Coffee and chicory root chicory coffee

How to Brew Chicory Coffee Like a Pro: The Ultimate Guide in 2023

Hey there, you caffeine aficionado! Are you bored with your regular morning joe? Let’s spice things up—or should I say, “root” things up—with some chicory coffee. This underground gem (literally, it comes from a root of the dandelion family) has been a classic and popular in New Orleans staple, perfect for those who love their brew with a touch of earthy, nutty glory. And guess what? You don’t have to book a flight to the Big Easy to get it. Stick around and I’ll show you how to brew chicory coffee that’ll knock your socks off. Ready to elevate your coffee game? Let’s dive in!

What is Chicory Coffee?

Before we roll up our sleeves and get down to business, let’s make sure we’re all speaking the same caffeinated language here. Chicory coffee isn’t your standard cup of java. Nope, it’s coffee’s rustic, charming cousin from the South. At its core, chicory coffee is a blend of regular coffee beans and the ground, roasted chicory root of the chicory plant. This combo gives you a brew that’s a bit woodsy, a smidge nutty, and 100% intriguing. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of coffee: multi-layered, functional, and darn delicious. Got it? Great! Now let’s get to brewing.

What is Chicory Coffee?
Credits to Brew Smartly

History and Health Benefits of Chicory Coffee

Now, let’s rewind the tape a bit and give you some coffee-nerd creds. Chicory coffee has its roots (again, pun intended) in Europe, but it really found its stage during the American Civil War. Why? Because of a coffee shortage and folks were looking for a substitute. Enter chicory, a humble root that stepped in and stole the show. Fast forward to today, and it’s a staple in the New Orleans coffee scene—think Café du Monde and their famous beignets.

History and Health Benefits of Chicory Coffee

But chicory isn’t just a pretty face; it’s got substance too. The root is a fiber powerhouse, specifically high in the prebiotic inulin. This prebiotic promote and improve gut health, promoting healthy digestion. Its good for your blood sugar, Chicory’s also a low-caffeine or caffeine free alternative for those who want the taste but not the jitters with a reduced caffeine intake. So, not only are you indulging in a rich, nutty brew, but you’re also doing your body some good.

In a world where health fads come and go faster than a cup of morning joe, chicory coffee remains a time-tested gem. It’s a marriage of history and health, and now that you’ve got the lowdown, you’ve got one more reason to make it your go-to brew.

Reasons You Need to Know How to Brew Chicory Coffee

Look, I get it. The coffee world is already loaded with enough options to make your head spin—lattes, cappuccinos, cold brew, the list goes on. But trust me, chicory coffee is the sleeper hit you’ve been missing out on. It’s the lovechild of earthiness and sophistication, a drink as versatile as a Swiss Army knife in a camping trip.

  • Flavor Adventure: If you’re a flavor chaser, chicory adds a unique, nutty taste that your regular coffee simply can’t offer.
  • Less Caffeine: Chicory root is naturally caffeine-free, which means you can cut down on caffeine without sacrificing flavor. Great for evening sips!
  • Digestive Benefits: Chicory root is known for its high inulin content, a type of fiber that’s good for your gut.
  • Budget-Friendly: Chicory root extends your coffee, making it last longer. Your wallet will thank you.
Chicory Coffee
Credits to Allrecipes

Now, you could keep throwing money at expensive blends or artisanal brands, or you can tap into the art of crafting the perfect chicory coffee right at home. And who better to guide you than yours truly? Let’s get brewing, folks!

Step-by-Step Instructions to Brew Chicory Coffee

Alright, listen up! We’re about to dive into the nitty-gritty, the step-by-step, the “Holy smokes, this is better than I thought it would be” guide to brewing chicory coffee. This isn’t some random list of steps; it’s a curated journey to that perfect cuppa, so pay attention!

  1. The Coffee-Root Combo: Mixing the Perfect Blend

  2. Heat Things Up: Prepping the Water

  3. The Waiting Game: Letting the Chicory Steep

  4. Strainer Action: Separating the Good Stuff

  5. Optional Elegance: Adding Your Favorite Extras

  6. Taste Test: Adjusting the Final Brew

  7. The Perfect Pour: Serving Your Chicory Coffee

Now that you know the roadmap, let’s gear up for the expedition. Don’t worry, it’s way less strenuous than climbing Everest.


  • Fresh coffee grounds (your choice, but let’s go quality, eh?)
  • Ground chicory root
  • Optional: milk, sugar, or sweeteners of your choice


  • Drip Coffee Maker or French press
  • Measuring spoons
  • Kettle or water heater
  • Strainer or coffee filter
  • Your favorite coffee mug (because style matters)

Alright, you’ve got your list, you’ve got your steps, so what are you waiting for? Let’s turn you into a chicory coffee aficionado!

The Coffee-Root Combo: Mixing the Perfect Blend

Alright, step one is all about getting the blend just right. Take your favorite coffee grounds (I’m talking about the good stuff, not the bottom-shelf nonsense) and mix it with the ground chicory root. A common ratio is 2/3 coffee to 1/3 chicory, but feel free to tweak it based on how adventurous you’re feeling. Mix ’em well in a bowl and set aside. You’ve just created your signature blend.

