Four Sigmatic Review: Is Mushroom Coffee Worth It?

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Written by Cambria Glosz
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Medical Reviewer

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Our Rating: A

We determined this rating by evaluating the following factors:

  • Quality
    i
    QualityA+
    Unique mushroom formulations and extraction methods, transparent sourcing, and the highest-quality ingredients led to an A+ for quality.
A+
  • Transparency
    i
    TransparencyA+
    Four Sigmatic is an open book when it comes to ingredient sourcing, manufacturing, policies, and product information.
A+
  • Website Experience
    i
    Website ExperienceA
    Four Sigmatic has an informative, organized, and well-designed website and blog that makes it easy to shop and learn about their products and the mushrooms behind them.
A
  • Customer Service
    i
    Customer ServiceA+
    Immediate replies, money-back guarantees, and three lines of communication led to an A+ here.
A+
  • Value
    i
    ValueB+
    Four Sigmatic products are on the pricey side, but their excellent quality and formulations, focus on the best processing and extraction methods, and value to the consumer mostly make up for it. 
B+
  • Brand Value
    i
    Brand ValueB+
    High points for innovation, industry disruption, and elevation of public nutrition balanced out with moderate scores on philanthropy and sustainability.
B+
Our Editorial Policy

Welcome to our Four Sigmatic review!

If terms like “lion’s mane,” “chaga,” and “cordyceps” have become household names for you in recent years, Four Sigmatic is likely to thank (well, we can also thank the show The Last of Us for the third one).

If you’re still unfamiliar, functional or medicinal mushrooms like chaga, lion’s mane, reishi, and cordyceps are a special type of fungi—more powerful than the little ones sliced atop your pizza, yet not quite as strong as those other types of mushrooms (no hallucinations here!).

But there’s no need to forage them yourself—Four Sigmatic has taken over this arduous process, providing us with unique functional-mushroom-laden products ranging from protein powder and ground coffee to elixirs for relaxation, cognitive support, focus, gut health, and more.

Our team awarded Four Sigmatic with an overall A grade for impressive innovation in the medicinal mushroom space, transparent sourcing and formulation processes, and supreme ingredient quality. Let’s see how they did it.

Think Organic Ground Mushroom Coffee
Think Organic Ground Mushroom Coffee
  • Description:

    Four Sigmatic’s Think Organic coffee with lion’s mane and chaga mushroom is designed to enhance mental focus, energy, and mood without the jitters and can be made in a drip coffee maker, pour-over, or French press.

  • Ingredients:

    Organic arabica ground coffee, organic lion’s mane extract, and organic wildcrafted chaga extract

Four Sigmatic Pros and Cons

  • Pros
  • High-quality ingredients prioritizing organic and sustainably harvested mushrooms
  • Innovative formulations and dual extraction method
  • Transparent sourcing
  • Third-party tested for mold, heavy metals, etc. 
  • Cons
  • Expensive

Foraging for Health: How a 13th Generation Finnish Farmer Made Functional Mushrooms Mainstream

As the 13th generation of Finnish farmers with an affinity for mushroom foraging, Four Sigmatic founder Tero Isokauppila knew intuitively that mushrooms were superfoods—and his subsequent degrees and certifications in chemistry and nutrition backed this up. 

And when Tero heard the story of his grandparents brewing mushrooms into coffee during WWII, he knew he was onto something.

Aiming to make medicinal mushrooms more mainstream, he brought them stateside in the early 2010s first in the form of mushroom coffee—a “dip your toes in” approach to consuming what, at that time, seemed a little odd.

Four Sigmatic founder Tero Isokauppila (Source: FourSigmatic.com)
Four Sigmatic founder Tero Isokauppila (Source: FourSigmatic.com)

Now, Four Sigmatic is leading the pack when it comes to functional mushrooms, mixing them into mushroom coffee (ground, cold brew, pods, and instant), coffee creamers, protein powders, elixirs, latte mixes, and their newest offering, capsule supplements

Originally named “Four Sigma Foods,” the name Four Sigmatic dives into nerdy territory, meaning that these superfoods are four sigmas (or standard deviations) above the average food.

As only 100 foods fall into this category, functional mushrooms are essentially “the best of the best, the functional elite, and the genesis of the products that have come to define our company.”

With benefits ranging from fewer jitters when drinking coffee and improved focus to immune support and stress management, it’s no surprise that functional mushrooms have taken off. 

As the brand puts it, “Whether that’s your body or your mind, Four Sigmatic believes that mushrooms are the key to living a healthier and happier life. By infusing functional mushrooms into everyday products—like organic coffee and protein powder—Four Sigmatic aims to help people transform daily rituals into opportunities to enrich mental wellness.”

