The first mushroom retreat I ever went on served us Golden Teacher. The facilitators said the strain name with such reverence, even if we didn’t know what it meant before, we did now. This was a special mushroom that was going to show us something profound about ourselves, maybe even help us heal. 

In fact, Golden Teacher is many people’s first introduction to magic mushrooms and has even become a moniker of sorts for all Psilocybe cubensis—but why? 

Golden Teacher mushrooms growing in substrate

Golden Teacher mushrooms


The popularity of Golden Teacher

Golden Teachers are the most Googled P. cubensis strain, they have the most trip reports on shroomery.org, and to be perfectly honest, they’re our most sought after spore syringe

Their popularity might have something to do with their name. The term Golden Teacher conjures so much potential. Especially for people looking to mushrooms for healing and growth, what could be a better promise than a strain whose name signals teachings from a golden, almost divine source?

Golden Teacher mushrooms also have a reputation for being great for beginner researchers, in all aspects of the field. In fact, the popular YouTuber PhillyGoldenTeacher told ITW something very similar when we asked them why they named their channel after the popular strain:

“Golden Teachers were basically my first step into the whole mushroom scene, along with some B+. They were recommended as a good starting point for beginners, and I gotta say, they didn’t disappoint…

Now, at the time I got into Golden Teachers, I was going through some rough stuff—dealing with depression and struggling with addiction. But man, those mushrooms, they showed me a whole new way of looking at things, especially when it comes to loving myself. Before that, self-love was like a foreign concept to me, but Golden Teachers kinda taught me how to do it.

That whole experience was so life-changing that I felt this urge to share it with others, which led me to start up my YouTube channel.”


Where are Golden Teachers from?

The funny thing about the Golden Teacher strain is that its history is a bit murky, unlike other strains of cubensis that can clearly be traced back to specific places and people. The old school spore store, TheHawksEye.com (which later changed their name to Mushrooms.com) claimed to have found them in 1999 in the US state of Georgia, “on a farm growing in a pile of dung and straw” and to be the first ones to sell the strain:

mushrooms.com Golden teacher product description

Accessed via the TheWayBackMachine.com

Yet while researching this piece, I heard from another source they were originally sold on a different old school spore store, Homestead Book Company, and so it’s hard to tell who first brought this legendary strain about.

Golden Teacher genetics

Despite their unclear past, what is true about this strain is that it’s been around for a while, probably the last 25 years. PhillyGoldenTeacher thinks that has a big part in its legendary popularity. “[Because] they’ve been around for a while, their genetics have had time to adapt and get really robust. They’re like the go-to strain for anyone looking to dip their toes into… mushrooms.”

We’ve found that too about Golden Teacher genetics, which is probably why they’re the base of some of the most popular strains out there. In fact any strain with the name “Teacher” in its title is probably related. 

The most well-known strain to come from Golden Teacher genetics is likely True Albino Teacher (TAT). It was created by cultivator Jik Fibbs, founder of the TAT Syndicate, when a standard Golden Teacher produced an albino fruit. Those albino samples were cloned until they were stabilized and thus True Albino Teacher was born.

Dozens True Albino Teacher mushrooms growing in substrate, which is related to the Golden Teacher strain

True Albino Teacher (TAT) mushrooms


True Albino Teacher also went on to produce a bunch of funky looking isolates that are also extremely popular in the mushroom community, like:

Jack Frost ISO True Albino Teacher which is related to Golden Teacher

Jack Frost TAT ISO


There are also popular unique phenotypes of the original Golden Teacher strain, like White Teacher and Leustic Golden Teacher (LGT).

What do Golden Teacher shrooms look like?

Another reason Golden Teachers may be so popular is their appearance. They have a really quintessentially cubensis look. Golden Teacher mushrooms are on the smaller side, have skinny white stems and golden brown caps. They bruise blue almost greenish and release purple spores when mature. 

Golden Teacher mushrooms growing out of a substrate block

Golden Teacher mushrooms


Plus, we’ve heard from our friends in Amsterdam that they’re known to grow in abundant flushes. That may be because of a detail the original HawksEye description revealed: “The mycelium from this strain has really adapted to using up all the nutrients available to produce mass flushes.”


In the end, Golden Teachers have become a symbol for the current mushroom movement we find ourselves in. It’s a time in history where the mushrooms are finally being recognized for their therapeutic and spiritual value. 

The Golden Teachers strain was even used in this scientific study to represent all cubensis. It’s part of the same body of research that’s caused our movement to go mainstream, and become formally recognized as legitimate by academic science. But you could say we knew all along what they were going to find: that Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms themselves are the Golden Teachers.