Mushroom Cups, World’s 1st Speciality Chanterelle Gourmet Coffee, from Croatia

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I learned a lot about mushrooms this week. 

Although my inbox is a battle I will never win, I do enjoy the varied curveballs it throws my way. It is one of the things that keep this job so interesting – every day is different, and the inbox never fails to disappoint.  

Among the gems this week was an introduction from a friend to a company called Mushroom Cups:

Hi Paul,

Please, meet Stipe – a great entrepreneurial story, HQ in Solin, winning European awards with their super mushroom injected beverages.

And so my fungal journey began. Mushroom-injected beverages? My mind went back to my student days at Manchester University – what could this one possibly be about?



And what a fantastic story, as Mushroom Cups CEO Stipe Rezic enthusiastically filled me on his award-winning and highly unique range of products that are already benefiting people in various ways. 

Stipe is a former professional basketball player, who played for the Croatian national team for several years. As part of his efforts to be at his sharpest, he tried new supplements, diets and exercise methods. One of the downsides of such as approach was the detoxing from artificial supplements, which even necessitated the need for surgery at one point.

And then the first mushroom transformation in his life, with the discovery of cordyceps mushrooms. The effect was magical – so much energy from the moment he and his teammates started taking it at the University Championship in Cordoba.  And that additional energy manifested itself into success. From rank outsiders (the Croatian Basketball Association had even booked return flights two days before the final), our cordyceps mushroom heroes went on to overperform and take the silver medal. 


The second phase of the mushroom development was even more personal, involving Stipe’s father, who had a rare allergy which made the skin on his feet crack all the way to the blood. The simple act of walking was enough to start the bleeding, and his blood pressure was all over the place. Doctors, diets, various types of medicine were all to no avail, and then Stipe learned that of the 20 most important medical innovations in the 20th Century, 10 of them were derived from mushrooms. He thought back to his cordyceps mushroom experience and had a hunch that the solution lay in mushrooms. 

And so it proved. 

The journey was not without ridicule and doubt, but gradually Stipe found a community of people with impressive references and critical minds who considered his idea viable. By working with them and taking inspiration from their mushroom success stories, he continued his research, eventually making one jar of home-made mushroom extract mix.


Having tried so many other concoctions from people with more reputable scientific credentials than his son, Stipe’s father looked unimpressed at the gift of the jar, and it remained unopened a few days later when Stipe came to see him. His son was understandably angry after all his efforts, and Stipe impulsively mixed all the mushroom contents into the coffee jar, so that he would not forget to take it – coffee drinking is a religion in Croatia. He took a photo of his father’s feet (see above), saying he would compare it to the results in 60 days. 


And just 30 days later.



Fast-forward 6 years, and 70-year-old Dad is apparently running around like a 50-year-old, even winning a balote tournament recently. 

Amazing stuff. I asked Stipe how he got started with Mushroom Cups:

“I was speaking of coffee with mushrooms so we had a lot of laughs just by the mention of it. But as soon as I talked more about my experience and the power of the mushroom kingdom most of my friends would get quite intrigued. They were actually the ones who pushed me to open the business after a few mushroom success stories in my family.” 

From its Solin headquarters just outside Split, Mushroom Cups already has clients all over the world for its range of innovative mushroom-infused organic products to boost immune systems, improve endurance and strength, boost learning and focus, and refuel mind and body. The best sellers in the web shop are 

  • Go Glow – for immunity and well being with Chanterelle and Chaga
  • Go Sharp – for productivity and creativity with Chanterelle and Lion’s Mane 


Next week is a big one for Mushroom Cups, as they will be launching a Kickstarter campaign for the first Gourmet coffee in the world infused with wild Mediterranean mushrooms (Croatian Chanterelles). The goal is to provide a healthy yet tasty upgrade for people who love specialty coffee, but also to promote Croatia as a country of great food, beautiful nature, and exceptional athletes.   The project will be publicly supported by 3 Olympic medalists (Mario Ancic, Blanka Vlasic and Dino Rađa). 

Mushroom Cups launched a Kickstarter campaign on February 9, 2021 to take things to the next level, including a very cool video. Learn more about the campaign, which will run for a month, here.

Great story and – although I am yet to try it – what looks like a really great product. And one which also played its part in the recent earthquake relief in Petrinja. With the help of an EU grant for innovation of small businesses, we bought more than 200.000,00 kuna worth of wild Chanterelle from the earthquake-damaged area.

You can learn more about Mushroom Cups and their healthy range of products on the official website

For more incredible Croatian innovation, check out the TCN Made in Croatia section.


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