly rich in many different nutrients and antioxidants” and are “commonly known as adaptogens and what adaptogens do is they help your body adapt or to be more resistant to stress “.

“They basically do this by helping to lower your stress hormone like cortisol,” he continued. ” Essentially, [they] help you achieve a better state of calm, relaxation and generally feel a little more grounded throughout the day. “

Strange Love currently features three mood boosts, including a Brain Boost, Energy Boost, and Stress Reset. Each boost has its own unique mushroom, herbs, and intentions.

My working day on mushrooms

I asked Yoon what to take for my usual morning and afternoon coffee, and he recommended that I try the Brain and Energy Boost.

Brain Boost is made from ginkgo bilboa, bacopa, and lion’s mane mushrooms and is believed to increase sharpness, productivity, cognition, and memory and may even relieve anxiety.

For my morning coffee I went with Yoon’s suggestion of Lovers Matcha with a Brain Boost and with the oat milk supplement my total was around $ 9.60 after tax.

Brooke Houghton | Narcity

The drink was earthy, smooth and avoided the pitfall of tasting grass or having a grainy texture, and luckily I couldn’t taste mushrooms or herbs because of the mood boost.

Yoon let me know that the effects of the mood boost usually take around 30 minutes to kick in, and by the time I got home around 11:30 am, I could feel it.

I felt like my brain was putting on glasses for the first time. Everything was super clear and to the point and I felt like I could write a breaking news item in a minute without breaking a sweat, but found myself focusing on little things.

Whether it was me or the boost, I can’t be sure, but I felt very focused.

I work as an editor, so focusing is quite important, and I usually rely on coffee to start my mornings.

At 12:30 p.m. I was still feeling quite bushy and by 1:30 p.m. the effects started to wear off, but I didn’t feel groggy or tired.

Usually around noon I need a second cup of coffee to stay sharp, but I honestly think I could have had my one drink and been fine for the rest of the day. So I decided to postpone my second cup until 3 p.m. to really test the effects of my morning Brain Boost.

At 3 p.m., I headed over to Strange Love’s location on Spadina and had an iced latte with an Energy Boost for $ 8.76.

Energy Boost is made from Ashwaghandha, Rhodiola, Cordyceps Mushrooms, and Guarana and is believed to help with energy, stamina, strength, and mental stamina.

Brooke Houghton | Narcity

The coffee was strong, and again, the flavor of the mushrooms was nowhere to be found.

I got home at 3:45 p.m., and around 4:30 p.m. started to feel the difference between Energy Boost and Brain Boost. The Brain Boost was very intense and I felt hyper focused to the point of becoming almost distracting.

The Energy Boost made me feel calm, serene and in control. I felt my whole body relax and saw a noticeable difference in the tension in my shoulders.

After finishing a few emails, I signed off from work around 6 p.m. and was feeling pretty good. I’m usually a couch potato after a long day at work, but managed to get to two bars, which is pretty impressive for me on a Tuesday night.

Does it really work?

If I’m being honest, I walked into this as a skeptic. I was pretty sure any effect would be either a placebo or the equivalent of taking a multivitamin, but I was wrong.

I’ve found both boosts to be far more effective than my usual cup of coffee, and I’ve never had any jitters, stomach pains (we all know what happens when we drink too much coffee), or dip. of caffeine.

However, mood boosts cost $ 2.50 more and more than your regular coffee or tea, which could get expensive over time, so I would only do this once a week or for a special occasion.

Strange Love Coffee

Brooke Houghton | Narcity

Price :

Address: Several locations

Why you need to go: You can drink mushroom-infused, mood-boosting coffee.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

In Ontario, a vaccination passport is required to access certain events, services and businesses, including restaurants and bars.

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