How To Make Chicory Coffee: Exploring The Rich History And Delightful Taste

Chicory coffee is a delightful and unique alternative to traditional coffee. Made from the roasted and ground roots of the chicory plant, this beverage has a rich, slightly nutty flavor with a hint of bitterness. Chicory coffee has been enjoyed for centuries, and its popularity continues to grow due to its caffeine-free nature and potential health benefits. Whether you’re looking to reduce your caffeine intake, add a new dimension to your coffee experience, or simply explore a new brew, making chicory coffee at home is a rewarding and straightforward process.

Quick Answer: How To Make Chicory Coffee

To make chicory coffee, you will need the following ingredients and equipment:


  • Ground roasted chicory root
  • Water


  • Coffee maker or French press
  • Mug


  1. Determine the desired strength of the chicory coffee. A typical ratio is 1 tablespoon of ground roasted chicory root per 6 ounces of water.
  2. Boil water in a kettle or using the coffee maker’s water reservoir.
  3. Place the desired amount of ground roasted chicory root in the coffee filter if using a coffee maker, or directly into the French press.
  4. Pour the hot water over the chicory in the coffee maker, or directly into the French press, and let it steep for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Once steeped, press the plunger of the French press or start the brewing process in the coffee maker.
  6. Pour the brewed chicory coffee into a mug and enjoy.

Health Benefits Of Chicory Coffee

Chicory coffee offers several potential health benefits, making it an appealing choice for health-conscious individuals. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Digestive Health: Chicory root contains inulin, a prebiotic fiber that can promote gut health by supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
  2. Liver Health: Compounds in chicory root may support liver function and help protect against liver damage.
  3. Anti-inflammatory Properties: Chicory contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, which might contribute to overall health and well-being.
  4. Reduced Caffeine Intake: As chicory coffee is caffeine-free, it provides an excellent option for individuals looking to reduce their caffeine intake.

It’s important to note that while chicory coffee offers potential health benefits, individual experiences may vary, and it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with specific health conditions.

The History Of Chicory Coffee

Chicory coffee has a rich history that dates back centuries. Originally cultivated in ancient Egypt, the use of chicory root as a coffee substitute became popular in Europe during times when coffee was scarce or expensive. In the early 19th century, coffee shortages led to the widespread adoption of chicory as a coffee extender in France, a practice that eventually made its way to America.

During the American Civil War, when coffee supplies were limited, chicory coffee gained popularity as a substitute. Even after the war, the tradition continued, and chicory coffee became a beloved Southern staple. Today, chicory coffee remains a cherished part of New Orleans’ coffee culture, often blended with coffee to create the famous New Orleans-style coffee.

Types Of Chicory Coffee

There are several types of chicory coffee available, each offering a unique flavor profile and brewing method. The most common types include:

Ground Roasted Chicory

Ground roasted chicory is the most popular form of chicory coffee. It can be brewed on its own or mixed with traditional coffee to create a rich and bold beverage.

Instant Chicory Coffee

Instant chicory coffee is a convenient option for those seeking a quick and easy preparation method. Simply add hot water to a spoonful of instant chicory coffee, and you can enjoy a flavorful cup in seconds.

Chicory Coffee Blends

Chicory coffee blends combine chicory root with traditional coffee beans to create a balanced and nuanced flavor. These blends are widely used in New Orleans-style coffee and offer a delightful twist on classic coffee.

Making chicory coffee at home is a simple yet rewarding process that allows you to savor a unique and flavorful brew with potential health benefits. Whether you choose to enjoy it on its own or blend it with traditional coffee, the rich history and diverse types of chicory coffee make it a captivating addition to your coffee repertoire. By exploring the world of chicory coffee, you can elevate your coffee experience and savor the timeless tradition of this esteemed beverage.

Choosing And Preparing The Chicory Root

Chicory coffee is a popular alternative to traditional coffee that has been enjoyed for centuries. Made from the roasted and ground root of the chicory plant, this beverage offers a rich and robust flavor that is similar to coffee but with a unique twist. Chicory coffee is also known for its health benefits, as it is high in antioxidants and may aid digestion.

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Before you can make chicory coffee, it is important to select a high-quality chicory root. Look for roots that are firm, dry, and free from any mold or signs of spoilage. You can find chicory root in specialty stores or online, and it is also possible to grow your own if you have the space and patience.

