Mark's Meanderings. by Mark Stoller

Mark’s Meanderings

Mark Stoller moved to Falcon in 2007. He and his wife, Andra, both U.S. Air Force veterans, enjoy life with their daughters, extended family and adopted rescue dogs in Latigo. Mark savors the privilege of his wife and daughters being his muse for topics, people to meet and places to investigate. 

By Mark Stoller

What’s in your cup?

By Mark Stoller

There is a lot of buzz these days about replacing your morning Cup of Joe with a scientifically formulated hot beverage with adaptogens, nootropics and botanicals. Heresy, right?

It seems the current social atmosphere is focused on the negative effects of caffeine. One source quotes a slow day in 1995 when NASA scientists gave a test group of spiders LSD, weed or caffeine. They watched the intoxicated spiders weave webs and found that the more deformed the web, the more toxic the chemical was for the spider. Caffeine, as it turned out, made the jittery spiders spin the most disorganized webs.

Caffeine is the world’s most-used psychoactive substance. Generally, one cup of coffee contains 95 mg. If you have a cup of coffee at 2 p.m., one quarter of that is still circulating in your brain at midnight.

Coffee is a popular beverage that has been researched and studied extensively for its many health benefits, including increased energy levels, weight management, enhanced athletic performance and protection against chronic disease.

The conversation continues today asking whether coffee is consumed purely for the caffeine push on the central nervous system, or is the morning cup ritualistic behavior? 

If it’s a ritual, then maybe it can be even more beneficial to the body by adding extra ingredients to improve the immune system, brain function and physical response to stress.

Introducing adaptogens: They are plants and mushrooms (the legal ones) that help your body respond to stress, anxiety, fatigue and overall well-being. You can take adaptogens by adding them to food or beverages or take them as tinctures. Adaptogens bring your body back to a steady balance by managing both physical and mental stressors.

For the giggles of it, Andra and I decided to give the top three adaptogen coffee replacements a taste test. We purchased starter boxes of RYZE, DOSE, and MUD/WTR. 


RYZE: Cordyceps (energy), Lion’s Mane (focus), Reishi (immune system), Shiitake (immune system), Turkey Tail (gut protector), King Trumpet (antioxidant, brain), medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), Arabica coffee.

MUD/WTR: Lion’s Mane, Chaga (soothing), Reishi, Cordecyps, Cacao, Masala chai, turmeric, cinnamon, Himalayan salt.

DOSE: Lion’s Mane, Chaga, coffee extract, collagen protein (skin, hair, nails), L-Theanine (anxiety & focus).

We combined 1 tablespoon of the beverage powder and 8 ounces of water as indicated in the directions. Next, to adjust the flavor we added oat milk and creamer.

Taste Test Results:

RYZE: pure mushroom and wet silt flavor with just water — absolutely needed creamer and milk.

DOSE: coffee flavor with no after taste — creamer and milk add to the flavor.

MUD/WTR: chai, cacao and spices flavor with a slight earthy aftertaste — creamer and milk smoothed out the flavor. 

All of the brands come with an electric frother to mix the powder and water. To mix our beverage powder, water, creamer and milk, we use the Magic Bullet blender. MUDWTR’s frother is very powerful and is a close second to using a blender. 

All three brands had sediment at the bottom of our cups if we left the cup sit for 10 minutes. Break out the frother and mix it up again.

Still, if you prefer tea over coffee, each brand has a Macha tea powder with the same mushroom ingredients and health benefits.

Lastly, all three can be purchased on a subscription basis for about $40 a month or $100 per 90-day supply.

These mushroom coffees, we call them “shroffee,” have become part of our morning hot beverage routine. Beyond the fact that we now have a metric butt ton of them, we do feel healthier across the board from consuming them. 

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About the author

Mark Stoller

Mark Stoller and his wife, Andra, moved to Falcon with their family in 2007. Both are U.S. Air Force veterans and enjoy life with their daughters, ex-tended family and adopted rescue dogs in Latigo. Mark is fortunate to have his wife and daughters as his muse for topics, people to meet and places to investi-gate.

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