Mushroom latte? Coffee shop finds unique ways to incorporate ’revolutionary’ flavors

Credit: Dayton.com

Gourmet mushroom madness happening at Oregon District coffee shop

Credit: Dayton.com

It’s a tale of truffles and two cities named Dayton, thousands of miles apart.

Audria Maki owner of Reza’s Roast coffee shop in Dayton’s Oregon District, located at 438 Wayne Ave., traveled to Dayton, Oregon this summer to visit family and came back with an idea unlike Dayton, Ohio’s coffee scene has ever experienced.

The Joel Palmer House Restaurant is a Dayton, Oregon culinary icon. Every single item on the historic restaurant’s menu is made with mushrooms as the focal point. Maki said she didn’t even like mushrooms before eating at Palmer’s, but was persuaded after trying dishes like crème brûlée topped with mushroom cotton candy.

“I basically invited myself into this kitchen at the restaurant and made friends with everybody in there,” Maki said. “It was a lot of fun.”

Using creativity to work through the difficult year it has been for most business owners and people in general, Maki began to research every mushroom-based coffee and espresso drink she could find. The results are, as Maki put it, “revolutionary.”

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The mushroom turmeric latte and mushroom cacao mocha are a part of a limited-time mushroom menu at Reza's Roast, located at 438 Wayne Ave.
The mushroom turmeric latte and mushroom cacao mocha are a part of a limited-time mushroom menu at Reza's Roast, located at 438 Wayne Ave.

Credit: Sarah Franks

Credit: Sarah Franks

What’s on the menu

Three inventive drinks make up the limited-time menu — Mushroom Cacao Mocha, Mushroom Turmeric Latte, Mushroom Beet Mocha — all costing $5.50.

Topping both mocha options is a truffle-infused whipped cream, a Maki original creation that tastes like it could be a coffee-house staple.

“I love to cook and I love to have truffle oils in my house,” Maki said. “The black truffle oil was the ideal one, (and) use a little Tahitian vanilla bean syrup to give it sweetness. All our whipped creams are from scratch, every day.”

The cacao mocha is made with espresso cacao and reishi mushroom, steamed local milk, topped with the whipped cream and garnished with mushroom umami powder from Winds Cafe in Yellow Springs.

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Mushroom turmeric latte borderlines spicy, but is balanced out by the steamed macadamia nut milk. The drink is topped with edible flowers — “or not if you prefer,” Maki added, “but it is the age of Instagram.”

Finally, the beet mocha is an earthy, fruity take on mocha, with espresso, beetroot, cacao, chaga mushroom and hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. The whipped cream is garnished with a dash of pink Himalayan sea salt.

It’s understandable to think of a mushroom latte as something of an abomination, However, the warm, wonderfully savory, flavor packed in each cup deserves to be given a chance.

The menu will be available for at least another month. Though if a customer remembers a Reza’s favorite that’s no longer on the menu, Maki encourages them to ask the barista if it can still be made.

“For me, when I built this cafe, it was all about creating a baristas cafe,” Maki said. “Behind our bar is just as beautiful as in front of it, and we give our baristas 100% autonomy over the menu. So any ingredients they want, I go get them. We’re constantly making new stuff. We have a secret menu that’s kind of insane.”

WANT TO GO?

What: Reza’s Roast

Where: 438 Wayne Ave., Dayton

Hours: Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More info: rezasroast.com

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