Coffee Meets Chicory: Will It Last?

This week, Serious Eats writer Erin Meister had chicory on her mind. Café du Monde, a New Orleans coffee, is known for its blend of coffee and chicory. Chicory is similar to endive: its root is used for brewing, while its leaves have other uses. Erin decided to make her own blend from the root itself, roasting and grinding it. She then tasted it straight and also mixed with coffee. As a straight French-pressed hot drink, she found it had a chestnutty sweet-sour taste. Blended with coffee, the chicory added the sweet-sour flavor, and with milk, it was reminiscent of hazelnut coffee’s aroma. She seemed to think it was passable this way and maybe even a little nice.

Historically, chicory was added to or substituted for coffee to make the coffee – and the budget - stretch further. Depending on the comparison in today’s prices, that may be helpful in this period of dollar-stretching.

Besides the financial benefits, chicory root has some real health benefits, providing another good reason for blending a little into your grounds before brewing. It’s a source of vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and niacin, plus other nutrients. Some effects are a calming of the nervous system, a detoxifying of the body and helping to protect against gallstones and liver stones. If caffeine bothers you, the chicory would help in not only enabling you to decrease caffeine, but its calming effects help against caffeine-induced nervousness.

If you need to cut down on caffeine, chicory offers one way. If you have difficulty falling asleep, it could be brewed straight as the final cup of the day. Granted, chicory won’t improve the taste of coffee, but it might offer a middle ground solution to cutting out coffee completely or switching to decaf.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.