How to Make Chicory Coffee

When speaking about chicory coffee, some people say that it is a version of coffee meant for the poor. It is not true. In fact, chicory coffee is one of the notable versions of the coffee drink, and the elite love it. Actually, many people love chicory coffee because it lacks caffeine. But how do you make chicory coffee?

To make chicory coffee, mince the roots, roast the pieces, grind the roots, mix chicory with ground coffee, brew the mixture, and add foamed milk, flavorings, and toppings to enhance the drink’s aroma before you serve.

The Origin of Chicory Coffee

According to Burt Benrud, the Vice President of Café du Monde in New Orleans, the city is the origin of all types of chicory coffee. Mr. Benrud goes on to say what happened during the historical economical recessions such as the Great Depression and the American Civil War.

“During this time, coffee stocks were dwindling around the world. The great people of New Orleans started to look for affordable and available coffee alternatives. That is how chicory coffee was born,” says Café du Monde Vice President Burt Benrud.

According to Mr. Benrud, chicory coffee grounds and regular coffee had a similar taste. In fact, the VP continues to say that with the right brewing method, there is hardly any difference. Thanks to the resilience of the people of New Orleans, chicory coffee is a trademark and the city’s tradition.

How to Make Chicory Coffee

Although it is the city’s trademark, you do not have to visit any coffee shop in New Orleans to enjoy the rare taste of chicory coffee. You can comfortably make chicory coffee at home. However, you need to ensure you have the right ingredients and of course, the tools.

What You Need

To make chicory coffee at home, you need to gather the necessary equipment and ingredients. Here is a list of the things you need:


  • Coffee maker (it can be French Press, espresso machine, or even pour-over)
  • Coffee grinder (a mortar and pestle can also work)
  • Shallow pan or baking sheet –for roasting chicory root pieces
  • Kitchen knife
  • Mug/cup


Chicory roots – because there are different types of chicory plants, you are at liberty to choose whichever you like. You will find many wild chicory plants in most places of the United States of America but it is advisable to go for tall chicory plants with blue flowers. Alternatively, you can use endive root because it also belongs to the chicory family.

Regular coffee – although this is optional, some people want to add regular coffee to chicory coffee.

Milk – if you are making chicory café, you can add milk to your list but you can leave it out if you want your chicory black

Water – you need about 12 ounces of clean water

Chicory Coffee Preparation Process

  1. Now that you have everything ready, follow these few steps to make yourself a delicious cup of chicory coffee at home:
  2. Mince the chicory roots into small equal parts using a kitchen knife. Because the roots are usually sturdy, you will need to ensure your knife is sharp. Besides, for the roots to roast evenly, you need to ensure you cut small pieces (usually an inch long).
  3. Arrange the pieces of chopped chicory roots on a shallow pan or baking sheet and heat them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until they change their color to golden brown. Usually, when they are ready, they tend to smell coffee-like.
  4. Using the coffee grinder, grind the roasted roots. If you do not have a coffee grinder, you can use a mortar and pestle to ensure you crash the roasted chicory roots to your preferred coarseness. If you intend to use a French press, they can be coarser, but if it is an espresso machine, then they should be fine.
  5. Mix chicory with ground coffee using a ratio you prefer. However, if you want the taste of coffee without much caffeine, then the ratio of chicory to coffee should be 4:1. For those who want to reduce caffeine intake, gradually, you can try 2:3 (coffee to chicory). However, if you do not want coffee, you can do away with it completely. That way, you will not mix coffee to your chicory.
  6. Grind the roots, place the already roasted chicory roots into a burr grinder and start grinding.
  7. Brew your chicory coffee as you usually brew your regular coffee keeping the temperature and time in mind.
  8. Add foamed milk, toppings or favoring to the chicory coffee as you please then serve your tasty chicory coffee.

What Does Chicory Coffee Taste Like?

Chicory coffee tastes like regular coffee especially if you use fresh roots, which you will roast before you grind them. Because of its ‘earthy’ taste, chicory coffee is especially similar to Robusta coffee taste but it also has a distinctively sweet aroma.

Chicory Coffee Health Benefits

The first good thing about chicory coffee is it is caffeine-free. As such, chicory coffee is ideal for you if you are looking into limiting your caffeine intake.

Secondly, chicory coffee is a better substitute than decaf.

Thirdly, for a long time, chicory coffee has been associated with lowering blood pressure thanks to the substantive amounts of natural inulin in the root. This type of prebiotic is known to control blood sugar levels as well as manage insulin resistance in the body.

Lastly, chicory coffee may help reduce inflammation.

Chicory Coffee Benefits for Skin

It is good to note that chicory root is an anti-inflammatory herb. Because of that, the root is excellent in calming and soothing the human skin. In addition, chicory is exceptional in skincare thanks to its ability to boost the skin’s collagen, which in turn increases the skin’s elasticity and reduces wrinkles and fine lines.

How to Apply Chicory Coffee for Skin

Although beneficial, chicory root is tough. You cannot apply wet chicory root paste directly to your skin. To ensure you do not burn your skin with the harsh wet chicory root paste, you need to make a decoction.

What is a Decoction?

The term decoction refers to an extremely strong cup of brew made from tough parts or forms of certain herbs such as woody stems, barks, and roots. These parts are simmered gently then left to cool before they are consumed or applied on the skin.

A decoction is different from an infusion, which is a concentrate made by steeping the delicate parts of certain herbs such as light stems, flowers, and leaves. To this end, it is easy to conclude that a decoction is a highly concentrated herbal tea.

What are the Side Effects of Chicory Coffee?

Chicory coffee is not good for those who are allergic to birch pollen or ragweed. For that reason, there are high chances that drinking chicory coffee can cause swelling and body pain.

In some rare instances, chicory coffee has been associated with menstrual bleeding and miscarriages in some pregnant women.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A: Who invented chicory coffee?

A: Chicory coffee was first made in Holland but it remained unknown to many people until 1801 when M. Giraud of Homing and M. Orban of Liege introduced it to France.

Q: Who first put chicory in coffee?

A: M. Orban and M. Giraud of Liege and Homing respectively were the first people to put chicory in coffee.

Q: Does chicory suppress appetite?

A: The fiber in the chicory root seems to suppress appetite signals in the brain and slows down stomach emptying, which helps you eat less.

Q: Does chicory coffee cause gas?

A: Taking chicory itself by mouth might cause minor GI side effects that include bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and belching.

Q: Why do they put chicory in coffee?

A: The main reason for adding chicory to regular coffee is to impart extra flavor.

Parting Shot

You can easily and quickly make chicory coffee at home. All you need is the right equipment and follow a simple process. Spicing your chicory coffee is a personal choice but I always my friends to top the coffee with natural flavors and foamed milk to give it a distinctive aroma.

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