Chicory coffee

You may have heard of the popular drink called chicory coffee, you were told that it is the poor man’s version of coffee, but that's not true. Most people love to mix it with a few coffee grounds because it doesn't contain caffeine. People go with the option of decaf coffee or chicory coffee. 

This coffee is a special Landmark of New Orleans, but you can find it in different coffee shops around the world. Do you know the best part about this delicious beverage? You can make some of it at home and even mix it with whole coffee beans. Let's find out more about the chicory coffee and how you can make some for yourself. 


Chicory is a caffeine-free herb. It is a beverage made from carefully roasting and grinding some chicory roots and mixing it with coffee grounds if you like. The chicory leaves from the chicory plant- it is a perennial plant with blue flowers that open and close almost at the same time. 

People often refer to the Chicory as succory or chicory roots. The leaves and flowers are used in food and some cakes. The plant is versatile, it can even be used to make flavored vinegar for salads. It is even used as a healing tonic in other parts of the world. The plant has a long, thick root. It is that root that is roasted and brewed, and it can even be eaten as a vegetable. 


Like we mentioned, the chicory roots have been used for medicinal purposes in the past years. The roots first appeared in France as a substitute for coffee when Napoleon caused a coffee blockade in Britain- there was literally no coffee left in Europe. Let's try not to imagine what our world would look like without coffee. It's good that the blockade did not happen in this century. 

So, the Continental blockade by Napoleon was becoming outrageous, so people had to look for a substitute and that's where Chicory roots came into the picture. The roots were roasted and grounded, then they were mixed with coffee in different ratios because the supply of coffee was not much at that time. If you were thinking the chicory was for the poor man, then you got it all wrong. 


As previously mentioned, this root has so many benefits. You’ll find some anti-parasitic properties in the roots, it even contains insulin. Coffee already has so many benefits, imagine mixing it with the chicory roots- definitely a healthy mixture.

It even has some prebiotic soluble content that is beneficial to your intestines, and it can even help with weight loss. That means it reduces cholesterol levels in your body. Note that if you are allergic to birch pollen, you shouldn't be using these roots as they can cause some swellings and pain when the reactions start. 


The good thing about these roots is that you can make some coffee out of the roots in just a few minutes. You can brew it in different ways once you have all the necessary ingredients. 

What you'll need


There are different varieties of this plant, so you can pick anyone you like. You can either buy the dry roots from a store or look for a tall plant with blue flowers. If you can get any of the alternatives we mentioned, you can go for a root of endive (it is part of the chicory family). 


You’ll be needing a pan if you got some dried roots. You’ll use the pan to roast the chicory roots for a few minutes. 


You’ll need a grinder to grind the roots and the whole coffee beans together. If you don't have a burr grinder, you can grind the ingredients manually. For example a mortar and pestle or manual coffee grinder. 


You’ll be needing freshly roasted coffee beans if you want to get a perfect brew. We bet you are going to love the combination. 

MILK (optional)

You can milk the combination to produce the chicory café au lait. This is one of the popular variations of this delicious drink. This addition works fine if you are a lover of latte (coffee mixed with milk). 


You can use any device to brew the coffee, it could be a French press, espresso machine, any other pour-over method, and even drip coffee.


By now, you should have gathered all your ingredients, let's get to it. 

  1. Wash the chicory roots until they are completely clean, then dry them. 
  2. Cut the chicory roots into different particles with a knife, you have to be careful as you do this. The chicory roots are considered sturdy, so you’ll be needing a really sharp knife. Note that as you cut, the pieces shouldn't be any longer than one inch. This is because the roots have to be cut to the same size if not it won't roast evenly. It's time to roast the roots. 
  3. Lay them on a shallow baking pan and place them in your oven. You have to toast the roots till the color changes to a golden brown. Once you start sensing a coffee-like smell, it means it's time to take it out of the oven. 
  4. Grind the roots: Put the roasted roots into a burr grinder and grind them the same way you grind your coffee beans. If you are brewing with an espresso machine, the grinds should be finer, if it is for a French press, the grounds should be coarser. 
  5. Mix the chicory with your ground coffee. For the coffee grounds, if you are using an espresso machine, the grounds should be fine. If you are using a French press to brew, then the ground should be coarse. We advise that you grind the coffee beans first and then the chicory roots and mix it up. The ratio to be used for the mixture is up to you. If you don't drink too much caffeine, you can use a ratio of 3:1 of chicory to coffee. If you want to just add the chicory flavoring to your coffee, you can try a 4:2 ratio. You can grind both the chicory and coffee beans if you like.  
  6. After grinding, you can brew the coffee. That means you should brew the coffee and chicory powder together. The brewing technique for the chicory grounds is the same as the regular brewing method.  Once the coffee is brewed, you can add some milk to it or any flavors to enhance the aroma of the coffee. 


If you use fresh roots, roast them, and ground them properly, the chicory roots will taste like coffee. Because it has a ground taste, it will taste similar to the Robusta, but it will have a better aroma. That is the reason why you should use 100% Arabica beans that will create a perfect mixture. 


Now you can make your own chicory coffee, mix it up with freshly ground coffee. You can even spice it up with some other additions. You can read this guide on how to make a latte, so you can try making a chicory café au late. 

So get some freshly roasted coffee beans from Coffee Hero and some chicory roots and start brewing!


Why put chicory in Coffee?

Chicory can be added to your coffee drink for different reasons. For example, if you want to reduce your intake of caffeine, it will have a distinctive flavor to your coffee.

What’s the difference between chicory and coffee? 

Although they taste similar, there are differences. Chicory is free from caffeine, and it will slightly alter the taste of the coffee. In addition to this, regular coffee is brownish while chicory coffee comes out black. 

Will Chicory make my coffee stronger?

If you add Chicory to your coffee, it will have a stronger taste, but it doesn't mean that it is a booster. Adding chicory to your coffee will give it a ‘roasted flavor’. So because of its dark color, it may appear bitter, but it doesn't contain much caffeine. 


You can buy fresh chicory roots in a farmer’s market, but sometimes it is hard to locate, but you can get dried roasted chicory roots in bags from some stores. You can find a bag for about $15. You can also purchase a bag of coffee beans online from us and make a wonderful blend!

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