Each morning always starts with a hot cup of coffee. Recently, I was reminded of family memories from the 1980s of chicory in coffee. I was curious about the role of chicory in coffee, so after doing some research within our family, I learned we drank a blend of 70% Arabica and 30% roasted chicory.
Today, 40 years later, I decided to recreate the taste of my family’s coffee and chicory blend. This time I wanted to start from scratch using freshly grown chicory from our own back yard.
Roasted Chicory coffee tastes similar to coffee but has a flavor that’s commonly described as slightly nutty or woody, depending on the plant variety, there can be a predominant bitter taste. When roasted Arabica coffee is mixed with Chicory in a cup taste proportion of 70:30 it tastes as close as possible to the smell of roasted coffee.
What is Chicory?
The Plant Variety I used is “Spadona Chicory”, which is botanically classified as “Cichorium intybus”. The leaves are used raw in salads or cooked as a vegetable. The root can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute in a blend. Both have a bitter taste. It takes around 2-1/2 months for the root to be fully formed and requires adequate water twice a week.
#1 Remove the Roots and Wash the Plant
After 2-1/2 months, uproot the plant, and remove the roots, carefully wash the roots until the surface of the root is smooth. Then dry the roots in the sun for a day to remove the moisture contents.
One plant will give around 100 grams of roasted chicory, sufficient for 7 cups of coffee, each cup will require approximately 10 to 15 grams of roasted chicory powder.
#2 Slice the Chicory Root and Sun-Dry
The next day cut the dried roots into thick 5mm slices and sun-dry them a full day to get rid of any remaining moisture.
#3 Roast the Chicory
Place the sliced and dried chicory root on a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. Roast the dried roots in a pre-heated oven at 220F for 30 minutes. Watch the roots closely as they may burn due to the root quality or moisture content.
After 30 minutes, turn down the temperature to 180F and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes. The root slices will have a dark brown color. There may be a few slices underdone but not a worry. Remove the roasted chicory slices and let them cool down.
#4 Grind the Chicory
Use a Coffee grinder or a Mortar & Pestle to grind the roasted chicory root to a fine medium coarse powder.
#5 Grind the Coffee
Grind the medium roasted Arabica coffee beans to a coarse grind and a bit more to a fine powder.
#6 Blend the Chicory with the Coffee
Use a stainless steel filter coffee drip over method or a pour-over filter method to brew the coffee. Use 70% coffee and 30% roasted chicory for your blend.
#7 Serve and Enjoy
Pour the filtered hot Arabica Coffee blended with Chicory into a cup. Add milk and sugar as required. The lovely blend of roasted Arabica coffee with Roasted Chicory is ready for you to enjoy.
Below is a video of the entire process.
This article is dedicated to the Lions Club of Warner-QLD Group members, Australia.
How to Brew Fine Drip Over Coffee With a Stainless Steel Filter – This the coffee brewer used in this tutorial.
How to Brew Vietnamese Iced Coffee – Vietnamese Coffee often uses chicory in the blend.