Amen!

Our Four Sigmatic Review

Our editorial team grades brands on the following six factors—here’s how Four Sigmatic ended up with an overall A grade:

  • Quality (A+)
  • Transparency (A+)
  • Website Experience (A)
  • Customer Service (A+)
  • Value (B+)
  • Brand Value (B+)

Quality

Summary:

Grade: A+

Unique mushroom formulations and extraction methods, transparent sourcing, and the highest-quality ingredients led to an A+ for quality.

In this category, we assess the quality of packaging and labeling, ingredients, sourcing and manufacturing, formulation, and certifications. 

We saw no issues with packaging, and the Four Sigmatic labels left nothing to be desired, with the basic nutritional information as well as details about how to use it, key benefits, and tasting notes included.

Regarding ingredients, the quality could not be better. While we won’t go into every product (as there are dozens), let’s take a look at the ingredients for the Sweet Vanilla Protein Powder:

  • Organic plant-based protein blend (hemp, pea, chia, coconut, and pumpkin)
  • Organic mushroom blend (lions mane, reishi, cordyceps, chaga, and turkey tail)
  • Organic ashwagandha and eleuthero
  • Real organic vanilla
  • Organic coconut milk powder
  • Organic maple syrup powder
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Organic monk fruit

We also love Four Sigmatic’s commitment to high-quality sourcing and manufacturing. Many functional or medicinal mushroom brands take the easy route regarding processing and extraction methods.

Four Sigmatic does the extra work of dual extraction: hot water and alcohol. Dual extraction increases the bioavailability of the mushrooms’ bioactive compounds, including triterpenes, beta-glucans, and polysaccharides.

This means we get more bang for our buck, while the “other guys” might provide a mushroom powder with a fraction of the health benefits. 

According to the brand, “All of our mushrooms are extracted to provide the highest amount of beta-glucans and polysaccharides, as well as triterpenes and other more adaptogenic compounds. Triterpenes, which give the mushrooms their increased adaptogenic properties, are poorly soluble in water. To fully extract all of the compounds from the terpenes, the extraction takes the process one step further by using alcohol to extract.”

Plus, they use the mushrooms’ fruiting bodies rather than the mycelium in their extracts. If you’re not up on mushroom anatomy, the mycelium is the mushroom’s “root system” that can contain no mushrooms at all, while the fruiting body is where all of the good stuff is. 

Almost all commercial U.S.-grown mushrooms utilize mycelium-based mushrooms, which are proven to be less beneficial than fruiting-body-based mushrooms.

Plus, lab-grown mycelium mushrooms use grain substrates to grow, meaning that grain ends up being a significant portion of the final product. 

The fruiting bodies have up to 15 times more active compounds than mycelium, further enhancing the potential benefits of Four Sigmatic products.

As the brand states, Even though this method is 5-10x more expensive, time-consuming, and means we choose to not source from the US, we are committed to offering the best, most nutrient-dense, clean, quality, and powerful ingredients possible.

You may wonder, if they aren’t sourcing mushrooms from the U.S., where are they coming from?

Their reishi, lion’s mane, cordyceps, shiitake, turkey tail, tremella, and maitake mushrooms are grown and cultivated from an organic family farm in China.

China has the longest history of mushroom cultivation on the planet, dating back to 600 AD, making them the leading producer of organic, log-grown mushroom fruiting bodies. 

Chaga mushrooms are the only ones not from China, as the so-called “king of mushrooms” grows on birch trees—so Four Sigmatic sources their chaga from the Taiga forest in Siberia, the largest birch forest in the world. 

(If you’re worried about destroying the forest, only part of the chaga mushroom is removed to ensure it can keep growing without harming any trees.) 

Lastly, the mushrooms are brought to production facilities in the United States, where every batch is third-party tested for heavy metals, allergens, harmful bacteria, yeasts, molds, mycotoxins, and pesticides. 

Phew! Now that you know all about mushroom anatomy, where they come from, and how best to extract them, let’s look at some of the best-selling products these fun-guys offer. 

Four Sigmatic Product Catalog

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee and Creamer

In addition to Think Ground Organic Coffee, Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee also comes in instant coffee (in packets mixed with hot or cold water) and mushroom coffee pods.

Protect Instant Coffee
Protect Instant Coffee
  • Description:

    This instant mushroom coffee is lower in caffeine (50mg per packet), designed to support immunity, and loaded with organic cordyceps and chaga mushrooms.