Coffee and chicory root

Heat Things Up: Prepping the Water

Don’t just throw any ol’ tap water into the kettle. If you’re going all in on chicory coffee, let’s make sure every part is top-notch.
Filtered water is your best friend here. Heat it up to just below boiling—around 200°F (93°C) if you want to get technical. This temperature is the sweet spot for extracting all the flavors without turning your coffee into a bitter brew of sadness.

Bring water to a near boil in teapot for making Chicory Coffee

The Waiting Game: Letting the Chicory Steep

Once your water is hot and ready, it’s time to unite it with your coffee-chicory blend. If you’re using a French press, add the blend to the bottom and then pour the hot water over it. Give it a good stir and then let it steep for about four minutes. This is the time when the magic happens—the flavors mingle, the aromas unlock, and the anticipation builds.

Letting the Chicory Steep: making chicory coffee
Credits to Organic Coffee

Strainer Action: Separating the Good Stuff

You’ve let your coffee and chicory have their private party; now it’s time to separate the solids from the liquids. Use a strainer or the French press plunger to keep the grounds at the bottom while you pour the liquid gold into your mug. Make sure you do this carefully; you
don’t want any rogue grounds making it into the final product.

straining making chicory coffee
Credits to Taste of Home

Optional Elegance: Adding Your Favorite Extras

You’ve got your basic chicory coffee, and it’s already delicious. But why stop there? Wanna add some milk or a sweetener? Go for it. Customize it to your heart’s desire.

Brew Chicory Coffee
Malla Reddy Engineering College for Women

Taste Test: Adjusting the Final Brew

You’ve crafted this cup with love, so take a moment to savor the first sip. Too strong? Add a little hot water. Not flavorful enough? Remember to adjust your coffee-to-chicory ratio next time. This is your recipe now, make it how you love it.

Brew Chicory Coffee
Credits to Food Network

The Perfect Pour: Serving Your Chicory Coffee

You’ve made it to the finish line, and now all that’s left is to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Pour that beautiful, aromatic chicory coffee into your favorite mug. Maybe even throw in a biscuit or a piece of dark chocolate on the side. You’ve earned it.

And there you have it—your guide to becoming a chicory coffee guru. Cheers to you and your upgraded coffee game!

Key Considerations For Successfully Brewing Chicory Coffee

Let’s talk about some pro tips that didn’t quite fit into the steps but are just as essential for nailing that chicory coffee brew.

First off, quality is king. I can’t stress this enough—the better your coffee and chicory root, the better your final brew will be. Cheap stuff has its place, but it ain’t here.

Secondly, timing matters. If you let your brew steep too long, you risk turning your delightful elixir into a bitter mess. On the flip side, under-steeping leaves you with a cup that’s about as exciting as watching paint dry. Nail the timing, and you’ve conquered half the battle.

Chicory Coffee
Credits to Verywell Fit

Lastly, let’s talk about the equipment. Sure, a French press is classic for chicory coffee, but don’t feel locked into it. Experiment with different brewing methods—drip, siphon, or even espresso—to see which one sings your tune. Different tools can accentuate different aspects of the coffee and chicory, giving you a whole new tasting experience each time. So get adventurous and mix it up!

Taking it to the Next Level: How to Elevate Your Chicory Coffee Game

You’ve got the basics down, but why stop there when you can ascend to coffee nirvana? One way to kick things up a notch is by incorporating flavored syrups or spices into your brew. Think cinnamon, nutmeg, or even a dash of cayenne if you’re feeling frisky. Just add it in with the ground blend before you pour in the hot water and let the infusion work its magic.

Cold Brewing Chicory Coffee

Cold brewing chicory coffee is indeed a fantastic strategy to elevate your chicory coffee experience.
Cold brew offers a unique, smoother, and less acidic flavor profile compared to hot
brewing methods.

Cold Brewing Chicory Coffee
Credits to brrzaar

Chicory Coffee Cocktail

A shot of bourbon or a splash of Baileys can turn your chicory coffee into an after-dinner treat worthy of its own cookbook. Experiment with different combinations and ratios to find your signature chicory coffee cocktail.

Chicory Coffee Cocktail
Credits to The New York Times

Alternatives to Brewing Chicory Coffee

So you’re thinking, “Hey, this chicory thing sounds cool, but what if I want to mix it up?” No worries, I’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for that earthy kick but want to stray from the chicory path, dandelion root is your next best buddy. It’s got a similar texture and flavor profile, and it’s often used as a coffee substitute. Just swap out the chicory for dandelion root in the same ratio, and you’re golden.

Instant chicory coffee

Yes, they offers a distinct flavor profile that’s slightly bitter and earthy, with a coffee-like aroma. It’s often used by people who want a coffee alternative, either due to caffeine sensitivity or as a personal preference for the taste of chicory. It can also be used in various recipes, such as chicory-flavored desserts or as an ingredient in some cocktails.