Once you have obtained the chicory root, you will need to prepare it for roasting and grinding. Start by thoroughly washing the root under running water to remove any dirt or debris. Once clean, use a brush or vegetable peeler to remove the outer layer of the root, revealing the white inner core. Cut the root into small pieces to facilitate the roasting process.

Step-by-Step Guide To Making Chicory Coffee

Now that you have prepared the chicory root, it’s time to start making your chicory coffee. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C).
  2. Spread the chopped chicory root evenly on a baking sheet, ensuring that the pieces do not overlap.
  3. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast the chicory root for about 10-15 minutes or until it becomes dark brown. Keep a close eye on the root to prevent it from burning.
  4. Once roasted, remove the chicory root from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
  5. Once the chicory root has cooled, transfer it to a coffee grinder or blender. Grind the roasted root into a fine powder, similar to the consistency of coffee grounds.
  6. Store the ground chicory in an airtight container until you are ready to brew your coffee.

Substituting Chicory For Regular Coffee

Chicory coffee can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with regular coffee to create a unique blend. If you prefer a more intense chicory flavor, you can substitute regular coffee with pure chicory in your brew. It is a matter of personal preference, and experimentation is key to finding the perfect balance.

To use chicory as a substitute for regular coffee, simply replace a portion of your coffee grounds with an equal amount of ground chicory. Start with a small amount, such as one teaspoon, and adjust according to your taste. Keep in mind that chicory has a strong, slightly bitter taste, so you may want to gradually increase the amount until you find your desired flavor profile.

Finding The Perfect Blend Of Chicory And Coffee

If you prefer to mix chicory with regular coffee, it is essential to find the right balance of flavors. The ratio of chicory to coffee will vary depending on personal preference, but a good starting point is to use one part chicory to every three parts coffee.

To create your chicory coffee blend, follow these steps:

  1. Measure out the desired amount of coffee and chicory. For example, if you want to make a cup of coffee using 2 tablespoons of coffee, you would use 2 teaspoons of ground chicory.
  2. Mix the coffee and chicory together in a bowl, ensuring that they are evenly combined.
  3. Brew the blended mixture using your preferred brewing method. You can use a French press, a pour-over method, an espresso machine, or any other brewing method that you enjoy.
  4. Experiment with different ratios of chicory to coffee until you find the perfect blend for your taste.

Chicory coffee is a delightful alternative to traditional coffee, offering a rich and robust flavor that is both satisfying and unique. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily make your own chicory coffee at home. Whether you choose to roast and grind your own chicory root or purchase pre-ground chicory, the process is straightforward and rewarding. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ratios and brewing methods to find the perfect blend that suits your taste buds. So go ahead, enjoy a cup of chicory coffee and savor the distinctive flavors it has to offer.


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Adding Flavor To Your Chicory Coffee

While chicory coffee has a distinct flavor of its own, you can experiment with various additions to enhance its taste further. Here are some popular ways to add flavor to your chicory coffee:

Milk Or Cream

Adding a splash of milk or cream to your chicory coffee can mellow out the bitterness and provide a creamy texture. You can choose from dairy milk, plant-based milk alternatives such as almond, soy, or oat milk, or even condensed milk for a richer taste.


If you prefer a sweeter coffee experience, there are several sweeteners you can use to balance out the bitterness of chicory coffee. Options include sugar, honey, maple syrup, or artificial sweeteners. Adjust the amount to your desired level of sweetness.


To give your chicory coffee a unique twist, consider adding spices. Popular choices include cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, or even a pinch of vanilla extract. These spices will add warmth and depth to your beverage.

Flavored Syrups

For those who enjoy flavored coffee, you can try adding flavored syrups to your chicory coffee. Options like caramel, hazelnut, or vanilla syrups can complement the earthy notes of chicory and create a delightful flavor combination.

Whipped Cream Or Foam

To elevate the presentation and taste of your chicory coffee, top it off with a dollop of whipped cream or foam. This adds a luxurious and indulgent touch to your beverage.

Experiment with different combinations of these flavor enhancers to find the perfect balance that suits your taste buds. Remember that chicory coffee has a unique flavor profile, so it may take some trial and error to discover your preferred blend of flavors.

