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Natural Awakenings Spokane WA/Coeur d'Alene ID

Coffee Company Defies the Ordinary with Healthy Superfoods

Nov 01, 2018 08:34AM
by Sheila Julson

Ronnie Watson, owner of Defiant Coffee, knows that getting older shouldn’t stop anyone from living life to its fullest. As an extreme sports enthusiast, he had endured his share of injuries, so he began taking better care of his body through measures such as following the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet, along with researching adaptogenic herbs that can help protect the body from the effects of chronic stress.

Watson had also worked for a major energy drink company and became interested in creating his own brand of health beverage, yet he wanted to create something a little different. As a coffee drinker, he realized that there were very few companies adding medicinal mushroom extracts with coffee, so he combined the healing powers of nature with one of America’s favorite beverages and launched Defiant Coffee in June 2017.

The two coffee blends he formulated, Mushroom Blend and Collagen Blend, are each roasted in small batches by a Spokane-based coffee roaster. The organic, fairly traded coffee beans are sourced directly from the GRAPOS farmers’ co-op, in Mexico.

Defiant Coffee’s Mushroom Blend contains lion’s mane mushroom extract, which increases the body’s nerve growth factor and can help alleviate anxiety. “When that nerve growth factor is up, your anxiety is lower,” Watson explains. “With some coffees, you have that head energy, but you’re still kind of anxious and can’t focus on one task. The lion’s mane gets rid of anxiety, but you still have energy and cognitive focus.”

Also included in the mushroom blend are cordyceps, which Watson says is commonly used by athletes because they help with oxygen utilization, improve the respiratory system and increase the body’s ability to produce a natural energy with no short energy spikes. Cordyceps has also been shown to revitalize physical stamina, increase lung capacity, improve libido and help build muscle mass. Chaga mushrooms, dubbed “the king of herbs,” are immune modulators that increase the body’s production of superoxide dismutase (SOD), thus acting as a powerful antioxidant. Watson notes that chaga can also help lower blood sugar.

Watson sources 100 percent organic mushroom extracts taken only from the fruiting body of the fungus. “Some growers that produce mushrooms for extracts grow mycelium on grain logs, and when the log is ground up, you end up with grain and starch, and not 100 percent real mushroom extracts,” he warns.

The Collagen Blend includes a highly bioavailable form of grass-fed collagen that aids new cell growth, thus replenishing cells lost due to aging. “Environmental toxins can also break down natural collagen protein, which is the most abundant protein in nails, skin and joints,” Watson says. “Collagen can also improve gut health by increasing intestinal lining. It’s also good for joint flexibility and support, and it promotes deeper sleep.”

Watson wanted to create coffee blends that are not only healthful but also taste great. “You cannot taste or even see the mushrooms in the coffee,” he assures to anyone who might think that the Mushroom Blend tastes like mushrooms. “It’s more on the earthy side, with slightly sweet, vanilla notes. If you didn’t know the extracts were in there, you’d think it was just a good, robust coffee.”

Defiant Coffee has been well received, Watson says, and many customers have told him how they noticed improved health after drinking the coffees regularly. “I’ve also heard from some people who normally can’t drink coffee because of stomach issues, but they’ve found that Defiant Coffee doesn’t upset their stomachs like other coffee,” he says. “It’s also smooth and subtle, and people who normally don’t drink coffee black will drink these blends straight.”

Defiant Coffee’s Mushroom and Collagen blends are available online or at retail locations including Pilgrim’s Market, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Price for one pound of Defiant Coffee Collagen Blend: $16; Mushroom Blend: $22. For more information or to order, visit, coupon code: awaken.

Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.

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