Instant chicory coffee
Credits to NewDayLLC

Chicory Coffee Latte or Chicory Espresso

Experimenting with chicory coffee and finding your own unique way to enjoy its earthy flavors is part of the fun. You can adjust the strength, sweetness, and milk ratios to suit your taste preferences. Don’t be afraid to get creative and explore different variations until you find your perfect chicory coffee concoction. It might take some tweaking and fine-tuning, but hey, that’s part of the fun, right? So go ahead, get experimental and find your own way to enjoy this earthy elixir.

Chicory Coffee Latte or Chicory Espresso
Credits to Chicory Coffee

Wrapping Up and My Experience With Chicory Coffee

Alright, my coffee comrades, that’s a wrap on your crash course in brewing chicory coffee. We’ve dived deep into the roots (pun totally intended) of this Southern staple, broken down the steps to make it, and even explored ways to elevate it and find alternatives. Trust me, once you’ve tried chicory coffee, your mornings will never be the same.

Why listen to me? Well, besides being a seasoned vet in the realms of coffee, bourbon, and BBQ, I’ve been down the chicory coffee rabbit hole and back. I’ve experimented, tweaked, and sipped my way through countless cups to bring you the most straightforward, foolproof guide out there. So take it from a guy who knows his brews: chicory coffee is the unsung hero of caffeinated delights, and now you’ve got the tools to sing its praises. Cheers, and happy brewing!


  1. How does chicory coffee compare to regular coffee in terms of caffeine content?
    Chicory coffee generally has a lower caffeine content than regular coffee. Some versions have zero caffeine if it’s purely chicory root, unlike coffee which naturally contains caffeine.

  2. Why is chicory root mixed with coffee beans?
    Chicory root is often mixed with coffee beans to create a blend that has a unique, earthy flavor. The chicory adds a slightly woody, nutty profile to the brew.

  3. How is chicory root roasted for coffee?
    The chicory root is cleaned, cut into small pieces, and then roasted. This process transforms the raw chicory root into roasted chicory root, which is more suited for brewing.

  4. Where did chicory coffee originate?
    Chicory coffee has its roots in France, but it gained popularity in various parts of the world, especially as a coffee substitute during times when coffee was scarce.

  5. How is chicory coffee brewed in New Orleans?
    New Orleans coffee is often brewed with a mix of coffee and chicory. The chicory root lends a slightly bitter, earthy flavor that New Orleans locals love.

  6. What health benefits does chicory root offer?
    Some of the health benefits of chicory root include aiding digestion and potentially helping to regulate blood sugar. It’s a source of the prebiotic fiber inulin.

  7. How does chicory coffee differ from regular coffee?
    Unlike coffee which is made solely from coffee beans, chicory coffee is brewed from both coffee and chicory root. The result is a brew that has a distinct flavor profile.

  8. What does chicory root taste like when brewed?
    When brewed, chicory root has a rich, nutty, and slightly woody flavor. It’s a unique taste that adds depth to beverages.

  9. How is chicory root harvested?
    Chicory root is harvested from the chicory plant, which is part of the dandelion family. After harvesting, it’s typically roasted and ground for brewing.

  10. Can I drink chicory coffee with steamed milk?
    Absolutely, steamed milk goes great with chicory coffee. It can be a tasty alternative to lattes made from regular coffee.

  11. Is chicory root related to any other plants?
    Yes, the chicory plant is a member of the dandelion family. You might even recognize its cousin, the curly endive, which is popular in salads.

  12. Is boiling water necessary for brewing chicory coffee?
    Boiling water isn’t essential, but it should be very hot—around 200°F is optimal for extracting the flavors when the chicory root and coffee are brewed.

  13. How popular is chicory coffee in France?
    Chicory coffee has deep roots in France and is an important part of their culinary traditions. It’s a staple in many French households.

  14. Why is chicory coffee popular in New Orleans?
    Chicory coffee is a vital part of New Orleans coffee culture. It’s tied to the city’s French heritage and has been embraced by New Orleans locals.

  15. Can chicory root be consumed raw?
    Raw chicory root isn’t typically consumed on its own but is usually roasted and then brewed for coffee or used in culinary applications like salads.

  16. Is chicory coffee consumed in parts of the world other than New Orleans and France?
    Yes, chicory coffee is enjoyed in many parts of the world, often as a coffee substitute. Its versatility and unique flavor have made it popular globally.

  17. What’s the caffeine content in a drink mixed with chicory root and regular coffee?
    A drink mixed with chicory root and regular coffee will have a lower caffeine content than a drink made with only coffee beans.

  18. How is chicory root prepared before roasting?
    Before roasting, chicory roots are typically cleaned, cut into chunks, and sometimes dried. Then they’re ready for the roasting process.

  19. Do beverages made with chicory root have a unique flavor?
    Absolutely, beverages brewed with chicory root offer a nutty, slightly woody flavor, which is different from the more familiar flavors of regular coffee or other beverages.


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