Serving And Storing Chicory Coffee


Chicory coffee can be served hot or cold, depending on your preference. Here are some serving suggestions:

  • Hot Chicory Coffee: Pour the freshly brewed chicory coffee into a mug or a heatproof glass. Add any desired flavorings or sweeteners, and stir until well combined. Enjoy it while it’s still hot.
  • Iced Chicory Coffee: Brew the chicory coffee using the same instructions mentioned earlier. Once brewed, let it cool to room temperature. Pour the coffee over a glass filled with ice cubes and add milk, sweeteners, or any other flavorings you like. Stir well and serve chilled.
  • Chicory Latte: To make a chicory latte, mix equal parts chicory coffee and steamed milk. Pour the chicory coffee into a cup and gently pour the steamed milk on top. Optionally, sprinkle some cocoa powder or cinnamon for extra flavor and visual appeal.


If you have leftover chicory coffee, you can store it for future use. Here’s how to properly store chicory coffee:

  1. Allow the brewed chicory coffee to cool completely.
  2. Transfer the coffee to an airtight container, such as a glass bottle or jar.
  3. Store the container in the refrigerator, where the coffee will stay fresh for up to 5 days.

Before consuming the stored chicory coffee, give it a good shake to remix any settled sediments. Reheat if desired or enjoy it cold over ice. It is important to note that the taste of chicory coffee may change slightly after refrigeration, but it will still retain its distinct flavor.

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Common Mistakes To Avoid When Making Chicory Coffee

While making chicory coffee is a fairly straightforward process, there are a few common mistakes to avoid to ensure the best possible flavor and brewing experience. Here are some tips to help you avoid these mistakes:

Using Too Much Chicory

While it may be tempting to add more chicory to intensify the flavor, using too much can result in an overly bitter taste. Stick to the recommended ratio of 1 cup of roasted chicory root to 3 cups of water.

Boiling The Chicory Coffee For Too Long

Simmering the chicory coffee for longer than 10 minutes can lead to a bitter and unpleasant taste. It is essential to follow the recommended simmering time and allow the mixture to steep for an additional 5 minutes before straining.

Using A Coarse Grind

To properly extract the flavors from chicory, it is important to use a fine grind. A coarse grind will result in a weak and less flavorful brew. Invest in a quality coffee grinder or ensure that the chicory root is finely ground before brewing.

Neglecting To Strain The Coffee

To achieve a smooth and sediment-free cup of chicory coffee, it is crucial to strain the coffee after brewing. Skipping this step can result in a gritty texture and unwanted residue in your beverage.

Storing The Chicory Coffee Improperly

If you don’t store chicory coffee correctly, it can lose its freshness and flavor. Always transfer the cooled coffee to an airtight container and refrigerate it promptly. Avoid exposing it to air or light, as this can cause it to deteriorate.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a delicious and gratifying cup of chicory coffee every time.


Whether you’re looking for a caffeine-free alternative, a new flavor experience, or the numerous health benefits associated with chicory, making your own chicory coffee is a simple and rewarding process. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can prepare a flavorful cup of chicory coffee and experiment with different additions to suit your taste preferences. Remember to store any leftovers properly to enjoy another cup later. So go ahead, brew a batch of chicory coffee, and savor the unique and delightful flavors it offers.

FAQS On How To Make Chicory Coffee

What Is Chicory Coffee?

Chicory coffee is a type of coffee made from the roots of the chicory plant. The roasted, ground roots are often used as a substitute for or addition to traditional coffee beans.

How Do I Make Chicory Coffee?

To make chicory coffee, start by mixing equal parts of ground chicory root and coffee grounds. You can adjust the ratio based on your personal preference. Then, brew the mixture as you would normally brew coffee.

What Equipment Do I Need To Make Chicory Coffee?

To make chicory coffee, you will need a coffee maker, a grinder (if using whole chicory root), and a container to store the coffee. Some people also use a French press or a filter cone to make their chicory coffee.

What Does Chicory Coffee Taste Like?

Chicory coffee has a slightly bitter and nutty flavor, with a hint of chocolate. It is often described as having a milder taste compared to regular coffee.

Are There Any Health Benefits To Drinking Chicory Coffee?

Chicory has been found to have potential health benefits, such as improving gut health and reducing inflammation. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of chicory coffee on health.