Have you ever looked at a coffee shop menu and wondered what chicory coffee was? This rich, earthy coffee, made with the roasted roots of the chicory plant, has been around for centuries. Coffee lovers have long used it as an inexpensive way to stretch the coffee supply, and many have grown to enjoy the taste of this unique plant. It is especially popular and well-liked by many natives of New Orleans. Plus, it’s lower in caffeine than regular coffee!
Luckily, you won’t have to fly to the French Quarter to taste this unique coffee. We’ll show you an easy way to make chicory coffee at home. Let’s get started!
1. Prepare your coffee and chicory.
Grind your coffee beans to a medium consistency and combine them with the chicory granules. Start with a coffee to chicory ratio of 3:1 and adjust according to your taste. Pour the grounds into the bottom of your French press.
3. Add a small amount of boiling water.
Stir the grounds and let them sit for 30 seconds. This will help you evenly extract your beans.
4. Add the rest of the boiling water to the ground mix.
Gently rest the plunger on top of the grounds and let the mixture steep for 3½ minutes.
5. Press the plunger down.
6. Serve and enjoy.
See what you think of this coffee’s smooth, earthy flavor. You can play with the chicory-to-coffee ratio until you find the combination that suits your taste. And as with all coffee, you can mix in milk, cream, or sugar. Or try a homemade coffee syrup or creamer!
Chicory is a plant similar to a dandelion but with bright blue flowers. To make chicory granules, manufacturers roast and grind the roots into a coffee-like consistency. Combined with coffee grounds, chicory adds an earthy, rich flavor. Chicory coffee is particularly popular in New Orleans, though you may see it on cafe menus all around the world.
During times of economic hardship, chicory played an important role in the coffee world. Consumers mixed the ground roots coffee, inexpensively extending the amount of coffee they could brew.
Though chicory plants are not native to the United States, they do grow in the wild. You can also grow chicory yourself. If you have fresh chicory roots, you can roast them in a 300° F oven for an hour. Once they’re golden brown, let them cool and grind to the same consistency as your coffee. Mix, brew, and enjoy!
If you use chicory granules or roast chicory root at home, the intensity of the chicory flavor will be entirely in your hands, whether it’s just a hint of flavor or a dominating one. You can also purchase pre-mixed coffee and chicory blends. Although this doesn’t give you as much control over flavor or strength, it’s a convenient option if you find a brand you like.
Chicory root has been traditionally been recognized for its medicinal qualities for centuries, beginning in ancient Egypt. It’s been used for liver and gallbladder disorders, rapid heartbeat, and high blood pressure. As a source rich in beta-carotene, it increases bile from the gallbladder and has a mild laxative effect. If you have a sensitive stomach, you’ll want to be cautious about how much chicory you ingest, as it could cause bloat and trigger IBS symptoms.
Chicory also contains a fiber called inulin, which is considered a prebiotic and can also be found in bananas and garlic. This prebiotic is extracted for use in yogurt and ice cream, among other things, and works well as a fat replacement. If you don’t have a sensitive stomach, inulin provides the good bacteria needed in your intestines, but ingesting too much fiber could cause issues. Lastly, if you have allergies to ragweed pollen, tread lightly with chicory. As a member of the dandelion family, it could trigger the same allergic reaction.
There are many health advantages of this root, and many coffee lovers are devoted to the flavor, whether it’s a sentimental reminder of childhood or a genuine craving. Give it a try and decide for yourself! You may discover your new favorite morning treat.
Still looking? Try one of our other drink recipes: