Chicory coffee has been around for centuries. Perhaps you’ve heard of it but aren’t sure what it is or haven’t tried it yet. Chicory is a plant similar to a dandelion but has bright blue flowers. The roots are roasted and ground, then combined with coffee grounds, adding an earthy flavor. Initially used as an inexpensive means to stretch the coffee supply during times of economic struggle, many have grown to enjoy the taste. It is especially popular and well-liked by many natives of New Orleans.
You may be interested in chicory coffee if you’re trying to cut back on caffeine. If you’d like to give it a taste-test or are already a fan, we’ll show you an easy way to make chicory coffee at home. First, we’ll share with you the short-cut method using chicory granules.
1. To preheat the French press pot, add boiling water and let it sit.
2. Grind coffee beans to a medium consistency.
3. Empty the French press pot and dry it.
4. Combine the coffee grounds and the chicory granules, then place mixture in the bottom of the French press.
5. Add enough boiling water to the ground mix to cover. Stir grounds and let it sit for 30 seconds.
6. Add the rest of the boiling water to the ground mix.
7. Place plunger just on top of the pot, and let the mixture steep for 3½ minutes.
8. Press the plunger down gently.
9. Serve and enjoy.
Play with the chicory-to-coffee ratio until you find the combination that suits your taste.
Though chicory plants are not native to the United States, it can be found growing in the wild if you know how to identify it, or you can simply grow your own. If you have discovered chicory root and want to try a back-to-nature version, see the recipe below.
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Wash the chicory roots until no soil remains, and dry them thoroughly.
3. Cut them into equal-sized pieces, and lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
4. Roast the chicory in the oven for about an hour, keeping an eye on it. You want the chicory to turn a golden brown.
5. Remove from oven when ready and allow it to cool.
6. Once cool, grind the roots in the coffee grinder to the same coarseness as your coffee.
7. Grind your coffee beans. Use a coffee-to-chicory ratio that suits your taste, and combine them.
8. Brew your coffee with chicory using your favorite brewing method.
9. Serve and enjoy.
The intensity of the chicory flavor is entirely in your hands, whether it’s just a hint of flavor or a dominating one. The easiest option available is to purchase coffee grounds with chicory already added. Although this doesn’t give you as much control over flavor or strength, it’s a quick 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 is also 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.
Even though chicory was introduced as an economical filler to the coffee scene during times of hardship, there are many health advantages of this root. Many coffee lovers are devoted to the flavor, whether it’s a sentimental reminder of childhood or genuinely craving the taste. Give it a try and decide for yourself, and if you’re ever in the French Quarter of New Orleans, pop into a coffee house and have a café au lait with chicory and a plate of hot beignets.