  • Ingredients:

    Instant medium roast organic coffee powder, organic wildcrafted chaga extract, organic cordyceps extract, and organic eleuthero extract.

Think Organic Creamer Vanilla Coconut
Think Organic Creamer Vanilla Coconut
  • Description:

    If you didn’t get enough mushrooms in your coffee, add more with a functional creamer! This vanilla and coconut vegan creamer has coconut milk powder, Madagascar vanilla, lion’s mane, L-theanine, and monk fruit.

Other notable coffee options include Happy Gut Ground Coffee (with probiotics and turkey tail mushrooms), Balance Half Caf Coffee (with ashwagandha, eleuthero, and half the caffeine), and Focus Organic Coffee Latte (with coconut milk powder and monk fruit for a creamier texture and sweeter taste). 

And if you don’t want any coffee with your mushrooms (caffeinated or otherwise), Four Sigmatic offers elixir powders with just the mushrooms—like Protect (chaga), Think (lion’s mane), and Calm (reishi)—and Calm Cacao for a hot chocolate-like beverage.

Protein Powder

Four Sigmatic has four plant-based protein powder offerings: vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter, and unflavored—all loaded with vegan protein and medicinal mushrooms.

Peanut Butter Plant-Based Protein
Peanut Butter Plant-Based Protein
  • Description:

    With 18g of vegan protein, 1500mg of mushrooms and adaptogens, and 2g of sugar, this protein powder can’t be beat.

  • Ingredients:

    Organic plant-based protein (hemp, chia, coconut, pea, pumpkin), lion’s mane, reishi, cordyceps, chaga, turkey tail, ashwaganda, eleuthero, peanut flour, coconut palm sugar, yacon juice powder, pink Himalayan salt, and monk fruit extract.

Supplements

Four Sigmatic’s newest offerings are their supplement line, which includes Calm, Focus, and Memory.

Memory Mushroom Complex Capsules
Memory Mushroom Complex Capsules
  • Description:

    Cordyceps, folate, and turmeric are combined to support memory and long-term brain health in this cognitive supplement.

  • Ingredients:

    Folate and organic cordyceps, turmeric, gotu kola extract, ashwagandha, black pepper, pullulan capsule (naturally fermented from tapioca), rice hulls, rice extract blend.

Transparency

Summary:

Grade: A+

Four Sigmatic is an open book when it comes to ingredient sourcing, manufacturing, policies, and product information.

Transparency is undeniably important to any consumer—and Four Sigmatic does a great job in this category.

Their product pages are rife with helpful details about the benefits of each mushroom, nutritional information, tasting notes, and caffeine levels, if applicable. 

Each product page also has a very extensive FAQ section, answering any question a customer might have. 

As reviewed in the “Quality” section, Four Sigmatic is highly transparent about their mushroom sourcing and manufacturing processes—both on their website and in the email interview we had with them. 

You’ll also find information about founder Tero and his Finnish farmer-turned-forager backstory and Registered Herbalist Danielle Ryan Broida, but we don’t see details about any other members of the team.
Lastly, they’re transparent with their shipping and return policies, which were easy to find on the site.

Website Experience

Summary:

Grade: A

Four Sigmatic has an informative, organized, and well-designed website and blog that makes it easy to shop and learn about their products and the mushrooms behind them.

With an attractive design, functional features, and ample educational material, the Four Sigmatic website experience site earns a solid A grade. 

Although there are dozens of products, the browsing and shopping process is clean and straightforward, with no design or feature issues arising.

Four Sigmatic Website Experience

The products are bundled into three overarching categories (Coffee/Creamers, Supplements, and Protein Powder), although you can, of course, choose to “Shop All” to see everything all in one go.

Four Sigmatic Website Experience

We also appreciated the blog with articles about mushrooms, adaptogens, and general wellness, but would love to see a “start here” type feature more prominent on the home page with more information about each mushroom (i.e. “Chaga 101,” etc.). 

Four Sigmatic Website Experience

We did find, deeply buried, a “Mushroom Academy” with helpful videos on many of the mushrooms by in-house herbalist Danielle, but would love to see that displayed more prominently. 

Overall, we had no issues with the website and e-commerce experience, leading to a solid A here.

Customer Service

Summary:

Grade: A+

Immediate replies, money-back guarantees, and three lines of communication led to an A+ here.

With three ways to contact them (including live chat), free refunds, and reasonable free shipping prices, Four Sigmatic earns top scores for customer service. 

We live chatted with them and received an immediate, friendly, and helpful response, and they also have an email address and phone number available to contact them.

You’ll get free shipping on orders over $59 (incredibly easy to reach, as we’ll see in the “Value” section), and they offer a money-back guarantee if you don’t like the product. 

They also uniquely provide price adjustments for sales—if, within five days of your order, you see a sale or promotion, they will refund or credit you the difference between the price you were charged and the current selling price.

Overall, Four Sigmatic’s customer service could not be better! 

Value

Summary:

Grade: B+

Four Sigmatic products are on the pricey side, but their excellent quality and formulations, focus on the best processing and extraction methods, and value to the consumer mostly make up for it. 

There’s no getting around the fact that most of Four Sigmatic’s products are expensive—but does the quality make up for the price point?

As Four Sigmatic has some one-of-a-kind products, let’s take a look at a couple of the easier-to-compare items: protein powder and chaga. 

Vegan Protein Powder Price 
Four Sigmatic Protein Powder $47.50 for 15 servings($3.17/serving)
Garden of Life Organic Creamy Oatmilk Protein 44.99 for 20 servings($2.25/serving)
Sunwarrior Protein Organic Warrior Blend $27 for 15 servings($1.80/serving)
Chaga
Four Sigmatic Chaga (Protect Elixir)  $72.50 for 40 packets($1.81/serving)
Om Organic Chaga Powder  $32.50 for 100 servings($0.32/serving)
Real Mushrooms Organic Chaga Extract Powder  $30 for 60 servings($0.50/serving)

As you can see, Four Sigmatic leads the pack when it comes to protein powder price—but they also provide much more value by adding five mushrooms, which are not inexpensive on their own. 

The same goes for their chaga packets, which are more expensive but also include eleuthero (Siberian ginseng), an adaptogen known for regulating stress and the immune system. 

Plus, we know that Four Sigmatic uses dual extraction and solely uses the fruiting bodies, which is a more expensive process.

If you want to get a discount, Four Sigmatic’s subscription model is one of the best. For example, subscribing to purchase one protein powder will get you 22% off, while 2- and 3-pack subscriptions will dock it by 30% and 34%, respectively.

Overall, our team agreed that the high quality of ingredients, unique formulations, and commitment to the more expensive dual extractions and non-mycelium sourcing mostly made up for the higher price point, leading to a B+ here. 

Brand Value

Summary:

Grade: B+

High points for innovation, industry disruption, and elevation of public nutrition balanced out with moderate scores on philanthropy and sustainability.

There’s no doubt that Four Sigmatic is an industry disrupter—more than that, they practically invented the functional mushroom industry over a decade ago. 

Starting with mushroom coffee and elixirs and branching out to protein powders, creamers, supplements, and more, it’s safe to say that Four Sigmatic is highly innovative.

Plus, they have the institutional knowledge to back up their brand, including founder Tero, who is a 13th-generation farmer “with deep mushroom heritage,” and Danielle Ryan Broida, a registered herbalist of the American Herbalists Guild and certified holistic nutritionist who formulates the products.

Four Sigmatic also has plenty of offer in terms of elevating public nutrition, as medicinal mushrooms can benefit mood, cognition, sleep, stress, and immunity. Plus, a recent focus of theirs is how mushrooms can support mental health. 

As the brand states, “What our consumers told us is that they tend to buy mushrooms initially for mental performance (cognitive reasons), and keep using them for mental well-being benefits (mostly mood and stress reasons). So when +11 years ago we thought we had started a mushroom company, what we now have actually created is a mental performance and wellness company.”

But a couple of areas that fall short are philanthropy, which was hard to find details about. We did find that Four Sigmatic creates medicinal mushroom boxes for cancer patients, which is great, but that’s about it. 

Second, when it comes to sustainability, it seems like Four Sigmatic is checking the green boxes—like using recyclable materials, offsetting carbon emissions, removing more CO2 than they release, and planting trees.

While this is great, we wonder if, say, sourcing chaga from birch trees in the northern U.S. or Canada instead of Siberia could reduce their carbon emissions without having to offset them later. 

We do give credit for their sustainability initiatives, including being Climate+, meaning they are removing more CO2 from the atmosphere than they release, and planting 40,000 trees, which will lead to 13,600 metric tons of CO2 absorbed over 10 years. 

Overall, these factors balance out to a still-impressive B+ for brand value.

Our Experience With Four Sigmatic

TNI writer Cambria Glosz has been personally using Four Sigmatic since 2016 (yep, check the receipts!), making her our in-house expert on the products.

