Chicory Coffee: Is It Really The Best Coffee Alternative?

Chicory Coffee: Is It Really The Best Coffee Alternative?chicory coffee - coffee alternative - life of cha

Oh coffee, if only there's one way to describe it. 

Almost everybody loves coffee. The bittersweet (and sometimes creamy) taste gives us a jolt of electricity that boosts our energy for the day. Coffee has been repeatedly recognized for its taste and health effects. 

However, just like everything else in the world, coffee isn't always rainbows and butterflies. There are downsides to it as well, mainly because of the presence of caffeine. 

Caffeine intake is fine. However, for some people who drink coffee way too much, it can be a health risk factor. Excess intake leads to issues like restlessness, tremors, headaches, migraine, irregular heartbeats, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. We all know coffee is irresistible but is drinking it excessively going to make it worth it?

For those coffee lovers out there who couldn't stop themselves, here's a probable solution: chicory coffee.

But what is chicory coffee exactly? Let's find out. 

 coffee neon sign - chicory tea - best coffee alternative - life of cha

What is chicory coffee? 

Chicory coffee is a type of drink made from roasted chicory root. It's considered to be one of the best alternatives for coffee because it shares similar characteristics yet it’s also 100% caffeine free. Chicory is a flowering plant under the dandelion family that has the characteristics of having a tough, hairy stem with light purple flowers and leaves. 

The coffee alternative comes to life by roasting the chicory plant root, grinding it, and then brewing it. It's just like the process of making normal coffee, so there's no surprise there. If you're trying to quit coffee but you find yourself craving it from time to time, you can instead opt chicory coffee. 

Just to be clear, chicory coffee is not coffee but it does have a similar taste to it. Plus, it's very healthy and good for our overall well-being!

 chicory coffee - life of cha

History of chicory coffee 

There's no clear record of chicory coffee's history but it's believed to have rooted (no pun intended) from France in the 1800s. There was a massive coffee shortage during that time so people were desperately looking for coffee alternatives. Not only that, but they also used the chicory plant for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. This is how the mixing of chicory roots into coffee started, but it didn't become a thing until years later.  

During the American civil war, chicory coffee also became popular in New Orleans when they experienced a shortage of coffee when the Union naval blockades cut one of their coffee ports.

In the present day, chicory coffee is still gaining recognition as one of the best coffee substitutes in the world. 

 

What are the health benefits chicory coffee can give? 

Regular coffee has its perks, but chicory coffee is seen as a healthy drinking coffee alternative for many good reasons. It provides a lot of benefits that will improve our quality of life. Check out the health benefits chicory root can give below: 

Improves digestive health 

Chicory coffee consumption may help with promoting good digestion. The roasted chicory root is a good source of fiber, inulin, which enhances several aspects of digestive health. This same fiber increases the concentration of certain strains of healthy bacteria in the colon. 

Lowers blood sugar levels 

The inulin present in chicory roots also helps with lowering and regulating blood sugar levels. According to a study conducted on diabetic rats, it helped control blood sugar by improving the way carbohydrates are being metabolized. Several other studies have shown inulin's ability to help with lowering blood sugar and insulin resistance. 

Decreases inflammation 

It was discovered that chicory roots have anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking chicory root coffee may help combat chronic inflammation that may lead to more serious health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. 

Ingredients of chicory drinking coffee 

Here at Life of Cha, our very own Purify Coffee Tea is made from natural key ingredients aimed to give an unforgettable aroma, taste, and experience for coffee lovers who are trying to cut back on caffeine. Our caffeine-free drinking coffee tea consists of organic roasted dandelion, chicory roots & barley, burdock root & ginger. Dandelion coffee and chicory coffee are indeed well-known coffee substitutes but we added a few more healthy elements to ours to make it more special and nutritious. 

What are the characteristics of chicory root coffee? 

Find out how roasted chicory root coffee looks, smells, and tastes like. 

Chicory root coffee looks like a typical drinking coffee. It has a dark brown color and a certain sweet tobacco smoke aroma that can easily deceive you to think of it as its caffeinated counterpart. Its taste, however, isn't exactly the same as that of coffee. People have described its intense flavor as having warm, nutty, woody, and earthy tones. 

It may not be a carbon copy of the coffee you've always loved, but it tastes and smells in a way that makes it a worthy coffee alternative. And other than the many health benefits chicory root gives, this roasted chicory root coffee is also caffeine-free! This way, you can enjoy all the perks of coffee without having to face the downsides. 

chicory coffee tea cup with green plants

How to prepare and brew roasted chicory root coffee 

Here is a step-by-step process on how to make your coffee chicory. Just follow each one carefully and you'll be having a healthy and happy coffee consumption in no time! 

How to brew your Purify Coffee Alternative Tea: 

  • Scoop 1 heaped tablespoon of the Purify coffee tea and pour it into a cup. 
  • Boil 250 ml water and then pour it into the cup. Let it steep for approximately 15 minutes. 
  • Add a dash of soy or coconut milk into it to enhance the flavor of your drinking coffee tea. We find this brings out more coffee tones in the tea.
  • Enjoy your delicious coffee alternative using a tea infuser straw to filter as you sip!

Other recipes for chicory extract coffee

Here are some other ways you can make your alternative coffee consumption enjoyable: 

1. Chicory Vanilla Latte 

Missing drinks from your favorite go-to coffee shop? This might do the trick. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon Chicory root 
  • 1 cup water 
  • Milk
  • Choice of sweetener
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon 

Directions: 

  • Heat the water in a kettle and let it boil. 
  • Add the chicory roots at the bottom of a French press and add the boiled water into it. If not, you can opt for a tea infuser once it's finished steeping. 
  • Allow the mixture to steep for 7 to 10 minutes. 
  • Pour the mixture into a cup and, while it's hot, add the sweetener and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. 
  • Use a milk frother to steam your milk then fill your cup with it (you can also use a french press). Scoop some foam on top and drizzle it with a dash of cinnamon. Enjoy!

 

2. Cold Brew Chicory Coffee

What's not to like about an iced cold chicory coffee? 

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz chicory coffee
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 1-2 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Place coffee in a large bowl and add in the 8 cups of water. Stir gently. 
  • Use a sieve with a coffee filter and place it over a pitcher. Strain the coffee into the pitcher.
  • Add the condensed milk and vanilla extract. 
  • Cover and refrigerate to chill. Serve with ice cubes if you want the drink to be colder.

What are the side effects of roasted chicory root coffee? 

Indeed, chicory coffee is one of the best coffee alternatives. It's associated with several health benefits and smells and tastes good but that doesn't mean it's perfect for everyone. 

Chicory extract or chicory plant may trigger an allergic reaction in some people. It may cause symptoms like pain, swelling, and mouth tingling. If you experience any of the following after drinking coffee made from the chicory plant, immediately discontinue the use and consult your doctor. 

Chicory coffee is also not ideal for pregnant women or expectant mothers. Chicory plant has been known to trigger miscarriage and menstrual bleeding.

Chicory coffee: The past, present, and future of coffee alternatives 

Chicory coffee has been here for so long and has been widely recognized as one of the best coffee substitutes. Sure it may not be exactly coffee, but the similar coffee taste, the health benefits it comes with and the good purpose it serves surely overweighs them. Chicory might not be an ideal drinking coffee for everyone, but if you ever think of reducing your caffeine intake but can't completely let go of coffee, this can be your savior! 

If you are looking for great coffee substitutes to drink, try our very own spin on the chicory coffee—Purify coffee tea! Click here for more details.

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