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Mushroom-based coffee shop brings atmosphere to Toledo

On August 25, 2011

When purchasing a latté from a coffee shop, chances are its secret ingredient isn't a mushroom.

However, if purchased from the Atmosphere Coffee Lounge, a recently established organic coffee shop in the Rocket Center Plaza on Dorr St., then it's a guarantee.

Rob Earl, founder of Atmosphere, wanted to bring something new to the Toledo area.

Atmosphere features a selection of traditional coffee shop favorites such as mochas and lattes. Unlike other coffee shops, these drinks were not made with shots of espresso and steamed milk - they are made from a powder.

The powder is infused with the mushroom ganoderma, an ancient and rare oriental mushroom used for medicinal purposes in China for thousands of years.

According to manager Keisha Greer-Serrant, ganoderma has over 100 healing components which include treating high blood sugar, sleeping problems, pain and fibromyalgia.

"It's known as an adaptogen that works on every cell of the body," she said. "It's been known to heal a wide variety of ailments in different people. My own carpal tunnel syndrome was healed because of it."

The mushroom has been in the United States for three years and was first introduced to Organo Gold coffee company. They decided to include ganoderma into their coffee and market their product to prospective business owners.

Earl heard about the coffee when he attended a meeting about Organo Gold in Tampa, Florida.

"I'm real big on health and I know that coffee is the number two commodity, and when I saw that there was a healthy coffee that affected people in many ways, I wanted to become a part of it," he said.

Earl said he never heard of ganoderma before attending the meeting, but after investigating the product and trying it himself, he was convinced of its benefits.

"I used to have sleep apnea, but after drinking the coffee every morning, I don't use my machine no more," Earl said.

Each Organo Gold powder contains .009 milligrams of caffeine compared to the 145 milligrams in a traditional cup of coffee.

Unlike traditional coffee shops, a tall size drink at Atmosphere is called a sophomore, a grande is a junior and the smallest and largest sizes are the freshman and senior, respectively.

According to Earl, Atmosphere is more than just a coffee shop serving a product- it's serving a purpose by giving back to the community. Earl is already planning to ultimately open 50 locations in the next five years.

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