Cambria’s first Four Sigmatic order—July 2016! (with dozens more since then)
Cambria’s first Four Sigmatic order—July 2016! (with dozens more since then)
  A 2017 homemade chagaccino with OG Four Sigmatic branding.
  A 2017 homemade chagaccino with OG Four Sigmatic branding.

Now, she has tried many of the products that Four Sigmatic has to offer, with a handful of repeat buys leading the pack: 

Cambria’s current favorites
Cambria’s current favorites

Our team was able to try a few other Four Sigmatic mushroom products, including:

Let’s talk about the protein powder first. We tried it two ways: shaking it with almond milk and blending it into a smoothie with frozen banana. 

While the shaken almond milk version wasn’t bad, it certainly wasn’t as good as the blended smoothie. It has a great vanilla flavor, is a bit earthy, and is not overly sweet.

However, it was slightly gritty and didn’t seem to mix fully when shaken vigorously in a mason jar—the blended version was much smoother.

Vanilla protein powder shaken with almond milk
Vanilla protein powder shaken with almond milk

We also tried the Think ground coffee, which had a great taste on its own—rich and earthy (in a good way). We made it in a French press and preferred it black rather than mixing it with the Think creamer (which was not our favorite).

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The Think organic creamer (vanilla coconut) had a slightly odd smell and flavor—we couldn’t pinpoint what it was exactly.

It also did not add much creaminess but rather a light coconut flavor without much sweetness. As this writer is a big fan of creamy coffee, this powdered creamer wasn’t for her. But if you enjoy mostly black coffee with a hint of coconut, you might be a fan. 

Think coffee with Think powdered creamer
Think coffee with Think powdered creamer

Lastly, the Calm cacao packets were pretty good when mixed with hot water (as recommended), but substituting warm almond or oat milk was much preferred.

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It’s important to note that you should only use the recommended four ounces of liquid, as using any more than that makes it taste very watered down. However, four ounces of hot cocoa is not much, so use two packets if you want a larger mug.

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Overall, Cambria’s favorite way to use Four Sigmatic is one packet of Think or Protect Instant Coffee mixed with hot water and a generous splash of oat milk creamer (like Califia Cinnamon Roll Oat Creamer) or adding a mushroom elixir (Protect or Think) into a cup of regular coffee (with creamer, of course). 

Four Sigmatic FAQs

Is Four Sigmatic Healthy?

Yes, Four Sigmatic products are healthy. They contain a wide range of medicinal mushrooms and adaptogens, which can support mood, cognition, energy, focus, sleep, stress, and immunity. 

Four Sigmatic products do not contain artificial ingredients or sweeteners, and any sweetened product (like protein powder or latte mixes) uses organic monk fruit or organic coconut palm sugar in small amounts.

What Is the Downside of Mushroom Coffee?

Like regular coffee, there are a few potential downsides to drinking mushroom coffee if you drink too much of it. As mushroom coffee contains caffeine (Four Sigmatic’s products have varying caffeine levels, ranging from decaf to high-caf), it’s advised not to drink excess amounts, which can cause anxiety, jitters, high blood pressure or heart rate, and trouble sleeping. 

If you are sensitive to caffeine, try the lower caffeine or decaf versions. However, the functional mushrooms and adaptogens in Four Sigmatic coffee products are designed to lessen the jitters factor a bit.

Is Mushroom Coffee Actually Good?

Yes, mushroom coffee is good—in both taste and nutritional value. All coffee contains high amounts of antioxidants, and adding mushrooms (like chaga, reishi, cordyceps, lion’s mane, etc.) can further boost the health benefits. 

If done right (like Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee), it does not taste like mushrooms, although you may notice a slight and pleasant earthiness with your morning cup compared to regular coffee. 

For more information on mushroom coffee, check out our in-depth article here

Final Thoughts

Overall, Four Sigmatic receives a solid A rating with high points awarded for impressive quality, transparency, commitment to the best sourcing and manufacturing methods, and excellent customer service.

We’d recommend Four Sigmatic to just about everybody—whether you are a coffee lover who wants to balance the jitters with some adaptogens, looking to get better sleep with reishi, or wanting a nutritionally elevated protein powder, there’s something for everyone here.

And if you’re still skeptical about the mushroom factor, don’t be! Trust us, you can barely taste them. 

As the Four Sigmatic team puts it, “Give mushrooms a chance! They are not just for pizza, pasta, or college. Fungi are their own kingdom with a large pool of varied mushrooms for different purposes. They taste, look, and help [in] many different ways, so we hope you find one that fits your tastes and needs. And if in doubt, start with the mushroom coffee!”

We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.



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