Let’s start with the basics. Chicory is a plant, and it’s used in traditional medicine, the leaves, seeds and roots — everything. The theory behind consuming this exciting plant is that it has health benefits for your heart, liver and gut.
Whether or not these health benefits are true, the only thing we know for sure is that chicory roots make one mean coffee substitute that makes rich and fragrant brews with no caffeine.
Chicory roots are often grounded and blended with coffee for their attractive resiny taste, but you can brew the roots without coffee as well. Popularized in Europe and a New Orleans specialty, chicory coffee is just fun, and you need to try it at least once.
To make a caffeine-free drink with chicory, simply use pure chicory roots instead of chicory coffee blends. You’ll find several options online.
You’ll also need hot water and a French press. This is the best method to extract the chicory’s essential oils, aroma, color and flavor and still end with a clear, clean brew. French presses are great for projects like this one.
Once you brew your chicory coffee, you can prepare it in any way you want. I sweeten mine with brown sugar and add a splash of milk or cream to give it a fuller body. Whipped cream and a cinnamon dusting make the drink coffee shop-worthy!
Now we’re ready to make a very traditional caffeine-free chicory coffee. Let’s do it!
In a kettle, bring the water to a boil.
In a French press, add the chicory powder and pour in hot water. Stir.
Place the French press plunger and press.
Let the chicory drink sit for 4 minutes and pour into two cups.
Fill the cups with milk and sweeten them to taste.
Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon powder.