What Does Chicory Do To Coffee?


I honestly never heard of it until I started trying different types of brew and as odd as it may have seemed at first to try a coffee substitute from a flowery plant, I decided to give it a shot. In fact I recall seeing this can all the times in my Amazon recommend feed but never give it a shot.

Five bucks for roughly a pound of it aint too shabby. I gave this brand a try: Cafe Du Monde Coffee Chicory.

Now that I am a coffee snob, I am trying all sorts of things and if you like dark roast like I do then this is something worth tasting.

What is Chicory?

Chicory is a plant species, Chicorium Intybus, subspecies Sativum.

It is grown in many parts of the world including the U.S and is grown and harvested much like sugar beets. The largest producers currently are France and South Africa. With its popularity and price much lower than Arabica coffee beans you will being to see more countries farming this plant in the future.

Chicory is the roasted and ground root of the Chicorium Intybus plant and adds a dominate roast taste to your coffee which is stronger than just the coffee grounds by itself.

This is a distinctive taste and many coffee lovers that are trying it for the first time are enjoying the bold flavors it possess.

Chicory will darken the coffee and make it somewhat bitter while still adding a good dark roast flavor.

Think of it as the perfect, strong roasted, nutty flavor, caffeine-free, coffee substitute.

Wiki: Common chicory is a somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant of the daisy family Asteraceae, usually with bright blue flowers, rarely white or pink. Many varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, chicons, or roots, which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and food additive.

How to Prepare Chicory Coffee

Chicory coffee comes from roots which requires a much longer roasting and grinding process than that of your typical Arabica beans.

Brewing methods are vast however many prefer to use a drip method or even a French Press.

Ratio: For every 2/3 cup of ground coffee, use 1/3 cup chicory.


  1. Mince the roots into equal particles with a knife. The roots are sturdy, so you’ll need a sharp knife, especially since the pieces shouldn’t be longer than 1 inch. If you don’t cut them in the same size, there’s a chance that they will not roast evenly.
  2. Roast the chicory pieces. Arrange them on a shallow baking pan or a baking sheet and place them into the oven. Toast them at 350 degrees until their color changes to golden brown. If you can sense a coffee-like smell, this means they are finished.
  3. Grind the roots. Place the roasted chicory roots into your burr grinder and grind them with the same coarseness as you grind your coffee beans. Ideally, it should be a fine grind if you’ll brew them in an espresso machine or a coarser grind if you have a French press, etc.
  4. Mix chicory with ground coffee. The ratio is up to you. If you want the taste of coffee without the caffeine stimulation, you can try with a 4:1 ratio of chicory to coffee. Sometimes a 2:3 chicory-to-coffee blend of is good if you want to gradually reduce your caffeine intake. If you want to spread out your coffee supply over a longer period, adding four-fifths of chicory would be enough. Alternatively, you don’t have to add coffee at all for a true chicory coffee.
  5. Grind the roots. Place the roasted chicory roots into your burr grinder and grind them wit.
  6. Brew your coffee. Use the chicory and coffee powder mix to make the coffee as you regularly would. All the other factors such as time or technique should be the same.
  7. Add some foamed milk, toppings, or flavorings to enhance the aroma and serve your chicory root coffee.

Final Thoughts

There’s not much difference between chicory coffee and regular caffience free coffee. So it you want to try adding milk or sweetners like you would your normal brew, give it a try.

This may be an acquired taste but if you try it and like it, then it might be something to add to your regular routine.

Chicory root is a good source of fiber, which may help improve several aspects of your digestive health.


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